Day two – Torquay Victoria here we come, albeit after a minor deviation from a wrong turn in Albury as mentioned in my holiday diary for Day One – Missing Tommy
According to google maps Torquay is approximately 414 km and 4 hours 45 mins from Albany. We decided before we left that Melbourne wasn’t going to make our itinerary for two reasons. 1. It’s just another city and we already live in one – a far nice city than Melbourne. 2. After the second time I visited Melbourne I came to conclusion there is nothing about the place that attracts a subsequent visit.
We choose Torquay because it was at the beginning of the Great Ocean Road and we were eager to get the coasted part of this holiday started.
We left Albury on a beautiful, albeit fresh, morning. We left without breakfast as we decided to take our chance along with way. I had fanciful ideas of stopping at cute country towns where I could order a good ole Devonshire Tea with oven fresh scones, freshly whipped cream straight from the cow that morning and yummy home-made jam.
Side note: Can’t stop a girl from dreaming! And BTW…not a frikkin scone to be had.
Not long after we left Albury I asked MOTH to let me know when we hit the border – apparently I was too late, we crossed it already. So much for the big “Welcome to Victoria” sign.
The country side consisted of plush green paddocks full of cows and sheep and it was apparent to me, an ex-country now city girl, that the farmers are having a bumper year with many lambs and calves following their mothers and annoying them for a drink. I wondered where the local farmers go to do their shopping? How would the kids get to school? Where the hell would they go out to dine? It was a long way between towns, and by towns I mean villages.
But after two hours driving mostly in the rain which started not long after we left Albury, I couldn’t help thinking – fuck I’m bored and I’m hungry!
Side note: I forgot to mention in Day One diary that I’d recently taken to eating a vegetarian diet. Not because I’m against eating animals just because I don’t really enjoy meat as a main dish. I’d rather beef-up, so to speak, the accompaniments usually served with meat. Anyway, trying to eat vegetarian on a country road trip is near impossible so hence the vegetarian diet was put on hold for the duration of this trip and my following trip to Brisbane.
Anyway, we continued driving for another hour or so, or maybe more, and all I can remember is paddock after paddock after paddock. If there wasn’t a beach at the end of today’s journey, I would’ve turned around and headed back to where we came from. The hunger pains I felt earlier had waned. We were eager to get today’s drive over with and we weren’t going to let hunger get in our way.
We hadn’t booked a motel in Torquay but decided to take our chances given the school holidays were just over in both NSW and VIC and we were heading into cooler months with visitors less likely to rush the Victorian south coust. The signs telling us how many kilometers to Melbourne gave us a boost of enthusiasm as we approached the 120, 100 then 80 kilometers to Melbourne, less because we weren’t going into the CBD. And once we’d reach the Melbourne by-pass, Torquay wasn’t far away.
We eventually stopped for a bite to eat and there’s no guessing where – McDonalds of course which was on the outskirts of a small township. The town was terribly nondescript that I can’t remember the name. After another snack of tasteless muck, albeit coffee and cake we set off for the final leg.
Side note: MOTH did most of the driving on day 2. May have had something to do with the torrential rain we drove through. Or it may have something to do with my terrible eye-sight. Anyway, I hadn’t driven so far today and I didn’t complain about that.
Second side note: I did offer to drive.
Torquay, here we come! We reached the ring road of Melbourne. My only two trips to Melbourne have been by plane so I’d never driven on the outskirts. And from the scenery confronting us, I won’t race back. A never ending landscape of roadwork and industrial buildings; not a blade of grass to inspect.
As we rounded Melbourne, heading south, we came upon some nice countryside leading up to Geelong. I was surprised to learn, via Wikipedia, that Geelong had a population over 220,000. I wouldn’t have blinked an eye if the population was 10,000. I really am clueless about Victoria but let’s face it, so far I wasn’t impressed.
Side note: I’m probably not being fair in my summation of Victoria; after all, NSW is an even bigger and even endless frontier of endless countryside.
After an hour or so we turned off the main road to Torquay, heading straight to the beach in search for the ideal place to stay. As we drove the full length of the esplanade where all the motels and B&Bs could be found, I couldn’t help but feel that this wasn’t a place I wanted to spend the night. For no particular reason, I just didn’t want to. Thankfully MOTH didn’t either so we decided to head 45 minutes down the coastal road to Lorne.
Before we headed to Lorne we thought we better at least check out Bells Beach – it’s famous for holding world surfing championships each year. We couldn’t help but notice that it resembled the famous Sunshine Beach in Hawaii and not because of the waves but because of the distinct lack of facilities. Bells Beach was miles out of Torquay and there didn’t appear to be anything more than a toilet block.
Side note: We didn’t actually get out of the car at Bells Beach, it was raining cats and dogs.
After our little deviation to Bells Beach we set off to Lorne. We were a little concerned that we didn’t book so it was time I took the rains from MOTH. I drove and he searched for a place to stay at Lorne.
Side note: If you remember from day one blog, I can’t read the little phone screen with my crappy eyesight.
Forty minutes later and during a wild storm, we arrived at Lorne. We booked into the resort and one couldn’t miss it as it was in the centre of town. Although the room was nice, new and clean it was as big as a bread box with no character and no biscuits with the tea and coffee. I noticed the accommodation in Albury didn’t offer biscuits but I thought it was a one-off oversight.
Side note: No biscuits! What’s the world coming too? I hope this isn’t a trend. I like my bickies with a cup of tea. Saves me dipping into the room’s mini bar– which MOTH never lets me do. He says if I want anything from the mini bar to go out and buy it as they charge like wounded bulls, and they do.
Lorne through the torrential rain looked like a quaint little township with a long main shopping strip across the road from the motel. From our room we noticed there were lots of options for dinner. However, reading the reviews on the “Places” app didn’t give us an easy choice. Each positive comment was followed by an equally negative comment.
Site note: MOTH recons some of the positive comments must have come from the owners themselves. I on the other hand am not as skeptical but I’m inclined to agree with him on this count.
After we unpacked the car with the over packed bag that we had Buckley’s chance of wearing all the contents in 1 week, we decided to go for a drive to see the rest of Lorne. Just up the road was a magnificent pub.
Side note: I just love a quaint pub! I even loved the fact there was a quaint pub near my home which was certainly a determining factor in buying in this area.
We found a quiet section of the pub, on one side was an inlet and another side the southern ocean, even the weather cooperated. We were all alone in a nice room next to a very warm open fire – ahhhh such bliss. We had a couple of wines and decided that after two days of McDonalds, one lame duck and dry kangaroo I was hankering for some spice and luckily for us there was one Asian restaurant in the town – so one Chicken Pad Thai and a Lamb curry later we were heading back to the resort.
It was only early so we decided on a night cap at the resort’s restaurant. Our night cap consisted of an Afagato with a side of Frangelico.
What a lovely end to the day. Tomorrow – well we didn’t quite know where we’d end up and frankly we didn’t care. But one thing was apparent today – we didn’t miss Tommy but I did miss the biscuits!