Day 77: Fri 12 Sep 2014: Melbourne to Devonport
St Kilda, Victoria
The pack up went as well as could be expected, which is to say it was rather stressful and difficult and we had to do several things over again several times to get them right. By about 11am we had the car packed and the van stored (at Big 4 Melbourne where we have been staying) and struck out for the day.
On a side note, the groundsman chap who helped us park the van in their storage area was a real character. He was happy for J & C to amuse themselves among the 'junk' pile including trying to smash open an old galvanised chest to see what was inside (like a treasure chest). It turned out it was clearly his but he didn't care that they wrecked it, in fact, he was glad they were having fun 'not using an iPad.' I commented on an old Austin A40 in the yard. It was also his. He has 6! Including a fibreglass one with a Celica engine that he used to race and he was very keen to show me and, I think, try to sell to me!
We spent much of the day at St Kilda beach. There's a restaurant on the beach called "West Beach Bather's" where we ate lunch. It overlooks the St Kilda marina. They had platforms about 6 feet square with mattresses under beach umbrellas and hammocks over the verandah. J & C had excellent fun swinging into each other, bum first, in the hammocks. The beach is a dog-off-leash area and watching the various puppies' happy faces provides great entertainment, although caused a little homesickness…
I took the team to a bike store just off Fitzroy St called The Classic Bike Shop. The owner is a guy who has ridden his old school bike through 60 countries over many years! He took photos of interesting bikes as he went and has them all hanging on his walls. There are bikes with loads of hay or massive baskets and a bicycle school bus. Very interesting. What an amazing life. We bought 3 old style brass bike horns, one each for A, J & C.
And then on to the Spirit of Tasmania ferry. Only it's not a ferry like any other, it's more like a cruise ship, very large and rather comfortable. Driving on through the massive doors that open in the front of the ship was a real treat.
Picture: J, A & C walking on St Kilda beach after lunch. That's actually the Spirit of Tasmania in the distance at Station Pier at Port Melbourne.