We are nearly home, all Dianne needs is a little retail therapy and Melbourne is the place to do this.
We have planned to spend 4 nights at Ashley Gardens Caravan Park. We arrived late Saturday afternoon from our overnight stop at Tarcutta and is our last stop before the trip back to Tassie on Wednesday night.
We had arranged to spend Sunday afternoon with an old workmate who now lives in Pakenham. A 70km trip across Melbourne with a visit to the Queen Victoria Market to find some bargains. Next was a visit to the South Melbourne Market for another look and some lunch. Finally off to Pakenham, running a little later than expected as Dianne does enjoy visiting any market she comes across. The traffic was quiet by Melbourne standards, I don’t think I would like to do the trip in peak hour traffic.We arrived at Tony and Thi Maw’s house for a catch up and see their new house from our visit last year. We went for a dinner at the Lime Leaf Thai Restuarant just up the road. We had a very good meal except Dianne’s main course had a bit too much spice for her. The trip home through Melbourne in the dark was certainly different, especially when we missed a turnoff when the GPS said turn left and we were on a divided road, two lanes going the same way but on different levels. We were in the wrong lane. GPS readjusted and we finally made it back to the van via some back streets.
Day 3 in Melbourne was a trip to Geelong.We have never ventured down to Geelong in our four previous trips to the mainland. This year we thought we would just go for a drive down for lunch, have a look around the foreshore and see whether we should make the effort and take the van down for a few days on a future trip. The foreshore would be a great place to visit if the weather was just a little bit warmer, but there was plenty to keep us occupied for a couple of hours.
Geelong’s waterfront precinct is highlighted by bollards, that have been carved from pylons and painted by local artist Jan Mitchell. The bollards are . We probably didn’t see them all as there are over 100.
■ The carousel was built in the 1920s and is believed to be the largest operating carousel in Australia.
■ It became an attraction of the Semaphore Foreshore in 1938 and this year celebrated its 75th year at the seaside spot.
■ It has 40 handcrafted wooden horses, while most carousels have 36 horses.
■ The 40 horses, which are extremely rare, were hand-carved by the Bartel Factory and can sell for up to $15,000 each.
Tuesday June 26th, we started the day with another visit to the Queen Victoria Market on the bus. Not all the stalls were open so it was a little disappointing, we just had a quick look, lunch in the food hall and back on the bus to the caravan park. Next on the agenda was a trip to the Essendon DFO. There are lots of factory outlets here. We spent way too much time in the JB Hi FI store upgrading our phone plans that time got away from us that we will have to return on next years trip to see what else is here.
Wednesday June27th was all about packing up and being off the site by 10.00am and gettig ready for our return trip back to Tassie that night. We were allowed to move to a storage area and unhook, just in case the site we had been staying on was needed by someone else. All fruit and vegies was either eaten or diposed of as we had to go through quarantine before entering Tassie. Filling in between 11.00am and 4.30pm on a sailing day, we need to be mindful that we don’t want be caught in peak hour traffic midweek and miss our sailing and arriving too early and not being able to find any parking for our 13m ute and 5th wheeler combination. Someone told us that the Highpoint Shopping Centre was only 10 minutes up the road and Dianne decided that she needed one last dose of retail therapy. You could literally get lost in this place, 3 levels and almost a maze of shops. You could go down one esculator walk around a corner or two, go down another level, up 2 levels. Where the hell am I? It is a good thing we both have a mobile phone so we can meet up again after going our seperate ways for a while. Soon it was time to get ready for our trip home, back to the caravan park, hook up and head for the Sprit terminal at 4.30pm.