Warrnambool 2008

Back to the burbs

After checking out of the hotel and temporarily leaving the bags in their care, we headed to the shops to buy a newspaper and one last postcard. Then there was time for a little more flying foxing in the playground (and some filming for a video production the kids had devised) before picking up the bags and walking back down to the station.

Wooden newspaper reader, outside newsagent, WarrnamboolDaniel reading newspaper, Warrnambool
Ugh. Gastro alert.

Sending an SMS to somebody I discovered that my phone’s predictive text can’t spell Warrnambool, but can spell Waspman. What use Waspman is in messages, I don’t know.

Back in car B on the 11:45am train back to Melbourne, this time there were no double bookings. Lunch from the on-board snack bar (I’m not sure it’s quite worthy of the term buffet) was quite a decent ham, cheese and salad sandwich for me, and sausage rolls for the kids, as we watched the countryside pass by. I’m quite intrigued by the stone walls around (I think) Camperdown, I assume are same type of dry stone walls found in England, some of which are hundreds of years old. (Intriguing link: Dry Stone Walls Association of Australia.)

Dry stone wall, near Camperdown, Victoria

By the time we got into Geelong, the train was getting pretty full. I noted as we passed through Little River that my phone was reporting the location as “Little Rivr“. I guess if the founding members had been inspired by the name on a mobile phone instead of on a road sign, they’d have been the Little Rivr Band. Sounds very Web 2.0.

The burbs of Melbourne started to appear — as did various groups of gunzels, huddled with their copious cameras by the tracks at various spots along the way from about Laverton onwards. I don’t know what they were waiting for, but it probably wasn’t our train from Warrnambool.

This year we didn’t get to watch the Melbourne Cup en route, but we were back in town as scheduled at 3pm, and home by 4pm, our short but relaxing break over.

As has become tradition, I tracked the costs for the weekend (at least roughly).

  • V/Line tickets $49.40 — suburban travel included… but I’ve subsequently spotted in the small print it’s only meant to be an hour either side of your trip. Better than nothing, but not very practical especially given they recommend at least 30 minutes to make a connection.
  • Hotel 3 nights $474 — managed to avoid the mini-bar and the phone… it was very comfy, but not cheap (though not ridiculously expensive either)
  • Car hire $77 plus about $10 of petrol
  • Groceries and snacks, about $15+$8+$14+$10+$15
  • Flagstaff Hill dinner and show $98
  • Lunches and dinners, Nandos $35, Train $8, Cheeseworld $27, Bojangles $43, Cafe at beach $36, Taco Bill’s $65, Train $15
  • Postcards, newspapers and stamps $7
  • Souvenir t-shirt $25

So a total of (roughly) $1031. Yikes. Not exactly bargain-basement (it adds up quicker than you’d think, especially with accommodation and attractions, and now the kids are bigger and eat full-sized meals), but all in all cheaper than previous jaunts, due in no small part to not having to buy air fares. More short local(ish) breaks like this would be good, I reckon.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

6 replies on “Back to the burbs”

I like country stores; they tend to have this nice, airey atmosphere that no city store can match…

Gunzels scare me; and the ones from Railpage have issued many a death-threat which is amusing. But most of them are harmless (I take it they didn’t throw anything at the train).

Only if the wasp-person in question, Brian, is a vicar from 1914 or thereabouts; and we need a “hint of mint” for it to become the ultimate Dr. Who spoof.

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