Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Great Ocean Road Tour…NOT

On Saturday, March 9, we were ready to hit the Great Ocean Road to see the 12 apostles and the Gibson Steps. Of all the pictures I've seen in tour brochures, I was really looking forward to taking these photos of these sights. We were supposed to be picked up at 10:05am and by 10:25, we finally called the tour company. We were told the tour was cancelled - that the driver/tour guide was sick and that they tried to contact us the night before to let us know so that we could be booked on the earlier tour (without the sunset). They said that they tried to call us on our mobile and even called the hostel to find us but the hostel said we weren't staying there. It was just a series of unfortunate incidents added up that resulted in us missing this one attraction I really wanted to see.

When we booked the tour, the agent got our cell phone number wrong by one digit and she also misspelled our last name. So, if the tour group really did try to call the hostel, they weren't able to look up our correct names! They tried to book us for Sunday's 8am tour but we had to check into another hotel and our flight on Monday departed at 6am so it really wouldn't work out. I was really mad at the tour group and super disappointed. Traveling has been fun and tiring but I really look forward to seeing sights like the Great Ocean Road because it is a place that you can only see here in Australia. And really, how often will we be back? After fuming for a few hours and feeling productive (I planned and booked our entire Singapore/Malaysia trip), I was over it. By the time I came up for air from the computer, it was close to dinner time. Paul reminded me that we should "get lost in the laneways." So, we headed out in search of getting lost.


More of Chinatown

Getting lost in graffiti lane
I think we are starting to get lost here

Yeah, we're lost

Paul is really confused

We walked for over an hour and ended up in the same lane we started in the first night in Melbourne. The first place we found was a rooftop bar.

The rooftop bar's view

The one gem we found was a bar called the Golden Monkey. It was described as an establishment reminiscent of a 1920s Shanghai opium den. We were sold.

Heading down into the opium den

Can you find Hello Kitty at the bar?

We had a couple drinks each here - some very different, specialty drinks (Assassin in the Grass, Siamese Split, Not So Dark and Stormy). It reminded us of the speakeasy in NYC called PDT with their special, funky drinks and a bit of a time travel through the decor. 

Other seating area

Looking towards the entrance

So, it's too bad that we missed the Great Ocean Road but we made the best of it and had a really fun evening. I know this won't be the only time our plans will fall through so I should get better at letting things like this bother me. It was a good reminder.

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