45 degrees Celsius. That's 113 degrees to those of us in the States who never learned the metric system. That's how hot it was in Melbourne, Australia, on Friday, the third day of a brutal heat wave. The weather wreaked havoc on Melbourne's train system, causing cancellations and stranding commuters. Because of these unusual circumstances, I had an arduous journey from Healesville Sanctuary to Melbourne.
After taking a bus from the sanctuary to the town of Healesville, I boarded a bus to Lilydale train station. The driver of that bus informed me that "the trains are in great strife" and that I would probably be waiting a while. After a winding bus ride through the vineyards of the Yarra Valley, I arrived at the Lilydale station to find the trains weren't running. A somewhat flustered but extremely helpful Connex worker told a small group of us to wait for a replacement bus that would take us to Ringwood. From there, the trains would be running to Melbourne.
Parched, I decided to walk to a nearby fast food seafood restaurant to buy a couple of bottles of water, and I ordered a cheeseburger. It took forever. My fault for asking for a cheeseburger in a seafood joint. When I finally returned to the train station, I discovered the bus to Ringwood had departed and my cheeseburger was actually a fish sandwich.
I eventually caught another replacement bus that took me to a train station. After some confusion on the part of the train and bus folks, I made my way via train back to Melbourne. In all, my journey from the sanctuary involved three buses and a train and took just shy of three and a half hours. I encountered very pleasant people - transportation workers and passengers alike - and I didn't hear much grumbling at all. One guy said, "That's ridiculous" in an even tone. If this had been New York . . . I don't even want to think about it.