Melbourne bound!   Leave a comment

Thursday, 5th April, 2012

Managed to get out of work,  as planned at noon. Don’t know how I did that as it’s been manic recently.

Anyway, Vinny picked me outside the office and we drove down to Thrifty’s car rental in Fyshwick to pick up a hire car. When we found out that Kerry and Vinny were coming over, we looked up the cost of flying down to Melbourne for the Easter break, but were put off by the high cost of the flights. Loads of people from the office are from the Melbourne area and a fair percentage of them drive home and back a couple of times during the year. Drive down, they said, it’s a straight run down there and you’ll see loads of interesting stuff on the way. My old banger (I won’t tell you how old it is, as I’m too embarrassed to say)  wouldn’t make that sort of journey, so we checked out the cost of hiring a car for five days and as it looked like a pretty cheap way of getting five of us there and back, we decided to go for it. If you forget the 7 hour drive that is!

Ended up with a Mitsubishi Outlander which was plenty big enough to us and all our luggage. Drove back to the apartment and everyone piled in and off we set at 13:40, a full twenty minutes earlier than my desired departure time. We planned to stop twice of the way down so that Vinny and I could share the driving. I took the first stint and we were soon on our way out of Canberra and the ACT and onto the Hume Highway (Route 31), which is the main road that runs the 880 Km between Sydney and Melbourne. I had the foresight to been along our Mobile Broadband modem, which kept Ciara, Kerry & Vinny happy as they could connect their iPads/iPhones to it. However, after a couple of hours, the ‘when are we stopping’ comments started to come thick and fast. After a couple of abortive attempts to stop by the side of the road (non-existent toilets etc.) we came across a town called Holbrook. “What the f@&k is that” I said as we pulled into the car park at the side of the large toilet block by the side of the road. Well, it turns out the Holbrook, NSW is famous for this 200 foot submarine plonked in the middle of town. The ‘Submarine Town’ it’s called, so what better place to stop and have our packed lunch that Gail and Kerry had made for the journey.

Vinny took over the driving duties for the next two and half hour stint in which nothing much happened, except to say that we nearly run out of fuel and had to dive off the main highway in order to find a petrol station. By this time, the light was fading and the last leg, all the way into Melbourne CBD, was driven in the dark. Found the rental apartment fairly easily and unloaded the contents of the car into the foyer of the Apartment block. As the street parking bays were all full, I told everyone that I would go and find a space to park up for night and would return later. Good move of my part, as there was a mountain of stuff to be shifted up to the apartment (suitcases, food, laptops… everything you need for a weekend away!). Finding a parking spot in Melbourne CBD is easier said than done, even on a public holiday weekend, so it took a fair bit of time (and distance) to find one. Upon my return, everything had been put away, plus rooms had been allocated. Apparently Kerry wasn’t happy that we got the master bedroom with walk-in wardrobe and bathroom (can’t understand why) but that’s the way the cookie crumbles!

As it was only about ten O’Clock, we took ourselves out for a walk around town and grab something to eat. Could only find some fast-food outlets, so we had Hungry Jack’s (Burger King to the rest of the world!) then strolled over to Federation Square, which is the buzzing heart of Melbourne, for a quick drink in Beer Deluxe, before returning to the apartment to go to bed.


Posted April 5, 2012 by yermandownunder in Travels

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