This day will be nice and easy to write about. The major thing that we did was go on one last hour and a half hike up a little mountain.
Now, silly me, I figured I would be fine to do the hike in my Birks. Tash told me that we couldn't wear flip flops, and I asked if the Birks would be OK because unlike flip flops, they have backs (and because the only other shoes I had were the yoga slide death shoes) and she said that her only concern was that I had proper ankle support, but if I had strong ankles they should be ok, as we only had a little bit of scrambling to do.
Hah! and I'll say it again, HAH! Some parts of this short hike were just as hard as it was at the Cradle Mountain! The only good thing was that there were no loose rocks, while Cradle Mountain was full of that.
I was pretty good going up in them... Coming down was not so good. But before I talk about coming down... the point we were trying to reach was another lookout point... at a high point on the mountain. Once we got there, the view was astounding:
And if you look at the picture below, you can see where all the land was cleared, for farming purposes. At one time, it was green as far as the eye could see...
We sat up on the mountain, eating cookies and just recuperating from our hike, until we had to start the downward trek. And THIS, dear friends, is where I had my problems.
First off... I have pretty much been wearing my birks non-stop, almost everyday, through various places that have all kinds of fun stuff for me to walk on... I did one other 5 hour hike in Tasmania (at Wineglass Bay) with them... they have gone through rain, through snow (OK, tiny little bits of snow) through sand, over rocks, and of course, on pavement. It has been hot, cold, and medium temperatured. When you look at them, besides being dirty, they are showing wear on the bottoms of the soles. They never had terrific grip to begin with, but the grip is definitely not getting any better! There are parts where the sole is noticeably worn away! Now before people tell me that I should have opted for the leather ones (CHERYL!) I'll just say that the STRAPS are perfectly fine... and under normal, non-hiking conditions, these shoes would last another 5 years I'm sure. But climbing down slippery rocks... no.
So, I slid and slided a bit... got a nice big scrape on my knee to replace the one that just healed from when I fell at surf camp (while I was carrying my Hahn beer... which I did not break!). I slipped a couple times before I realized that it was much easier to scoot down the rocks on my butt. Good thing I was wearing tear-resistant hiking shorts!
OK, so I made a Faux-pas. BUT... as I was taking my time getting down the rocks, I noticed someone that made an even BIGGER faux-pas. The older woman who was on our trip (the mother to one of the guys on the trip) was wearing dress shoes. High HEELED dress shoes. I mean, the heel was a thick one, not those crazy thin ones that Stacy likes... but STILL. If you were wondering, the son was helping her up and down and she too was sitting down and scooting for the tough parts. Talk about guts. Climbing a mountain in high heels.
Anyhow, after we got down the mountain, our Ocean Road/Grampians tour was pretty much over and done with. We only had lunch to go, and then a 4-5 hour drive to get to Adelaide.
We had lunch in a place called 'Nhill', pronounced 'Nill', and according to Tash, it is the most boring town in Victoria (which is a state in Australia if you didn't already know this... the state that I have been in since Melbourne). It is so boring and ordinary that it has even been the subject of a movie about itself as a boring town... called 'The Road to Nhill'. I bet it's even more boring than Hershey, PA, during a snowstorm.
Here's a nice picture of our view of the town during our picnic lunch!
Doesn't seem boring, you say? Well, I went to the supermarket, and they DIDN'T HAVE the cookie flying saucer ice cream that I wanted. You can't get much more boring than no cookie flying saucer ice cream.
Anyhow, the rest of the trip was pretty much just driving, with a stop at the border of Victoria and South Australia... where Tash spent a minute reversing and going forward saying "Now it's 3:00! Now it's 2:30! Now it's 3:00! 2:30!" I've never heard of another country that has time change in half hour intervals, have you? Well, South Australia does it!
OK, and here is the moment that you have all been waiting for! The winner of our country contest was.... (drumroll) USA! And I carried the team in the riddle category! Another US girl on the bus carried us in the geography category... naming all countries that end with 'stan' or 'land' or naming what country was in between which two countries, etc. I am not a geography person... so I didn't really help us much for that part. It was close between Germany, Switzerland, and US, but we worked hard and won! Yay!
Anyhow, we got to Adelaide, and like I said, it was hot. Hoottt. Tash told us we should meet at her hostels bar for dinner, and we all went to our hostels to get our dirty selves unpacked and showered. At the bar, we found out just what this 'Toxic Slime' was. Apparently, it was a drink! She brought out a pitcher of this bright green mixed drink, a bunch of shot glasses, and we all had some (not just the US people, Tash got enough for everyone to share!). It was actually a yummy drink... it had Midori in it, tasted a bit like a Midori sour.
I went to bed pretty early... I left the bar at like 10ish... it'd been a long day and I was pretty beat, and it was really hot at the bar... so I walked back to my hostel and crawled into my nice, clean, cool bed. And coughed all night.
Well, that is the end of my tour story! I will publish this one, then go have dinner, then if you are lucky I will write one more and tell the story of my time in Adelaide! You'll most likely be lucky because I won't be able to post it tomorrow as I'm leaving again...
Until I write again!