Day 201 - Phillip Island to Melbourne

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October 14th 2015
Published: October 26th 2015
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Jetty and foreshore
We had already booked our accommodation at a Melbourne Caravan Park so when we got up we knew we had a simple plan for the day. We might even have some spare time for some sightseeing or detours on the way.

Of course, sometimes the day doesn't always unfold as you think it might and this particular day was to be no different.

Getting off the island proved to be no problem, although it was getting busier with the motorcycle GP on the coming weekend. I explained to Georgi how the "blue line" worked on the road. When the motorcycle racing is finished and thousands of people want to go home, there needs to be a system to maximise the space on the road. The two lanes that are generally available (and shoulders) become three lanes and people have a little less width to use on the road. It might become a little tricky on the bridge (which has no shoulders to speak of) and two lanes have to change to three. It would be quite squeezy for larger vehicles.

We travelled along the coast of Westernport Bay and I pointed out the features to Georgi and gave her a brief history of French Island, which is quite a bit larger than Phillip Island. Although French island is closer to Melbourne than Phillip Island it has never been developed and the population is around 100 permanent residents. There is no electricity, water or other services provided (but they do have a general store)!

It was at this time that we thought there was a vibration in the back of the bus. Last time this happened, we had a flat tyre, so we pulled over as soon as it was safe and had a look at the rear tyres. They all seemed to be OK so we continued on, although the vibration still seemed to be present. Eventually, we arrived at Cranbourne and navigated to the local tyre store. We asked them whether they would be able to remove the tyres and check them but they did not have the tools suitable for a bus. They did suggest another local place that we could go to though. So we set off for Dandenong South (a few kays up the road) and eventually found the place. After waiting for a while, the guy said that one of the front tyres was faulty and was the likely cause of the vibration. He didn't sell the tyres we had fitted but told us the address of the local tyre place that stocked and sold the tyres we had fitted to the bus and suggested we talk to them. So we set off for Eumemerring (another few kays up the road) and eventually found the place. After a short wait, we were able to speak to the manager about the tyre problem we had and he recommended that we replace all of the tyres because they were "right down". They didn't look completely worn to me, but we agreed that the bus had done quite a few kilometres on these tyres and it was almost time to have new ones fitted. Of course, he didn't have six tyres on hand, but he could fit two today and the remaining tyres later in the week sometime (or next week maybe). Of course, that didn't really help so we ended up leaving him and continuing on towards Melbourne.

Once we got on the freeway, the vibration seemed to almost go away, so we were quite pleased that we hadn't committed to a new set of tyres costing thousands of dollars. The drive down the freeway was relatively relaxing but we had to decide whether to use the tunnel and pay the toll required or detour around the tunnel to Maidstone (where the Caravan Park was located). In the end, a decision was made to drive through South Yarra and Toorak to see if Georgi could identify her old home when she was living in Melbourne (a flat on Toorak Road in the 1970's). We couldn't find the block of flats and drove on to the Westgate Freeway and then north to Maidstone. Ashley Street had become a one way street (due to roadworks) but luckily for us, the southern direction was the section that was closed so we could drive north up Ashley Street to the Caravan Park. We arrived late in the afternoon, after a stressful and exhausting time and agreed that we would just rest for the remainder of the day.


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