Friday 6 February
Early start in Sydney with taxi to Airport and flight to Melbourne after leaving one suitcase each at the Holiday Inn containing items for our cruise later in the adventure.
It is very hot here in Melbourne, 34 degrees and after we pick up the car we manage to negotiate non toll roads into the city and check in at the Quest Gordon Place apartment.
Apartment large, dark with the 2nd room probably too small for a large double bed but we manage.
Internet access not explained properly so we have to have several attempts at getting logged on.
Washing done but tumble drier fails to operate so have to hang clothes all over the place.
Reception not particularly helpful over the issues and apartment has no “instructions” to follow.
It seemed to be due to the weight in the machine we later discovered!
Out for a walk in the heat and once bearings obtained, catch 35 Tram around top and west of city before getting off at Flinders for a coffee in Federation Square and a tram back to hotel.
Sine our visit last year, the Central trams in the CDB are all now free, not just the 35 route.
Saturday 7 February
Only two towels provided – it takes three attempts to get extra towels which delays our departure (walk and tram) to go to Queen Victoria Market.
This must be the biggest market in existence, with aisle upon aisle of fruit, veg, meat and fish.
The stall holders seem to go to different locations depending upon the day and on Sunday no food at all, so stalls set aside for tourist gifts with coach loads of tourists bussed in.
Today though, not only food, but also clothes are sold here with some very tacky items and some wonderful items such as leather goods and photographs.
Get taxi to hotel, attempt car park exit, machine faulty but manage to get discount parking for A$20 instead of A$25.
Negotiate roads out of city towards Penguin Parade at Phillip Island managing to avoid the tolls.
Stop for a coffee at the Australian Garden, get stuck in a long delay near the bridge to Phillip Island and arrive well in time for the Penguin Parade which tonight is expected at 9:05 pm.
Manage to see a few wallabies and other wildlife before a meal, purchases at the gift shop, photo taken and then down to foreshore to wait for the little guys to arrive.
Considerably warmer than last year and no coats jumpers needed this time.
We have upgraded to the Penguin+ so are well placed to see the Penguins waddle up from the sea, stop in front of us for preening and then proceed up the hillside to their various burrows.
It is quite remarkable how this happens and as magical as last year.
Some Orientals ignore the ranger’s instructions and continue to try and take photos but fortunately without flash.
A young Australian father summed up the experience by saying to his kids (aged about 6) that they have to remember that it is not “our” home, it is the Penguins home.
After a coffee, a drive back to the apartment in Melbourne arriving just before 1am, exhausted, especially after finding all apartment lights fused – fortunately we found the trip switch which rectified the problem.
Sunday 8 February
We are off to see George & Barbara today whilst John & Deirdre spend time in the City with a visit to the Botanical gardens.
Purchase Myki cards and we are off, arriving at Seaford just after midday, being met by George and Barbara in their new car, a Mitsubishi AX, and taken to a restaurant in Frankston for lunch. Four substantial meals, three deserts for under $52 and we are full.
Stroll around the seafront, Barbara waiting for a 2nd hip op (wait list of 3 years) so walking not fast but she does well.
Then onto Mornington which is, according to George, surprisingly crowded.
Park up and have the first of many (on this holiday) iced coffees before heading back to George & Barbara’s and then back to the train for an hour’s journey back to the City.
We now have Myki cards valid for 4 years if anyone wants to use them they can – they have no money on them though!
Similar problems as yesterday so give up, will sort it out tomorrow.
Start packing, our new case has a hole in it, only bought at the end of November.😣
Monday 9 February
Breakfast in adjacent cafe up hill, much better than adjacent one down hill. Difficulty with car park exit again. Car park say hotel using old stock of tickets, hotel say they are using up to date ones but upshot is we get out for A$40 instead of A$50 so over the three days we have saved $15.
We are off to Cape Otway.