• Departed Sale on Saturday - Boxing Day

  • Held up - accident near Melbourne

  • Quick visit to Judy's friends on outskirts of Melbourne

  • Drove through Melbourne over Westgate Bridge

  • Lunch at Little River

  • Winchelsea

  • Camped overnight at Colac Showground on Saturday




Day 39


Saturday 26th December 2009

Click on the pictures for larger versions


The next stage of our trip wasn't something I was looking forward to.
Towing a caravan is bad enough. Towing it in country areas can have dramas.
Towing a caravan in a populated area where you don't know the streets is demanding.

Towing it through the centre of Melbourne, where I'd never been, I wasn't keen at all!!

To add to the concern, was having to go off the main highway,
then, to a suburb north east of the city centre, to visit an old friend of Judy's, then back onto the highway heading west again.

Having the Tom Tom would help a lot of course.

Not long after leaving Sale we came across the view below. Traffic stopped as far as I could see.
I turned the UHF CB on and scanned the channels. It wasn't long before the chatter came up about an accident.
Not knowing the area, I had no real idea of how far ahead it was,
but hearing a very strong signal blasting over my speaker and listening to his conversation told me it was about 5 km ahead.
We just had to sit and wait.
Eventually the traffic began to crawl.

I saw a side road with a bit of a park and toilet so decided to pull out of the traffic and use the facilities and walk the dogs.
By the time we moved onto the highway again, the majority of the backlog had cleared and I found it really easy to drive into the outskirts of Melbourne.

The Tom Tom guided me off the highway and up to the north east of the city to Judy's friend's home at Knoxfield.

Being in a residential suburb, the streets were very narrow. I found the street, which was a Cul-de-sac!
To add insult to injury, the house we were heading for, had a car parked out front and another parked in front of the house directly opposite, leaving just enough room for a small car to pass through.

So there we sat. I couldn't back up because the road curved back to a T intersection and I couldn't go forward.
As we sat there wondering what to do, Judy's friend came out and saw the predicament.
Obviously it had happened before, because she immediately shifted her car, which allowed us to pass.
I then had to do various manipulations backwards and forwards to get the vehicle pointing in the right direction for when we were leaving.
With the Daihatsu and the caravan sitting half on the footpath, we greeted Judy's friend and went inside to enjoy a chat and cuppa.
We spent an hour or so there, with Judy catching up on things.
Judy's friend pointed out the best way back to the highway west and we set off again up onto the Eastlink Toll Road and then onto the Monash Freeway.

Judy took the pictures below as I concentrated on the reading the overhead signs.
Westgate Bridge - Melbourne - Victoria Westgate Bridge - Melbourne - Victoria
In the pic below I'm concentrating on keeping the vehicle and caravan in the correct lane, as a crosswind on the Westgate Freeway kept pushing them sideways.

Note the yellow wind sock!
Westgate Bridge - Melbourne - Victoria Gary Colquhoun - Westgate Bridge - Melbourne - Victoria Westgate Bridge - Melbourne - Victoria
Really it was a very easy drive across Melbourne, but the unknown kept me very tense.

As the traffic thinned out, we saw a BP Service Station at a place called Little River, near the Avalon Airport.
As we were hungry and hot, we decided to pull in and have a decent cooked meal in the air conditioning.

We parked the vehicle, gave the dogs a drink and pee and headed over to the restaurant area.
On the way over we saw a sign,

"Mangoes - $12 a box"

We were intrigued that they were so cheap way down at Melbourne.
As we got closer, we saw why - "the boxes" only had
6 Mangoes in them!
Queensland, there were usually at least 12 for that price, at roadside stalls.

We enjoyed our meal and headed towards
Colac at around 4.00pm EST / 5.00pm EDST

I was very happy to see the wide open spaces as we headed out along the Geelong Ring Road.
Finally, at around 4.45pm EST / 5.45pm EDST, back to the peace and beauty of the countryside, as we headed for Winchelsea and then Colac showgrounds, our campsite for the night.
We noticed a lot of bales as the afternoon passed. The one in the middle picture below turned out to be a special one though.

If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you'll see some wag built a Santa on some bales.
We arrived late in the afternoon in Colac. It was a Saturday and Boxing Day. We needed some food, so looked around and found a Safeway Supermarket.
We found the staff very friendly and enjoyed browsing in a very peaceful atmosphere.

We headed to the showgrounds, booked in and set up our campsite on the outer edge, under the trees, away from kids etc in case the dogs worried people.

As it was just an overnight stay, we left everything connected, ready to head for the Great Ocean Road in the morning.



Last Updated : 16/11/2012 08:30 PM +1000