We reluctantly left Mallacoota in eastern Victoria after only about 15 hours stay overnight. In the little time we had available we had become enchanted by this small coastal town and vowed we’d return again in the near future for more than just a few hours. A week or more is needed to fully explore this beautiful area. In fact, I could easily spend several months exploring the south eastern coast of Victoria and the adjacent south coast of New South Wales. The photo above was taken through the car windscreen as we left the town.
After about twenty minutes of driving we returned to the main highway and headed west towards Melbourne. We were due to arrive at our friends’ place that evening for dinner, so we had a long day in the car ahead of us. After several hours of driving through beautiful forests on both sides of the road we all agreed that we had seen enough tall trees for a while.
We stopped briefly at the lovely town of Orbost to have morning tea. We found a lovely park on the banks of the Snowy River (see photo below). As we journeyed on the day became hotter. We had lunch in the small town of Stratford and by then it was quite warm. Travelling was okay because of the good air conditioning in the car. After a very long and tiring day in the car we reached Melbourne and had a very quick passage along the freeway, through the tunnel and on over the bridges, tollway and freeways heading north. We arrived at our friends’ home in Gisborne a little late but pleased to stop driving.
A few more photos taken in the Melbourne CBD during our visit last year.
Our holiday in Victoria
During our stay with friends in Gisborne just north of Melbourne last year we drove into the CBD on the Sunday. We went to a gallery to see a photographic exhibition and then found somewhere for lunch. After lunch John drove us around some of the western part of the city where we had never been before.
Our holiday in Victoria
After leaving Cranbourne Botanic Gardens we headed for Melbourne along the South Eastern Freeway.
Big, huge, terrible mistake.
Melbourne on a Friday evening can be gridlocked at the best of times. Throw in an AFL (Aussie Rules Football) Preliminary Final at the Melbourne Cricket ground and the whole city comes to halt. After several frustrating hours we eventually emerged at the northern end of the city and it was then plain sailing all the way to Gisborne where we were staying with friends of ours.
Wednesday December 28th 2005
This morning I had just a few last minute things to pack before my overseas trip to Thailand and Nepal. It is my first trip overseas. I anticipate it being very exciting, challenging and culturally different. I successfully tried to keep a lid on my emotions. This was one of the biggest and most challenging things I have ever attempted but I must keep rational and level headed.
Just before 11am we set off to drive to Adelaide. Simon drove us in the hire car they were using while on holiday here in South Australia. It took us little over an hour to get to the Adelaide Airport. Once there I checked in and then we bought a light snack for lunch. Soon the time came to board the aircraft and to say farewells to Corinne, Simon and Leanne. Again I kept my emotions and anticipations in check.
Rough Trip to Melbourne
I was not prepared for the slightly claustrophobic feel of the plane to Melbourne. The sudden acceleration was also something I hadnâ€™t experienced before. There were some quite turbulent periods during the flight, especially over the Grampians I think. I didnâ€™t have a good window view being in an aisle seat.
Melbourne International Airport
I eventually found my way to the Melbourne International Terminal and checked in for the flight to Bangkok. There was a small delay because I hadnâ€™t received a baggage coupon at Adelaide Airport. The woman at the desk had to do it manually. I didnâ€™t have to worry about my suitcase as it was being automatically forwarded to Bangkok. The passport check-in took another 15 minutes because there was quite a line up. I then headed for the waiting lounge and found a seat for the 90 minute wait for boarding.
Long Flight to Bangkok
At 5pm the Thai Airlines plane started boarding and the plane was under way on time a 5:30pm (Victorian time). The nine hour journey to Bangkok was long and tiring. The seat was reasonably comfortable but it was far noisier in the cabin than I had anticipated. I really felt for the parents of two children three rows in front of me. They had a 4 year old and a one year old. The younger one was very tearful and grizzly but thankfully for everyone he went to sleep about an hour into the flight, giving everyone, especially his mother about six hours of peaceful respite.
The cabin crew was good and kept plying us with food and drinks. An hour or so into the flight we were given dinner. I didnâ€™t really need as much water as Simon had suggested. He has to take quite a quantity of water on his international trip because the plane air conditioning dehydrates him too much. An hour or so out of Bangkok we were given another meal. I am not used to eating at midnight but I was thankful later because breakfast was a long way off. This is because of the three and a half hour time difference between home and Thailand.
The flight was uneventful, the best kind according to Rose. We had a few bumps over central Australia, Bali, Borneo and Vietnam. These short bits of turbulence were nothing dramatic, merely a little inconvenience. After the unpleasant trip to Melbourne this was smooth most of the way.