Mission accomplished and hubby has completed his goal, with his first Ironman championship, swimming for 3.8km, cycling for 180km and running for 42km… what a feat! One of our local newspaper (Gulf Daily News) featured him as “Bahrain’s Fittest 51-year-old !” Definitely a grueling challenge and I was both happy and relieved to see him finally cross the finish line to become an Ironman, 12 hours, 37 minutes and 17 seconds later. I guess the Oat Porridge with Coconut Milk and Avocado Smoothies might have had something to do with it all.
In preparation for the Ironman and on the day of the race day we spent some time in Frankston (race start) and St. Kilda (race finish), a lively seaside town overlooking Port Phillip Bay, a very beautiful area. While in Frankston saw some pretty amazing sand sculptures, certainly taking sandcastle making with the good old bucket and spade to another level.
Exploring Melbourne city and never wanting to pass on visiting some local markets, the Queen Victoria Night Market and Prahran Market were on the agenda… which I had first read about on Amy’s blog, Appetite for Discovery. While hubby was burning the calories I was accumulating them and in Melbourne you are really spoilt for choice, the amount of fine dining, casual restaurants, cafes and bars… it was overwhelming and you kind of felt like a kid in a candy shop. It seems Melbourne is obsessed with food, wine and coffee (and outdoor activities and sports), it’s all wonderful or should I say ‘awesome’ and all dished out with an honest cheerfulness and friendly smile.
I had my first taste of Kangaroo and it probably will be my last, couldn’t help but feel guilty thinking about Skippy the lovable bush Kangaroo, a television series I loved to watch as a child. Also, I did try a sample of some Vegemite ice-cream … interesting flavour!
Headed out to the countryside for a very relaxing day visiting some wineries in the Yarra Valley and although I am no wine expert, tasted some gorgeous wines (while brushing up on some tasting notes) and a really refreshing apple cider. Tasting the cider brought back a memory of when my Dad tried his hand at making homemade cider with our own orchard apples, at one point the sugar and yeast ratio may have been a tad wrong, Dad ended up with exploding bottle tops… putting a damper on his future cider making efforts.
A picturesque tour along the great ocean road was a feast for the eyes and even though it rained for most of the day, it was still pretty wonderful seeing nature in all its glory. I never got to hug a Koala but at least I managed to see one, high up in a tree.
Of course, no holiday would be complete without a visit to Melbourne’s cookware and food shops and you have to at least buy something (for that little reminder of when you were in Australia), apparently I needed a new jelly mould, wooden board and some cute spoons! Oh, and if the world ends sometime soon I needed some gourmet salts, vanilla pods, bee pollen, cocoa powder and chai seeds…… I openly admit, I am obsessed with cooking and kitchen stuff! This has been my first visit to Australia and with so much more to experience, see and eat… I would love to return, as it certainly can’t all be packed into a suitcase.