Australia: Day 25 – 06.12.18………….It’s the end of the road, the Great Ocean road!
Today is the last day of our road trip and we’re driving back to Melbourne to stay once again at the ‘deluxe’ bijou Ibis Hotel. We’re not in any rush today and didn’t start our yoga challenge until 8am after which we packed the car up for one last time and drove down to the beach road, parked up and went for breakfast. Apparently temperatures are going to rise to 36 degrees today and 39 degrees tomorrow. I must say, it was already hot when we were enjoying our al-fresco breakfast at 10am so can only imagine the weather forecasters are right.
We sat in the car and prepared SatNav Sheila for her finale, told her where we were going, she had a think about it and off we drove. About ten minutes out of town SNS and Maice had a bit of a spat with SNS wanting to take us on a different route. I’m only the driver and follow orders so followed Maice’s suggested directions, a cross country route to Melbourne. Not only was Maice sharing navigating duties with SNS she was also on the lookout for Koala Bears or even a Kookaburra bird, but no such luck today.
Arriving at the township of Colac we stopped off at the Tourist Information shop to use their facilities and browse around the shop with Maice purchasing earrings and a necklace.......another early Christmas present to herself! That must be at least six items she’s bought for herself.
By this time the temperature was rising and it was getting hot. Air-con on we continued on towards Melbourne and let SatNav Sheila take over when we arrived into the city itself. I don’t know what it was with her today but we’d follow her directions then she’d tell us it was wrong, re-calculate and take us somewhere else. The number of u-turns we did and at one point we ended up going round in a big circle. After a while, with SatNav Maice’s intervention, reading from a normal map, we made it to the hotel. We had intended to drop the car off straight away at the Avis shop but the GPS couldn’t find the road so we ended up illegally parking at the hotel (they don’t have parking here), checked in, dumped our bags, consulted the map and headed off to Avis to drop the car off. It’s only round the corner, more or less, very easy to walk to but to drive there took us all round the houses, so to speak. We finally made it, depositing the car in the underground carpark, checked the car back in which took considerably less time, although they did try and charge us for an additional driver which we’d paid for in the UK and popped next door to Aldi’s for a bottle of Prosecco to celebrate our wonderful holiday. Back at the Ibis we ate the cheese rolls we’d made for the journey and ventured out.
We decided to look around to see if we could find any shops that sold cultural arts and craft items. Walking round we noticed that Christmas had finally arrived as the shops now had their decorations up. 1st December apparently is when they start, shame they can’t observe that date in the U.K. instead of starting at the end of September! Everywhere was packed with people, the streets, the shops and the heat was so oppressive, there was very little air. We didn’t find it a pleasant experience so although still early we went in search of ‘Stalactites’ the Greek restaurant we’d found in the Greek quarter last week. Could we find it? Of course not. We trudged around the streets, practically regrouping at every corner, consulting the map which for some reason we just couldn’t fathom. We found the restaurant thirty minutes later, and hot and tired we went in, sat down and enjoyed a lovely Greek Meze, served by real Greeks. What a treat!
We were back at the Ibis at 7pm deliberating what to do the next day. It was going to be even hotter than today and our flight wasn’t until 7.30pm.....what to do? We didn’t want to walk round the shops or go to a museum, to be honest we were a bit apathetic by now so thinking about what to do just wasn’t happening. We popped open the Prosecco, it was lovely, very nice and cold and decided to do a river cruise up and down the river. Why we hadn’t thought of that before beats me.
So that’s it, sorted. Tomorrow; yoga, breakfast, pack, check-out, river cruise, airport, home!