MONDAY the 4th March
7.30am: Another good night’s sleep – that’s two in a row! 👍
A fair part of today is taken up with travel. We’re flying to Melbourne and then hiring a car, driving south-east to a settlement called Red Hill (population c924 + 2!).
It’s in an area called The Mornington Peninsula and many Aussies have holiday-homes here – and it’s easy to see why! It’s got everything! A National Park, Hills, a pretty coastline and stunning beaches. We’re spending just two nights taking-in as much as we can, staying in a very chic B&B. 😉 (More about that later).
8.20am: But first we need to leave Canberra – and given our experiences so far, if transport is required, some planning is required. So, we arranged for the Hotel to ring for a taxi to get us to the Airport.
8.25am: Given that it’s a bit of a walk into town, we decided to ‘eat-in’ at the Hotel and try out their Breakfast. Ann opted for the Continental (A$20) whilst I chose the cooked option at A$25. I think Ann made the wiser choice because amongst my Beans, Scrambled egg, Bacon, Sausages and Hash-browns, the only part that had any flavour was the Hash-browns! Those sausages looked like a sausage, sounded like a sausage, but I have no idea where the meat came from! Yuk!!
Easily the worst cooked-breakfast I’ve had anywhere! 😩
9.10am: We checked-out and waited in the Lobby. We’d only been there for around 5 minutes when our Taxi arrived. Our driver was the type of Cabbie who liked to talk and thankfully, he seemed to be more emotionally stable than our bus-driver friend yesterday. We learned that he was born in Vietnam, supported Manchester City (obviously), loved Soccer and told us that 60% of Canberrians are Civil Servants. Oh, and property prices are super-scarily high here! Canberra’s own ‘Wikipedia on Wheels’! 😜
9.25am: We arrived at the Airport in good time. Not surprisingly, just like Canberra itself, it was very modern – and just like Canberra, pretty much deserted! We settled down at Gate 9 for Qantas Flight QF853 departing at 11.00am together with just four other people! 🤔
10.30am: Our boarding-time came and went, but by 10.45, when they eventually called the flight, passengers appeared from all directions! Clearly, the regulars here have timed their boarding to the second and once we were seated, within minutes, it was a full plane! Who are all these people? and where were they all when we first arrived? 😉
11.00am: This Qantas flight was actually pretty impressive for an ‘internal’. It was probably the shortest flight we’ve been on ever (just 43 minutes) but we still got a nibble to eat and a (free) choice of drinks. It had reclining seats and a full selection of films (provided you downloaded their Tablet-App first) – it even featured modification to the seat-back so travellers could hang their Tablets at eye-level for easier viewing! Top marks Qantas!
Midday: Landed! We retrieved our luggage in double-quick time and soon located the Hertz Car Rental area (cunningly concealed NOT in the Terminal itself but in the car-park outside).
God bless Hertz! They’d upgraded our choice at no extra charge and we were given an almost-new Toyota RAV4 with only a few thousand kilometres on the clock. We could easily see that this was more than a few steps up from the Nissan we’d hired in Hobart.
1.05pm: It took a while to understand all the controls and I noticed immediately it had adaptive cruise-control – and once on the Freeway, I had an opportunity to try it out. For those not familiar with the tech, it allows you to set the car’s speed to match the car in front. The car in front speeds up, so do you; it slows down, so do you. It turns off… Ahh, it’s smart enough not to! Brilliant! 😁
2.25pm: Our journey of 68 miles took around 1 hour 20 minutes and we were soon parked outside our home for the next few nights – Haven – an intimate establishment with just three rooms. We did meet their cat first and then David our Host. He gave us a guided tour round our room and pointed us in all the right directions for eating, drinking and exploring.
5.30pm: As recommended by our hosts, we took the short drive into Dromana and to a small Tapas Bar called Two Buoys. As we parked, we noticed that it overlooked a typical Aussie Beach and a small Pier.
5.45pm: After a quick walk out on the small pier…
5.55pm: …we grabbed a couple of seats in the Tapas Bar and perused their Menu.
6.45pm: An excellent meal that was great value too! (A$82/£44). As a bonus, it was great to still feel the warmth of the sun – around 23°C – but without any humidity… Perfect! 👍👍
7.15pm: Oh dear, our Hosts have given us a free bottle of wine, I wonder what we should do! 😉
8.00pm: We finished the evening sitting out on the raised patio listening to the bird-song and the sheep. Not a bad way to end the day!
Tomorrow, we’re going to explore the local area in more detail. Nighty-night! 😴😴