Nature Day around Melbourne

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Hawthorne, Victoria, Australia
Yesterday my cousin N, whom I hadn’t seen since we were kids in India, took my sister and I out to the Malaysian restaurant Omah’s in the nearby town of Hawthorne. He had been raving all day about the Singapore chili crab dish, so of course we all ordered that. We were so shocked when our meals came: the crabs were about as big as our heads! I didn’t know where to start or what to do but before we knew what was happening we were all covered in the chili crab sauce, breaking apart crab legs and greedily sucking out the meat and juices. It was so good – I’m drooling just thinking about it. The crab looks a lot bigger from the outside and tricks you in to thinking you won’t finish it, but I was licking my fingers clean after just twenty minutes.
Chili crab dish at Omah’s restaurant in Hawthorne, Victoria, Australia. HUGE.

Today, our cousins K and V, who we are staying with while in Melbourne, took us around to the local beaches. It started out being a cloudy day but thankfully it cleared up soon enough! I was also able to collect a couple snack bags of sand to take home!
We began the day at Half Moon Bay and walked up the pier. It was freezing here so we didn’t stay too long!
Half Moon Bay

An annoyed pelican that projectile-squirted its poop at my sister, who screamed and ran away in a huff.

 Next we stopped at Middle Brighton Beach and walked up and down the pier.

Middle Brighton Beach

Third, we went to Dendy Beach to see the famous bathing boxes (changing rooms). They are painted in all the colors of the rainbow and are so much fun to see!

For the final lap of the day, we went to Mt. Dandenong, following a winding trail up the small mountain and into the rain forest preserve. We stopped at William Ricketts Sanctuary, a beautiful forest that contains hand-carved sculptures of aboriginal people at every turn throughout the trail.

William Rickett and his wife

Tree of Life
We stopped at a bird feeding spot on the way back home where we got to feed wild cockatoos, big white parrots almost the size of a chicken. I had the bowl of bird feed, plus some in my hand, and eventually got one of them to fly down from their protective tree to the fence near me. I should have realized that I started a chain reaction. Once I gave that one some food from my hand, a second, a third, and a million more came! Before I knew it, I had at least eight giant birds on my fighting each other for the food. I suddenly felt a chomp on my right hand at the base of my thumb – one of the little jerks had bit me! It was bleeding a fair bit so I got out of there and ran over to the water station (with warning signs right above it stating that these birds might carry diseases, which of course made me feel so much better). Blood was everywhere! We managed to wrap it up and drove home right away with my mom telling me every five seconds to hold my hand up in the air. It seemed to stop bleeding and didn’t start up again when we got home and redressed the wound. The girl working the feeding area told me that people get bit all the time and I should be fine. So far I have full mobility in my thumb and the wound didn’t seem to be too deep. 

What a way to end a lovely day! At least I’ll have a scar that’ll give me a good story!

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