Christmas Day! We had breakfast around 9.30 as we’re leaving Melbourne today, and it’s a long drive today down to our next stop Apollo Bay – we estimate around 3 hours without a break. We’ve already determined that there won’t be any facilities for an evening meal when we get there (because it’s Christmas Day), so we plan to smuggle out some nosebag from the hotel before we check out!
Whilst the girls settled the hotel bill, Ralph and I took the short walk to the Avis office – and got caught in a heavy shower along the way. Luckily, the office was easy to spot and we were soon filling out the paperwork. This time we got a Toyota RAV4, not quite as advanced as the X-Trail we’d hired a few days’ back, but comfy nonetheless! Even with our combined tech-heads, it took most of the journey to figure out how to Bluetooth our phones to the in-car sound system!
We were soon heading out of Melbourne and onto the main highway, bound for Apollo Bay. Given that it was Christmas Day, we were doubtful that we’d find a place open along the way for some tucker – but as we detoured into Torquay, after around and hour-and-a-half’s journey, we spotted a group of people sitting outside a small place eating and drinking. As it turned out, the place was fully functioning – and you could even bring IN your own beer! It was called Imperial Rhino and provided an extensive menu.
After about an hour, we were fully nourished, and got back on the road and heading for our destination. The roads now became single carriageway and very, very, (very) twisty – we could see why they called it The Great Ocean Road, as it seemed to hug the contours of the coast!
Eventually, we arrived – Captains at the Bay in Apollo Bay. After a grey start to the day, the sun was now out and we were soon sat sipping tea on Ralph and Karen’s balcony – how english!!!
Our room is very nice. His and hers shower and an open plan bedroom plus all the usual bits and pieces. Being Christmas Day, there’s no-one on duty, so we’ll make the best of what we have ‘in-stock’ food-wise - a couple of bars of chocolate and a bottle of wine (as the smuggling operation from the Hyatt only accrued four bananas! We also popped into the local supermarket and picked up some dips and crisps – in fact, we had a really good carpet picnic (without the carpet!)
We also found the hotel had an extensive DVD library to choose from, so we chose ‘Courage under Fire’ (Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan and Matt Damon). It was a really good film and I don’t know how we missed it, first time round.
After the film we headed back to our room and rang the family to wish them ‘happy christmas’.
Having now experienced Christmas Day in Australia, I have to say that I’m somewhat disappointed! There just hasn’t been many signs that it’s Christmas at all over here – the shops looked mostly normal, we saw a few people with Santa hats on and saw one Christmas tree in the hotel. Apart from that.. nothing! It just doesn’t feel christmassy at all. Bah humbug!!!!
We’re going to explore the local area tomorrow.
Nighty night – hope your Christmas goes well everyone!