Couch patato (in English)
Reaching our 40th day of travel together in Australia we’d rather slow down before meeting Melbourne. This is indeed the place where we’ll separate from our van Capt’âne Bemo today and from Sandra tomorrow.
Fortunetly we are expected!
No through road
So we give Capt’âne back to its owners and it’s hard to say goodbye: you’ve been pretty handy and we’ve become attached, Capt’âne!
Back to pedestrian mode to discover Melbourne. This eternal rival of Sydney first looks less beautiful but is supposed to be culturally richer.
Alex & Stirling
Let’s ask Alex and Stirling what they think of this: they’ve just moved from Sydney suburbs!
But who are Alex and Stirling? That’s a funny story. Almost exactly a year ago we are concluding a nice week-end of hiking in Ireland the only possible way: listening to music in an old Dublin pub (and drinking Guinness -just to look more local-). Among the musicians is a violinist with a unexpected look (we would have swore he was a biker, turns out he is not but you get the idea) and a very good play. A girl starts chatting at the counter: she’s his wife and both aren’t Irish, they’re Australian and travel around Europe for six months!
They do a lot of « couchsurfing », a new name for an old practice reborn on the Internet: a network of people who host travellers at their homes for a couple of days. For free and with no other compensation than a good chat between travellers and a good feeling. For more info check www.couchsurfing.org
One month later they spend the evening at our home in Lyon, trying andouilettes and cancoillotte (two very tasty French dishes) and we can learn a little bit more about them: Alexandra draws and constructs costumes for theatre and diverse shows. She also makes wonderful clothes and wedding dresses (visit www.clockworkbutterfly.net). Stirling is both player of multiple string instruments and a chef.
And after only a couple of evenings with them we end up beeing invited at their place in Melbourne! To tell the truth we even have met Alex’s father a few days ago when hosted us in the Blue Mountains. A delicious evening around the fireplace discussing art, history and politics!
We spend the first night in an excellent pub in Fitzroy, recommended by Stirling: good food, good beer, good music! That’s the least we needed for our last night the three of us together.
Then it’s time for a delicious breakfast at Doctor Java, the cafe Stirling helps run. Written on the door: « Awesome Coffee, Fantastic Food, OK Service ». At least the two first lines are true! The tomato and onion & red wine jam savoury scone is a good reason to love Melbourne!
But what should happen happens: Sandra takes her flight back to Paris. We’ll need all Alex and Stirling’s hospitality to help console Céline!
We spend four wonderful « urban days »: wandering in Melbourne, Tim Burton exhibition (as crazy as you would expect) and a little help to Alex to finish some costumes (in fact help from Celine essentialy) and… a feast and a show.
On the third night we are indeed offered: blue cheese and parsnip soup with paprika oil, seared chicken livers and prosciutto in tunisian brick pastry on a roquette, red onion and pistachio salad, kangaroo fillet on lemon thyme infused portobello mushroom and split pea and sweet potato puree, homemade salep ice cream. Do we really need to comment on that???
The Bon Scotts
The night before we leave Melbourne we went to a gig of the Bon Scotts, folk group in which our Dublin pub violin player has changed into a mandolin player, too!
Don’t hesitate to check their website and we also recommend the brand new CD!
We were also given the chance to see two different cats playing harp. And that’s impressive, we can tell you 🙂
All in all it was a delightful transition between our one month road trip and the adventures that we are about to lhave in Tasmania… but that’s another story 😉
As I suppose this post is specifically dedicated to Stirling, Alex and all your new Australians friends, my message will be : « un grand bonjour de France » to all of you !