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Adventures down under
17th Mar 2017
St Kilda

A lazy day today. We did a bit of shopping in Melbourne in the morning, and being Paddy's Day, there were quite a few street musicians/bands playing here and there. One band was performing in front of the largest H&M store you have ever seen. It is housed in the old GPO building along with a number of eateries; there is also a new H&M building alongside. The horse and carriage rides were also out in force. Several pubs and eateries had Paddy's Day events. We caught a tram to St Kilda to meet our friends (and neighbours) Debbie and John whose holiday meets up with ours for a few days. St Kilda used to be a bad area full of prostitution and drug problems, but has been cleaned up a lot and is a nice seaside getaway from Melbourne. We heard that the problems had not all gone away and were advised to watch our valuables. In fact, whilst we were having cake and a drink (one Road is famous for cake shops), a disreputable character leant on a bollard right next to our roadside table looking for a chance. He was there as long as we were, and when we got up, he moved off to follow us!  We saw more dodgy behaviour near an ATM as well. St Kilda has lovely beaches and today had a strong wind blowing that was ideal for the many kite surfers in the bay. We watched them powering through the waves and leaping high into the air. The pier there is 1km long and at the end of it is a breakwater that is home to a colony of little fairy penguins who nest there overnight. We saw one penguin nestled amongst the rocks in daytime; it could have been hatching an egg, but mid March is rather late for that. There are over 1200 penguins in the colony, most are protected from the public by a fence and with good reason. Most don't read the signs and we saw people clambering over the rocks to find them. You can also bet that some will use flash at night as well. We passed Albert Park on the tram, but didn't have time today to visit; you could see that preparations for the opening race in the F1 season are well advanced. Supping a beer over dinner (the rather tasty James Squire 150 Lashes Pale Ale), we noticed an interesting story. James Squire was the colonies first brewer and he was tried for stealing the ingredients to make his beer. As punishment, the judge ordered 150 lashes, as well as two barrels of Ale!  He was a far better brewer than a thief!



Next: Dandenong Ranges
Previous: Melbourne


Diary Photos

The Evan Walker Bridge

St. Patrick's day Buskers

Artist at work

Gull

Fairy Penguin


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