Porcupyn's Blog

June 12, 2017

Melbourne – first impressions

Filed under: Family,Travel — Porcupyn @ 5:52 am

Once we landed in Melbourne and got our luggage in hand, we had to figure out where to catch our ride to get to Sixt East Coast car rentals. The emailed instructions required us to call them. Though I was able to locate a payphone here, for some reason, my credit card did not register. So, we were in the same predicament as in Cairns. After some walking around to see if I could locate a common pickup area, I decided to see if there was an information booth where I could request the use of their phone.

After walking around for a couple of minutes in vain, I decided to ask a lady manning at a jewelry store (I believe that’s what it was) one level above the ground level if she could tell me where it was. Instead, she offered to let me use her phone to call the rental agency. I learned that the East Coast car rental van was right outside and about to depart within a minute or so. So, we immediately went out of the terminal and within a couple of minutes, we were on our way.

We got a nice Toyota Camry for the two day rental. While talking wit the agent, I learned that he was based in Geelong, the neighbouring suburb from Torquay. He informed me that the traffic at this time of the day would be minimal, though during rush hours, it would be a pain (as in all big cities). I definitely did not envy his commute! He did give us some advice about picking up some groceries as well as something to eat at the local mall, which he said would close in less than an hour.

Sim we immediately went to the Mall. It was a nicely sized complex anchored – among others – by a K-Mart (no kidding!), but most of the stores had either already closed or were in the process of closing. We were able to find a grocery store in the complex, however, and quickly made some essential purchases for the next couple of days. Prices were relatively high compared to the USA, but not by much. In our favour, the US dollar had staged a recovery with respect to the Aussie dollar over the last year.

Shortly, we were on our way to Torquay. The road was great, and the weather was just perfect. It was a breeze driving skirting around Melbourne – we were essentially driving from north Melbourne to the southwest (in Kuranda, we had met folks from down here, who had said that it would be nice driving near the airport, but Melbourne CBD would be a hassle). Thanks to Baab’s GPS directions, we were able to locate our Airbnb without any issues once again. The ride took right about two hours. Though our host was not around to greet us, the keys for the house were right where they were supposed to be.

By this time, the weather had gotten a bit chilly. Australia being in the Southern hemisphere, the Melbourne area was decided colder than Sydney. We were able to turn on the heating element in the house and warm ourselves. As we turned in, I was a bit apprehensive about what tomorrow would bring because the weather forecasts were predicting rain along the Great Ocean Road.

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