A Travellerspoint blog

Melbourne - Day 3

Day 85 - Saturday 20 September 2014

Some cloud and 17 degrees today.

I thought that it was someone's birthday today - but maybe not! No cards and no presents, but finally a phone call from one of David's mates to wish him a happy birthday. Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to David, Happy Birthday to me!

Kirrily was up early this morning to take Ian to the airport - he was on his way to Weymouth in Tasmania for a boy's weekend. After breakfast and a shower David was hassled off to Chapel Street for the weekend papers. When he returned with the papers there was something of a surprise in store, as Michelle, Craig, Bronte and Josh were hiding in Kirrily's bathroom. Thank you to Michelle and Kirrily for conspiring for a surprise 70th birthday present.

At 11:00 am we were picked up by a people mover to take us to the restaurant at the Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove at Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula. The Montalto Restaurant is set in a striking building featuring rammed earth walls, timber frames and rough-hewn floor boards. Floor to ceiling windows take advantage of the breathtaking and rambling rural outlook of vines, olive groves, sculpture, lakes and wetlands, with pasture, and a hint of the ocean as the backdrop.

Di, Michelle and Bronte in the back seat

Di, Michelle and Bronte in the back seat

Our transport - Kirrily giving instructions to the driver

Our transport - Kirrily giving instructions to the driver

Montalto Restaurant - too much too drink?

Montalto Restaurant - too much too drink?

The Birthday Boy - 70 years young

The Birthday Boy - 70 years young

Michelle at lunch

Michelle at lunch

We started with some Montalto bubbles for the girls, specialty beers for the boys, and raspberry cordial for the small fry. Our starters were Montalto extra virgin olive oil and Montalto verjuice with warm olive bread rolls - a taste sensation. Entrees included Scallops, Smoked trout salad, Ricotta dumplings and Smoked eel. The mains included Barramundi, slow roasted lamb, and slow roasted veal. The wine was Montalto 2013 Pinot Noir which was outstanding. After our main course we went into the tasting room and ended up with some samples, then we went for a walk around the vineyard before returning for desserts and coffees.

Craig, Michelle, Bronte and Josh

Craig, Michelle, Bronte and Josh

Too many photographers

Too many photographers

Bronte with a sculpture

Bronte with a sculpture

Vineyard from the Restaurant

Vineyard from the Restaurant

Michelle with Di

Michelle with Di

Di with Bronte - who's the tallest?

Di with Bronte - who's the tallest?

General view of the vineyard

General view of the vineyard

Bronte with Josh

Bronte with Josh

If we are in the southern hemisphere the polar bear is lost

If we are in the southern hemisphere the polar bear is lost

Restaurant from the vineyard

Restaurant from the vineyard

A molten tractor perhaps?

A molten tractor perhaps?

View of the restaurant from the other side of the vineyard

View of the restaurant from the other side of the vineyard

More sculptures

More sculptures

Back at Kirrily's place we watched the preliminary final between Port Adelaide and Hawthorn. Port Adelaide lost the game in the first quarter when they kicked 3 goals 9 points. In the end Hawthorn were very lucky to win by 3 points, but they might not be good enough to beat the Swans next week. After finishing up all the food we bought yesterday (David now knows why we needed so much) a birthday cake appeared with one large candle. The cake was a wonderful chocolate ganache - very, very rich but went down nicely with a bottle of Campbell's Liquid Gold. Thank you Michelle and Kirrily - a lovely birthday surprise!

The Birthday Cake

The Birthday Cake

Posted by TwoAces 14:59 Comments (1)

Melbourne - Day 2

Day 84 - Friday 19 September 2014

Cool and mainly cloudy again with a temperature of 15 degrees.

This morning we packed up a few things to take to Kirrily's place in Windsor, as we will be staying with her for two nights, as she has a two day break from work. We managed to find a parking spot in The Avenue not too far from Kirrily's apartment, where its not always easy to find a parking spot. After settling in we headed for the Prahran Market to find some lunch and to buy some provisions for dinner that night. Ian was going to join us to watch the Swans play the Kangaroos - Kirrily and Ian wanted the Swans to win, while David and Di were just looking forward to enjoying a game without worrying too much about the outcome.

The Prahran Market

The Prahran Market



General view of the Prahran Market

General view of the Prahran Market

The Mussel Pot

The Mussel Pot

We had bought enough food to feed an army for several days - David thought that we had bought too much! We had plenty of food and wine to keep us going while we watched the football. The result was fairly predictable with the Kangaroos being outclassed by the Swans, with Buddy Franklin kicking 5 goals. Whoever wins tomorrow night will have to be good to beat the Swans in the AFL grand final. Ian has a couple of seats for the grand final, courtesy of a friend, but he will be going on his own as Kirrily has to work next Saturday.

Posted by TwoAces 01:12 Comments (0)

Melbourne - Day 1

Day 83 - Thursday 18 September 2014

Mainly cloudy and cool with a temperature of 15 degrees.

After lunch we drove to Northcote to visit David's sister Louise. When we arrived Louise had one of her carers with her, Nicky who had organised some afternoon tea. After a bit of a chat she left for another appointment and left us to hear Louise's latest news about her daughter Zoe's second baby, Claudia who was born a few weeks ago. Louise will be going to Hobart with her friends from Sydney - Sue and Betts - in mid-October to see her latest grand-daughter. Louise now has an iPad and was able to show us all of her photos of Isla and Claudia.

David and Di with Louise

David and Di with Louise

Louise with Di at her front door

Louise with Di at her front door

After visiting Louise we went back to camp to change as we were going out to dinner with Kirrily and Ian. We met up at Pei Modern, near the Sofitel for pre-dinner drinks, then moved on to Lupino, a very nice restaurant in Little Collins Street. On the way from the bar to the restaurant we checked out the window displays at Georgio Armani, where Kirrily is the recently appointed store manager - a new career. We had an excellent dinner accompanied by a few bottles of very good Heathcote Shiraz. Probably one bottle too many as the girls were a bit dusty in the morning.

Posted by TwoAces 00:39 Comments (0)

Quicks Beach to Melbourne

Day 82 - Wednesday 17 September 2014.

On the Murray River it is intermittent cloud and a temperature forecast of 17 degrees. In Melbourne the forecast is 6 to 15 degrees, mostly cloudy with showers. Typical Melbourne weather Frosty - don't come home too soon.

We were packed up and on the road by 9:30 am for our 268 km trip to Melbourne. Unlike the Kidman Way of the last few days there were a great many trucks on the road to Melbourne, but only B-Doubles rather than road trains. At one point David encouraged a B-Double to pass only to find that there were four of them in a row all with the pedal to the metal. Does that count as four runs Frosty?

Lots of spring blossom was visible in the orchards and there were many patches of bright yellow canola. We stopped for fuel at Shepparton and stopped again for an early lunch at the service centre just north of Nagambie. Steak sandwiches and coffee which were better presented than the usual run of service centres. As we got closer to Melbourne the traffic volumes intensified and were made worse by the occasional shower of rain.

We arrived at Ashley Gardens Caravan Park at about 1:30 pm and checked in for 5 nights - we are on a drive through site which I had booked in June when we were here last. For two of the five nights we will be staying with our daughter Kirrily at her apartment in Windsor. Most of the drive through sites are occupied by monster vans and 5th wheelers as the show people are here early for next week's Melbourne Show.

After setting up on our site David got out the satellite dish and rang VAST to get them to reset our subscription so that we get commercial channels as well as ABC and SBS. Apparently the reset can only be done when the box is on and receiving the satellite signal, the process taking about 10 seconds once you have got through to them. The lesson is don't let the subscription lapse - so we have made a diary note for next time.

No photos today.

Posted by TwoAces 00:00 Comments (2)

Lachlan River to Quicks Beach

Day 81 - Tuesday 16 September 2014

Overcast and 21 degrees today.

We were on the road at 9:00 am this morning for a 356 km run to Quicks Beach on the Murray River near Barooga where we will free camp again. First stop was at Hillston for fuel, then we stopped again at Willow Park in Griffith for morning tea. Our lunch stop was at Jerilderie where we picked up some papers and had toasted ham and cheese sandwiches in a local bakery. It was good to get a Melbourne paper and have more than one page of AFL news. As we headed south the overcast got heavier and while rain threatened we did not get any.

We arrived at Quicks Beach at about 3:00 pm and joined one other caravan at the camping area on the Murray River. Unlike last night we have 3G mobile coverage and a good TV signal, so it was out with the generator to update our blog and watch a bit of TV tonight. You would like this place Chappy!

Dry creek crossing at the entrance to the Quicks Beach camp grounds

Dry creek crossing at the entrance to the Quicks Beach camp grounds

Our camp site at Quicks Beach

Our camp site at Quicks Beach

Quicks Beach

Quicks Beach

Murray River from Quicks Beach

Murray River from Quicks Beach

Another shot of our camp site

Another shot of our camp site

Nearby home with a commanding view of the Murray River

Nearby home with a commanding view of the Murray River

Posted by TwoAces 01:56 Comments (1)

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