Day 145 – Mountain Biking at You Yangs

Our friend that we are staying with just bought a new mountain bike (and quite a nice one at that). He was itching to take it for a ride, but had no one to ride with. I joked that I wanted to go, but forgot to pack my bike. Micky started the search to find a bike for me so that we could go riding. He eventually borrowed his brother’s bike, which to be honest was a quite small for me, but it wasn’t so small that I couldn’t ride it.

It was a slow start that was compounded by a series of errors. Firstly, Micky didn’t really remember where we were going, so had to print out some trail maps (http://www.youyangsmtbinc.com.au/maps.html). Secondly, we needed some chain oil. Thirdly we arrived at the wrong part of You Yangs (the flatter area at Kurrajong, instead of the more downhill area in Stockyards) – there was coincidentally a rather large cross-country race on, but the trails were still open to public. Fourthly, we’d nearly run out of fuel (so we drove back to the nearest petrol station).

DCIM101GOPROFinally, when we returned to ride the Stockyards area, we didn’t get to the right starting point, so we rode around and around on fire trail looking for the start of the mountain bike trails (the fact that there were so many signs saying no bicycles should have been a good indication). We ended up at a picnic area up on a hill, and from here we could see where we were, and where we needed to go. We had two options, return the way we came along the fire trail (think of plain unsealed road – boring), or along a walking track that was much more direct (steep, twisty – fun). We knew that it was a walking only track, and that as a cyclist we weren’t welcome, but we apologised to walkers as we came across them. It’s a shame that it was a walkers only track, as it was perfect for riding (and I’m certain that it was a bike track previously). The only problem was the extremely slippery red gravel – I struggled to stay on the bike around some of the corners, and thought I was going to crash in front of a large family gathering…

DCIM101GOPROWe returned to the car and drove a little further to the Drysdale Road car park. The maps that we had didn’t actually show that it was a car park here, and this wasn’t actually where we were trying to go. But, there were plenty of trails starting from here, and as it turned out, it was probably the right place to start from. Micky finally had a vague recollection of the area, and after a nice warm up (track 5 – nice flowing single track) we headed to an intermediate downhill course (track 13). One of the first things that I noticed here was the involvement of the national parks. The trails were immaculately maintained and there were signs (including elevation gain, length, and trail maps).

DCIM101GOPRO DCIM101GOPRO DCIM101GOPROIn an unexpected stroke, Micky offered me his brand new bike for the first run (which meant that we’d have to climb up this hill to do it again). I wasn’t going to say no (the bike I was on was a hardtail with v-brakes) but was still a little cautious about taking his brand new toy down something that could very well damage it, but he insisted… This track was divine, just the right amount of difficulty for me (it’s been quite a while since I rode bikes seriously). The giant bermed corners, fast flowing single track, nice rock gardens and big jumps (which I wasn’t game on his pedals and my cleat-less shoes) was amazing. I still couldn’t believe how well prepared these trails were. We rode back up and did it again, this time I was on the old hardtail bike with the v-brakes, and it was still great fun.

DCIM101GOPROMicky had a buck’s night to get back to, so we had to keep it short. We did a nice loop along flowing single track (track 2), up some twisting single track (track 4) and then down a really, really good rocky downhill (track 9).

Micky was going to be late, I was going to be tired/sore, but we both agreed that it was totally worth it. Such a fun day, and I wish I went mountain biking more while we were travelling.

20131005_RCH_3695 20131005_RCH_3696 20131005_RCH_3697 20131005_RCH_3698 20131005_RCH_3702We later joined up with other friends in Fitzroy, hipster capital of Australia. We had dinner at Vegie Bar, which could have been the hipster centre of the hipster capital, luckily it wasn’t actually that pretentious. It was a really interesting restaurant, matched with a very interesting menu. I ordered a Raw Living Stack, which after ordering I wasn’t really sure of the difference between it and a salad… labels aside, it was good. Others ordered a meat-free meat lovers pizza (with all the fake meat products, like Facon) and Risa had an awesome baked mushroom. It was actually surprisingly affordable, too. But, I left there with a solid craving for a cheeseburger…

20131005_RCH_3705 20131005_RCH_3707 20131005_RCH_371020131005_RCH_3712 20131005_RCH_3714We walked up and down Smith Street in Fitzroy for a while. The original intention was to visit a bar called Titty Twister that had a burlesque show (a friend had a contact at the bar), but we’d arrived too early so we wondered around town. Risa and I had a craving for karaage (Japanese fried chicken pieces) and since there were so many Japanese restaurants on the street, we thought we’d walk around and find one and fulfil our meat cravings. We stopped in a few places (one bar, Havana, had a cute little girl playing pool. Another restaurant, Peko Peko had a Japanese lady with the most bizarre hair and makeup, but no tables and no understanding of Japanese) before we found one that kinda had karaage. I say ‘kinda’ because they had it in a salad… and I’d had my salad quota for the week already, so I wasn’t that keen. We ended up having drinks and deserts instead. Oh, and speaking of affordable… they had $4 beer on tap! And it was good! Interestingly it didn’t have a name, just a description – organic beer… so I wonder if it’s someone’s sneaky homebrew…

20131005_RCH_3718The evening ended and we all parted our separate ways for home. Risa and I walked back in to town so we could catch a train home and I’d joked that I’d love a cheeseburger if we could find a McDonalds. No sooner had I sad that did a McDonalds come in to view. But, for whatever reason, we ended up at a Mexican tequila bar called Mamasita. No tequila for us, but we did get some tacos… (our third meal/snack of the evening). Tasty, but small for the price. Neither of us are big tequila drinkers (or alcohol in general) so I was surprised at the huge range of tequila they had there. I had no idea there was so much variety in tequila…

144日目  10月 5日(土) メルボルン探検とニセコ仲間との再会!

朝は、昨日遅かった分、ちょっと遅めに目覚めました。

エリースは友達の結婚前の女子パーティーに備え、友達とメイクやヘアセット、会場作りがあり1日中忙しく、ミッキーは昨日購入したてのマウンテンバイクを早く試したくて、結局ロスもミッキーのお兄ちゃんからバイクを借りて2人でマウンテンバイク小トリップへ行ってしまいました。

残された私は、一人でメルボルン再探検へ行ってきました。

最初は、よく短大時代にやっていたように街から次に目についた適当なトラムに乗って探検しようかなとも思ったけど、お腹が空いたので、昔、台湾からの留学生友達に連れてってもらった餃子屋さんへ行ってきました。

昨日から食べたかった、エビの餃子を注文。 ほんとうは皮の薄い、エビシュウマイみたいのが良かったけど、分厚い皮のエビ餃子でした。 でもうまかったー。 ともちろんお決まりの大好物小籠包も注文、 これはあんまりジューシーじゃなかたったし、ちょっと残念。。

その後は、街をブラブラし、フリンダース駅の前のフリンダース広場にあるアートセンターで、映像についての歴史と発展についての面白そうな展示がタダでやっていたので、それをのぞいてきました。

最初のセクションはオープンで、映像の歴史についての展示。展示は、現物がメインで古い映写機が展示され、その映写機で流されていたヒット作品など。 また、白黒から、音声入り、カラー、衛星を使っての世界同時中継、近年のハリウッド映画にはほぼ100%近く使われているCGの技術やビデオゲームの技術の発展などなど。

オーストラリアって税金は高くてもこの様なすばらしいエキシビションがよくタダでやっていたりと本当にそういう点では、日本は負けているかな。

その後は、ニセコでお友達になって、現在はメルボルンに住んでいるゆみちゃんとサイモン夫婦。 あいかわらず息がピッタリのステキなおもしろカップルでした♡  と、こちらもニセコで一緒だったアンドリューと彼女。

アンドリューおすすめの美味しいベジタリアンのレストランに行ってきました!

ブランスウィックストリートにあるVEGE BARというお店で、メニューには一切動物、魚介類が使われていません。

私は、グリルしたマッシュルームに色々なお野菜とペーストが乗ってるものを注文。  チーズもなんと豆乳からできているらしい!

ベジタリアン料理って味気ないような気がするけど、この一皿、かなり絶品でした!
サイモンのミートピザももちろん、本物のお肉じゃないけど、これがお肉じゃないとは信じられない味。 不思議〜

おなかいっぱいには、ならないけど、美味しかったしもう一皿食べたかった笑  オーストラリアのレストランでは珍しく、メイン料理はほぼ全て$20以下とかなりリーズナブルなのも◎

1年ぶりにみんなと再会したけど、1年ぶりとは思えない!  いつも楽しいメンバーです。  やっぱメルボルンはいいなぁ♡

その後は、せっかくベジタリアン料理を食べてヘルシーなのに、カラアゲが食べたい! と移動したスミスストリートを行ったり来たり、ウロウロ。

結局何件か日本食屋さんをあたるも席がなかったり、カラアゲがなかったり、、、辿り着いた店もカラアゲはないけど、立田揚げのような事が書いてあるサラダを注文。  カラアゲとはちょっと違ったけど美味しかった!

梅酒を飲みながら楽しい夜は更けるけど、解散のお時間。  みんな楽しい時間をありがとう!

目の前でトラムが行ってしまったので、ぶらぶらシティまで歩いている途中で、さっきカラアゲもどきを食べなかったロスくんが空腹を訴える。

マクドナルドのチーズバーガーを食べると言っていたら、その手前にテキーラバーがあり、どうやらタコスが食べれるらしい、、、

タコス好きのロスくん、テキーラには興味はないけど、2人で深夜のテキーラバーでタコスだけ喰ってきました笑  こいつら酒飲めよ!とバーのお兄さんは思っといただろうけど、ステーキタコスとエビタコスを2つ頼んで、ぺろっと平らげ退散。

ちょっとオシャレな?夜の締めくくりとなりました。

明日というか今日から夏時間になるので、家に着いたのはまたも2時過ぎ。 でも今日は、深夜の2時がなくて一気に3時になるのです!

今日もたくさん楽しいことがあったなぁ〜そしてメルボルンへの愛が日に日に膨らむ。。。

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