Have arrived at the Queensbury Hotel for registration for the 63rd Australian Intervarsity Choral Festival.  The delightful madness that is the intervarsity chorister is infectious.

It has been a year since the last festival.  Both myself and this crazy bunch of people have changed.   I think a lot of my changes are positive and given the loud racket this mob is making as they say hello to each other again, I think that much is equally true for them.

This years festival is about twice the size of the last one with almost 200 registrants, with over 60 freshers.   The SUMS freshers have already discoved the answer to the question 🙂 Lots of old familiar faces too. 

Signing out from registration …. Mark

Reached that point in travelling yesterday where being away from home hits.  Yesterday, was a very cold day in Melbourne and missed hugs and company.

In the evening visit St Paul’s Cathedral for ringing.  Tower stairs make me dizzy!

I’ve spent most of today on tasks and errands, some small progress made, but not much.   Some things seem very difficult to accomplish in Melbourne as opposed to Perth.   I’m needing to spend tomorrow making sure I’ve got adequate supplies ready for IV.


Arrived in Melbourne yesterday.

Achievements unlocked:  Driven the Great Ocean Road, Driven on a toll road

Caught up with some of the MonUCS for dinner, then headed off to my friend R’s place to sleep.

This morning visited the Shrine of Remembrance.

Melbourne this time around is proving familiar.   This is not unexpected as I’ve visited several times.   I’m finding on this trip that I’m getting a strong impression of how each capital cities culture translates to what a visitor experiences.  The thing I think Melbourne lacks is a driver to better things – Perth is its isolation, Adelaide not wanting to be Melbourne, Sydney wanting to be first, Brisbane to be big.   I’ll have to compare it with London when I eventually visit.

I’ve arrived in Apollo Bay.  This is my last stop before arriving in Melbourne tomorrow.

The coast line between Port Fairy and Apollo Bay is spectacular.   It reminds me heavily of the Greatwinter trilogy by Sean McMullen.  I was worried that I didn’t have my tether attached and I would be drawn into the Great Southern Ocean.

The drive was also fun in the forest with lots of windy corners.

I’m spending the evening lazing in front of the television, checking the email (with more to be responded to tomorrow) and attending to looking after oneself tasks.

In the interests of brevity and the need for further samples, I’m saving the world from my rant about dodgy plumbing in cheap accomodation.

I am now in Victoria, and am only a few days from the start of the Melbourne Intervarsity Choral Festival (MIV).

Crossing the border was uneventful.  Didn’t even need to use the passport 😛    Was amused to see the stobie poles stop and then change to regular wooden power poles.

Tonight I’ve stopped in Port Fairy.  Had some very lovely Thai Green Curry from a resturant called Lemongrass.

In other news, found my lost SD card.   It now has a fresh alpine scent after putting it through the wash and then taking it out of the dryer *sigh*   It appears to have survived (SD card at least) intact.  Now to make some hasty backups.

Left Adelaide (the middle east[*]) heading on a slow three day journey to Melbourne (the far east[*]) via the coastal roads and towns.  Tonight I’ve ended up in Robe, and staying at the wonderful Guichen Bay Motel.  Inexpensive, with excellent food and friendly owners, I could extol how nice it is at least for a quarter of an hour.

Crossed the Murray at around midday.   Like the Nullarbor, another Australian rite of passage achieved.

The contrast of the country south east of Adelaide (The Coorong) compared to the outback on the way to Woomera is noticeable.  The roads and the population reflect this.  I’m really glad that I’m making the journey via this route.

Tomorrow is the border crossing into Victoria.   I’ve been thinking today on how the states of Australia differ and their respective cultures.  I’m also looking forward to catch up with folk at IV and others later in the trip.

Tonight however is trying to catch up on the dreaded email, as I’m still needing to write to folk to organise later parts of my trip.

Safe driving,




[*] definitions that Perth folk use to describe the eastern states of Australia

Today was the coldest day in 12 years in Adelaide.  With a sniffle this is not what I wanted to hear.  I’m starting to feel better, but am still feeling the cold more than normal.

Today consisted of a morning doing geeky things online, including setting up this travel blog.  I’m hoping people enjoy it as I continue to update on my adventures.   I’m liking the lack of urgent commitments (although I do have emails to respond to) and am slowly mellowing into it.

This afternoon was visiting A and C.  C I think appreciated the visitor and a break from the monotony of convalescence.   Always good to catch up with A.

Comfort food was obtained in Prospect and more pills taken for the sniffle.

Then off to ringing at St Cuthberts.  A nice tower to ring at with lots of friendly ringers in their band.

I’m feeling a bit sad to leave Adelaide tomorrow, but need to get to Melbourne for IV…



20120620 2230 ZULU Woomera

Awoke this morning at the backpackers in Woomera.  Continued the morning ritual by waking, getting dressed and packing the car.

Headed into the centre of the townsite and begun wandering around the various heritage exhibits.   My mission for the trip out to Woomera was to find out what the place was like and to try and find out some history about the time my maternal grandfather spent out at the facility.  I didn’t find out much on that front, but have a few ideas how to find out more.

It was a strange place to visit.  The townsite hasn’t remained static from the heydays of its earlier activities, but neither has it reflected the orginal promise of the facility – that is, to continue to do excellent rocket and space research.   Geography got the better of the site for space purposes (not good for satellites) and perhaps a different location should have been chosen.   Rocketry now seems to be a mostly known field (at least for Australia and its allies)

Like Cook, the townsite is a creation of necessity and is not majorly dissimilar to other parts of South Australia.

Left just after 11am and headed back on the long drive to Adelaide.  Arrived a bit worse for wear with a head cold  *sniffle*

Animals seen today:  Sheep
UFOs seen today:  One


On the fourth day of the trip, the road led me into the known unknown.

Trekked out to Woomera from Adelaide via Port Augusta.   I’m visiting to find out more about the place and to establish some context around what I had heard of my maternal grandfathers time out here many years ago.

I arrived just before sunset (less than an hour) and have not seen much of the town yet.   What I have seen so far, is an interesting trip into a place of the past that is still an active facility but not as it once was.  Anachronisms abound.

Animals sighted on drive: Kangaroo, Emu and Cattle

I’m looking forward to tomorrows adventure into the unknown past and seeing what I can find out.

Enough gibber gabbering, good night!