hiking and hoovering

So! since last week, I have done two more hikes. The first was on Tuesday morning – it was Melbourne Cup Day so no work! yay. I tore myself away from my bed and jumped on two trams and a train to get to the Dandenongs. I’m really happy to discover that whilst there is a dearth of mountains in Melbourne compared to Taipei, there is a train station (Upper Ferntree Gully) that takes you right to a number of mountain trails.

I started with the Thousand Steps as I knew they would be tough and wanted to do them on fresh legs. They were indeed tough.

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It was a serious climb and I was very impressed by those who ran up them (despite the sign stating it is absolutely prohibited to run on these slippery and uneven steps). I am not easily impressed by hardcore runners since the China Hash, but impressed I was. Even the lycra-clad women who power-walked up the steps chatting easily impressed me. I could NOT have spoken a word! I was so disappointed when I finally reached the top and pulled out my phone to check my time, to discover I hadn’t switched Runkeeper on properly. Apparently it took me about 15-20 minutes to do the steps, which astounds me as it felt like forever!

At the top I transferred to Bellview Terrace and enjoyed a really lovely trail back down to the bottom of the mountain. I’d forgotten that climbing up mountains is hard, but walking down steep gradients is also hard and so it was a good opportunity to work out those muscles too!

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Happy Selfie Time!
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On Thursday morning and Friday evening I walked instead of biking between work and home, but just in my running shoes. The hiking boots are still being broken in and I am glad I still have 40 days to go to keep wearing them in before the Himalayas…

This morning the lovely Graham and I drove to Lysterfield Lake for a gentle 11km hike on the trails there. I love hiking with G. We used to run together on occasion back in the day, but hiking is perfect for us as we love talking and have so much to say to each other, and always have ever since we started chatting online back in October 2003. Can’t believe it’s been 10 years! Anyway hiking with Grah is also ideal because he sets a pace which is a bit faster than my own, without being quite Jamesian in speed. Consequently even though it wasn’t that hardcore a hike (although there were a few steep hills) I pushed myself to keep up and was EXHAUSTED when I got home. I slept for almost 3 hours this afternoon… damn this B12 deficiency ruining my life.

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We saw SO MANY KANGAROOS!!! a few of which are below. There were areas where we were just surrounded by them. Actually come to think of it, they were possibly wallabies? I can never remember the difference. It was really overcast all morning so the light is pretty crappy but you can still see their cute funny faces.

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We also saw a random goat perched on some rocks! I love goats.

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One more marsupial picture for the road:

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I got Graham to drop me off on Chapel St on the way home so I could finally buy a vacuum cleaner. I’ve been putting it off for two months now; my entire flat is carpeted and really needs a good quality vacuum and I wasn’t ready to spend the money. I tried a few in the price-range I had in mind, and a couple in the next price bracket. Then the salesman casually suggested I give the Hoover Vogue a spin — this is as close as I’ve ever come to buying a car, and it was the equivalent of jumping into a little sports coupé after trying out “sensible” cars. It was more than twice than what I’d planned to spend, but I took it home and fell in love with it. No regrets!

(it sort of matches my hiking boots!)
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Look at its smiling wee face!

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And I lurrrrve this feature: you press a button and suddenly it goes into cruise control hovercraft mode! with lights! you just have to steer it around the room.

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Yup. I am not only blogging about a vacuum cleaner, I also facebooked it, and sent numerous text messages to James and to Graham about how awesome it is. Make of that what you will!

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