A Travellerspoint blog

April 2016

Devonport to Hobart

Saturday 9 April 2016

We had a smooth crossing and arrived in Devonport at about 7:00 am - an hour late. Because of the way we had been loaded in Melbourne we had to do a lap of Deck 5 before driving off the ferry at about 7:30 am. There appeared to be no quarantine checks and all cars were being waived straight through. We stopped for fuel and newspapers at Elizabeth Town - another United servo converted from Caltex - and continued on to Campbelltown for breakfast at Zeps, poached eggs for Di and an omlette for David.

The traffic was fairly light and we arrived back home at about mid-day. Without the van it only took about 10 minutes to unpack.

Well, thats all until we hit the road again in late May to pick up the van in Melbourne and head north again.

Posted by TwoAces 23:56 Comments (0)

Melbourne - Day 4

Friday 8 April 2016

Another fine day in Melbourne - Mainly sunny and 22 degrees.

Jan and Andy were returning to Sydney today and had arranged a mid-morning shuttle pick-up from the nearby Mercure Hotel to take then to the airport. David and Di packed their bags and walked around to Ian's office to return the apartment key and get our Nissan out of the car-park. Thanks Ian and Kirrily for your hospitality - we had a great time in Melbourne.

As we were not catching the ferry until 9:00 pm we decided to head out to the Chadstone Shopping Centre for a walk around and lunch. After lunch we drove to Northcote to visit David's sister Louise, who has been back in her own home for about a month, after a long 4 month stint in hospital. She was pleased to see a couple of different faces as she has 24 hour a day nursing and home care, and is growing tired of the procession of helpers that she sees each day. The good news is Louise continues to improve and the level of support is being slowly reduced.

After saying our good-byes to Louise we made our way back to the city and headed for Beaconsfield Parade to find a parking spot to wait for the Spirit to start the check-in process. We parked across the road from the Pier Hotel and had a few drinks and an early dinner while we waited for the Spirit to arrive. It was doing a day sailing and was scheduled to arrive at 6:00 pm. At about 7:00 pm we decided that it was time to make our way to the end of the check-in queue only to find that nothing was happening. It was after 8:00 pm before we were able to check-in then it was a case of sit and wait again as all vehicles had to load via the deck 3 ramp. Once on the boat we were sent up the ramp to deck 5 although the loading crew seemed somewhat confused about where the vehicles were to go.

There were a lot of Targa Tasmania cars on the ferry tonight - everything from old Holdens to Lamborghinis and everything in between, including a very smart looking black Morgan sports car.

We were eventually on our way about an hour late and one of the Bar staff indicated that the late sailing was a result of the Wharfies misbehaving.
After a couple of drinks we were in bed by 10:00 pm, for what was expected to be a another smooth crossing.

Posted by TwoAces 23:54 Comments (0)

Melbourne - Day 3

Thursday 7 April 2016

The weather today was fine and mainly sunny without the rain of yesterday.

Kirrily was back at work today so the four of us - David, Di, Jan and Andy made our way back to the Victoria Markets for tonight's dinner. Once again we were looking for salad items, cheeses, nibbles and some fillet steak for dinner. It helps to have about 20 butchers all located on the one site to provide a bit of competition - we ended up with some excellent sliced beef fillet at about $32.00 per kilo.

After making our purchases we made our way to Simply Spanish - a nearby cafe/restaurant for lunch. The special for the day was Paella from the big pan with salad and a choice of Sangria or dessert. It made an excellent lunch and we might be back again one day.

That evening we were joined by Ian's boys, Jordan and Harrison and Jordan's girlfriend Sheridan. The fillet steaks were cooked on the barbeque and we had an excellent meal with lots of red wine. We enjoyed meeting Ian's sons.


Jan and Di looking for salad items at QV Market


Our lunch spot - Simply Spanish


The Big Paella Pan

Posted by TwoAces 23:52 Comments (0)

Melbourne - Day 2

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Today's weather is cold and wet - more like winter than yesterday's sunny and 28 degrees.

Kirrily had a day's leave to spend with her visitors. Mid morning we searched out some jackets and umbrellas and made our way to the Queen Victoria Markets. Melbourne has free tram travel within the CBD and this extends as far as the Markets. But when we arrived we found that the Market is closed on Mondays and Wednesdays, so we had a coffee and made our way back to the City. We had an early lunch at Olio in one of Melbourne's many lane-ways. As the purpose of our trip to the Market was to get the ingredients for dinner, we resorted to plan B and made our way to the David Jones Food Hall. Salmon fillets with skin on, salad items, and a selection of cheeses.

Later in the afternoon we walked down Flinders Street to the Immigration Museum which is located in the old Customs House Building. The Museum documents the various waves of immigrants coming to Victoria, and showed the change from a mainly white settlement to today's multicultural society. We learned that more than 9 million immigrants have come to Australia from overseas since 1788, and that 25% of the present population were born overseas. Although Victoria was not settled by Europeans until 1835, there was a large influx of immigrants following the discovery of gold in 1851.

Later in the evening we braved the elements to cook our salmon on the barbeque which was located out on the deck. Although the rain had stopped there was still a cold wind blowing that made the process more difficult. The salmon ended up perfectly cooked and we had an excellent dinner.

Posted by TwoAces 23:51 Comments (0)

Melbourne - Day 1

Tuesday 5 April 2016

Forecast for Melbourne for today was fine, sunny and 28 degrees.

The ferry arrived in Melbourne on time and we were called to the vehicle deck at about 6:30 am, but had a lengthy wait. The Deck 5 loading/unloading bridge, known as "The Hump" was damaged on 13 January when a 100 kph wind gust tore the ferry away from its moorings. Almost three months later it has still not been repaired - another month they say! As a result all vehicles on Deck 5 had to drive around the vehicle deck to get to the internal ramp from deck 5 to deck 3. We were near last off the ferry at about 7:30 am.

We were lucky that we were heading away from the City and missed the worst of the Melbourne early morning traffic, eventually arrived at Trailblazers at Braeside at about 8:30 am. We spent about 30 minutes discussing our requirements with Phil and Scott, who will do most of the work, unhitched the van and left them to it.

We headed next door to the Red Pillar Cafe for a late breakfast, where we were joined by Frosty and Marg who live at nearby Mordialloc. Frosty and Marg have the same rig as us and are heading off on Saturday 9 April to Queensland via the Alice, Mt Isa and Birdsville. By the time that we get to the Gold Coast they will have arrived at Southport, and we will catch up again.

We met up with Kirrily's partner Ian at about mid-day to collect the apartment key and to leave our Navara in Ian's work parking spot for a few days. They have an apartment in Phoenix House which is handily located in Flinders Street in the City. The apartment is also close to an IGA supermarket and a Bottle-O bottle-shop, both of which we visited in due course.

Later in the afternoon we caught-up with Di's sister Jan and her husband Andy, who were in town following a wedding they attended on the Mornington Peninsula last weekend. That evening we all had an excellent dinner at Cloe's Restaurant at Young and Jacksons Hotel.


Flinders street by day


Flinders Street by Night

Posted by TwoAces 23:48 Comments (0)

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