The Australia Journals: Mar. 6, 2010

Flooded street in downtown Melbourne on way home from surfing trip.

For background on this series of blogs, see this intro post.

Commentary

Half of this day I was definitely in Australia (surfing), and the other half felt more like Oklahoma (thunderstorms). I had never surfed before, so I was really excited to give that a shot. I really enjoyed it. I was bummed that it got cut short by the storms. Thunderstorms had caused quite a bit of damage and flooding in Melbourne. Traffic and mass transit was a mess, so getting back to Monash ended up being quite the adventure. You can read all about it in the journal entry below. 

The Journal Entry

I got up this morning at 5:40. I had a surfing lesson trip today. It was through Monash Sport again. I ate breakfast and then got all my stuff together. I left at about 6:45 to go to the pick-up area. We were supposed to get picked up at 7:20, but the bus didn’t show up until almost 7:40. It was the same type of bus as last weekend. We stopped by Caulfield and RMIT to pick people up. By the time we had picked everybody up the bus was completely full. While we were leaving Melbourne everybody had to say their name and some info about themselves. We drove to Ocean Grove to do the surfing lessons. We weren’t really sure if we had gone to the right place when we got there, but it ended up being the right place. We did the surfing lesson through Ride a Wave. When we got there we got a wetsuit and had to get changed into that. After that we got our boards and ankle cord things. The boards were foam and pretty large to make it easier. That was nice. After we got all that, we went down to the beach. We had a quick lesson about how to lay on the board, paddle, and then the very basic way to get up on the board. After that they let us go into the water for a while and practice. After a while of practicing they had us go to the beach again for another quick lesson. In this one they taught us the typical way to get on the board, the way to do it all in one motion. They then let us go in the water again and practice some more. It was a lot of fun, but as the same time wore me out. It made my arms really tired. At about 12:30 we took a lunch break. There was a little food stand there. I just got some chips for lunch. It was a pretty big bag of chips. After lunch we all went back to the water and just had a free time pretty much, where we could keep practicing surfing. At about 2:30 a thunderstorm started to come through so they closed the beach. Our group all got changed out of our wetsuits and back on to the bus. We were supposed to stay until 4 I believe, so they just took us into Torquay for about 40 minutes to burn some time. While we were in Torquay we heard on the radio that Melbourne had been hit by a pretty big thunderstorm and that there was flooding and large hail. We got back into Melbourne at about 5:30 and the traffic was nuts. The tour guide just decided to drop us off at a train station because it probably would have been faster. He was going to drop us off at Melbourne Central Station, but couldn’t get there because the roads were blocked off. Then he decided to drop some people off at a tram stop and the rest of the people off at Southern Cross Station. I got off at Southern Cross. However, we had to walk a little ways to get there, and wouldn’t you know it they had it shut down. Part of the roof had collapsed during or after the storm. I was with a group of 4 other students, and we just decided to walk to Flinder St. Station. Little did we know what that would entail. We had to walk through flooded walkways and streets. That was really nasty. We saw trams and vehicles that were stranded on flooded streets. There were still piles of hail on the ground in some spots. Leaves from trees were everywhere. It was a huge mess. We finally made it to Flinder St. Station. Vivien went to get her concession card, so we were at the station for a while waiting for her to get that. Once she got that we went to our platform. The train lines we needed to take were all messed up. They weren’t even running on a schedule. We just got on a train that was parked there and waited for a few minutes for it to leave. It finally left, but it only ended up going to Okleigh Station. There were only me and 2 others at that point. Two of the students got off at Caulfield. Since the train stopped at Okleigh, we had to catch the 900 bus to campus from there. We had to wait for about 20 minutes for that bus. We eventually got on. By the time we got to the bus loop at Monash, it was 8:15. We got off the tour bus in the city at 6:15. We were supposed to be back at Monash at 5:45. Needless to say, it was a pretty interesting day. After we got off the bus we walked back to the dorms. When I got back I hopped in the shower right away. After that I got on the computer for a little bit and then got dinner. I finished off my leftover tacos and baked beans. That was at about 9. I tried to find a couple people in our group on the way back on Facebook. I think I found one of them, but I can’t find Vivien. Anyway, then I started writing this. It’s now 11:42 and I need to get to bed.

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