SATURDAY 30 JULY HAMILTON TO HOME 350kms
With little packing up to do, we were able to give Couey a good walk and ball romp out on the grass.
Before leaving town, we drove to the Woolworths servo that John had sussed out when we were there yesterday. No issues going through with the van on the back.
Travelled the Hamilton Highway eastwards, past the scenic southern end of the Grampians and through the rejuvenated Dunkeld. The route was a very familiar one to us both, as John taught at Mooralla for a year, way, way back. I knew the order of the towns and hamlets off by heart. Some of them had not changed much.
The route through central Ballarat before we reached the Western Highway was really tedious, not helped by late Saturday morning traffic. Some sort of a through route that bypassed the main part of the town was long overdue.
Stopped at a service centre near Ballan to eat our packed lunch.
I still don’t like crossing the reservoir at Pykes Creek! The road upgrades really have not made it any better, for me, Heights over water – bit of a phobia.
Apart from that, the Western Highway/Freeway was now so good. I recollect the “old days” when it took at least an hour from the outskirts of Ballarat, to Footscray.
We took the Western Ring Road, avoiding the crawl through Carlton that is the annoying “gap” between the freeways to the west and east. Good idea, in theory, but I came unstuck in practice, once the Ring Road ended at Greensborough, That was another place in Melbourne where one transitioned from a faster road – on the weekend, at least – to slower suburban roads. I got a bit confused with the navigating and we ended up on roller coaster back roads around Kangaroo Ground, eventually finding our way through to Warrandyte. The driver was not happy!
Reached home mid-afternoon. We put in a big unpacking effort and got most of it done, quite quickly.
Treated ourselves to a take away tea from the local Chinese. John enjoyed his lemon chicken, but my sweet and sour pork was overcooked and dry – disappointing.
Thus, another little expedition in the van ended. Only two weeks away – brief, by our standards. It definitely showed that mid-winter is not the greatest time for travels in southern Victoria.