Melboring Part 2

Posted: October 26, 2015 in Travel

The drive back was relatively smooth apart from usual hiccups when actually in city. Tom Tom again proved its worth and luckily avoided any of those quaint little U Turns into oncoming Trams. Still a few last minute lane changes but arrived at Hertz nice and early only to wait around for the initial ding and scratch report to be delivered by carrier pigeon apparently. Luckily the multiple scratches had not multiplied and trekked off to our hotel with no high hopes of entry at 10:30 am. Well drop em fellas and bend over because our room was ready. Have to say the Mantra on Park has improved with each visit and our 2 bedroom apartment on 13th floor was great and just for a change there was a free bottle of wine included! If I couldnt set up a liver for brain cell transplant soonish I could be in trouble. So on a coolish overcast day we headed out for our first “recommended” coffee at Code Black. All looked good until that first taste and you realised they had slipped the old organic bean trick past ya. So quickly onto Lygon Street for some supplies to absorb said wine and a quick lunch. Back to room and into running gear for trip down to Southbank again. By running gear I mean socks and thongs of course. It is an easy walk but still felt need for a pint of Guinness at PJ Orileys to ward off any subtle dehydration that may present later. A walk back, a feed and slurp and it was time for bed as a full day beckoned next day with possible interaction with morons

Our Yarra Valley (yeah twice is the charm)/ Puffing Billy/ Lamington feast was a 9 hr affair via a coach so alarm bells were poised. The hotel pick up may well be a helpful service but man it is a tedious affair at 7:30 in morning in CBD. We picked up some likely suspects but all was looking nice and quiet until we landed at Federation Square and the rest of the gang boarded – not too many spare seats after that and I felt like Stealers Wheel with Asians to the left of me and French to the right!

We finally left sometime after 0830 and headed off towards Dandenongs with the “lovable” Mark as our bus driver. Not sure its a good idea to have bus driver also as tour guide especially someone who likes a natter. Now Mark was like those uncles you see at family parties that are very friendly and tell the oldest and corniest jokes ever with just a dash of sexism for good measure. He seems particularly fascinated by the average housing price in any given suburb and the lack of shopping centres in small towns. But he was a good driver and we soon arrived for our “Billy Tea and Lamington” at Grants Reserve. I am guessing by the freshness of said lamingtons that the previous days tour group didnt front. Then it was onto the Puffing Billy short trip to Menzies Creek. Now have to say this was better than expected and for one major reason – you can sit in the window! If we could have stood on the roof as well I could cross “Ride a train in India” off my bucket list. Anyhoo it was good fun and sure enough old Marky Mark was waiting with Bus there to finally take us to some wineries. We had a very passable lunch at Rochfords along with tastings followed by further tastings at Dominique Portet and Yering Farm. All in all a very good way to pass a couple of hours. One advantage with being in a tour group is no one really expect large purchases so less guilt associated with multiple sipping. Then it was back on bus for the long trip back home where we got off in middle of town for some chinese at Dragon Palace or something – not sure have ever spent $100 as quickly for a meal and felt less satisfied. In summary though would say the tour group worked well and no real stragglers although you always had the “last on board ” pegged early. Also kinda surprised why anyone would bring a one-two year old on this trip. Maybe for the stale lamington?

An early night and then off to a lovely breakfast at Seven Seeds ( when in doubt return to faves) and onto Queen Victoria markets. Two amazing things happened here – CLP didnt buy much and I bought a pair of $80 shoes in about 3 mins – very against the norm for moi. Back to hotel and it then dawned on me there was a big race on today (Cox Plate) as da ladies were all tarted up and drinking champers at 10 am in hotel foyer. This could get ugly later when they returned . We wandered back around town for a while and had a beer just for a change before a quiet afternoon as we also had entertainment planned for later on with a BBQ dinner with an old workmate of CLP in East Melbourne. A couple of tram rides later and we were knocking on door at 530 pm expecting to be leaving again about 7 pm. I even downloaded a metro app to make sure of a quick getaway. So after about 6 bottles of wines and several beers for our little group of 6 it was 10 pm and could no longer even read the bloody iphone app! I had done it again – got full as a state school hat rack the night before a longish flight and even longer drive. If the sheilas at the hotel were partying I have no idea. About 4-5 hrs sleep max and it was out to QC before squishing into cattle class for a few hours and then a drive to Sunny Coast followed by the longer haul to Maryhole. Strangely felt better as the day progressed. Then the Qld heat hit!

So all in all a great jam packed week of drinking, seeing family, drinking, some sights, drinking, socialising with new friends and some drinking. As always after a time like this one realises one should have more holidays at home and the way the Aussie $ has tanked , next year is already taking shape for a return visit to Victoria. But I dont want devoted fans to think it is all beer and skittles for this little black duck

After all, still have to go to USA first in Feb next year for a play in the snow. Its a tough life but think I am up for it. I am known for my resilience. Or is that real sillyness ? I always get those two mixed up.

Later suckers













  1. Ravish Star says:

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s