Is it really Day 4?
There are many things Victorians do well; there are times when road signage is not one of them.
Itinerary: Melbourne to Maldon.
Distance travelled: 155.7km
Weather: Morning rain while we were still in Melbourne. Mum started saying “no tent” if it’s raining. Thankfully, it cleared while we were heading up the Calder Freeway and the sun burst forth about 5:30pm.
There were two aims for our time in Melbourne this morning – Queen Victoria Markets and the Webb Bridge. After all that walking yesterday, we decided on a taxi to get us started today. I wonder why our market shopping included socks? Perhaps we are a bit focussed on our feet today and just couldn’t get into the food.
There’s a free tram that runs a regular loop that would then take us to Webb Bridge. The tram was almost a disaster. We waited, and waited, and waited under a City Tram sign that would take us the shortest route to the bridge. And we waited, while three went past in the other direction. And we decided, maybe they only go in one direction … but why put the sign where we were standing. We crossed the road, caught the next one and settled for the long way round. I looked out the window and there it was, our missing tram.
A chap at work recommended the Webb Bridge as a great site for striking images. The weather turned atrocious just as we got off the tram, but it turned again just as quickly and we had a lovely walk back along the Yarra to pick up the car.
About this time, Mum declares that Melbourne is quite a beautiful city obsessed with bridges.
Shortly after, I’m declaring that Melbourne is a nightmare. Even after pouring over Google Maps last night, working out our way out, as instructed, I’m still going the wrong way around Southbank. Eventually, the car is in the right lane and heading in the right direction. BUT, I can’t work out how to get off the M1 and onto the M2, and I’m rarely sure I’m in the correct lane. We agree that Plan B can be Geelong, but suddenly the right information turns up on the green signs. It’s not the M2 but it will get us to the Calder Freeway.
Every time I calm down, Mum passes me the Diet Coke. What started as brain tonic has ended up as a reward!
We discovered something today. Maps have a scale. We knew that, but sometimes a reminder is needed. Sitting at a service centre, with the map of Victoria spread out before us, I explained to Mum the proposed itinerary for tomorrow – Bendigo, Echuca, and then across to Benalla. She gasped. I explained that I’d read that Bendigo to Echuca is only 90 minutes and showed her the distances. Mum is well acquainted with distances, having worked for years as a country courier around western NSW. And then it dawned on us. A map of NSW is physically the same size as a map of Victoria, but the scale is different; Victoria is much smaller than NSW.
We’ve arrived safely at Maldon, set up the tent, and marvelled at the brief respite of sunshine before it drops beyond the horizon and the temperature starts to plummet. Rumour has it, 5 degrees C tonight. Below are a couple of before and after shots. (Note: The blue building in the background is where we stayed in Melbourne.)
And ending with our view from the dinner table tonight …