Thursday, October 27, 2016

Mornington Crescent

OK, maybe that’s overstating the case somewhat. Whatever, we were up before dawn to get aboard our 6:05am flight to Melbourne. I managed to catch some zeds on the way over, so wasn’t too frazzled by the time we got our bags and picked up our hire car.

The next adventure was to find our way out of Melbourne and down south to Mornington Peninsula. The traffic! My god! So much traffic! This was after 9:00am, so presumably everyone who drives to work is comfortably ensconced at their desks by now…who are all these people? Anyway, at least it seemed to be moving, and we muddled and kept heading hopefully in what we thought was the right direction, following signs to SE Suburbs as that was generally the direction we wanted to be travelling in. We eventually picked up signs to Frankston, and we were on our way.

Our hotel is in Mornington, and we spent the first day exploring the town, beach and waterfront walkway. We got some lunch at Dr. Fox, and in the evening we headed out to a wine bar we’d spotted earlier in the day, Brass Razu. There we had some local wine and a decent-sized grazing platter with hot and cold hors d’oeuvres. Still a bit knackered, we headed back for an early night.

Next day the weather wasn’t brilliant, but we’d already made plans to go down to the end of the peninsula, Point Nepean National Park. We set out on the coast road, stopping for some coffee in the town of Rosebud. Rosebud sounds like it ought to be a picturesque spot, but it doesn’t live up to its billing. We continued down through to the national park, driving until we could drive no further, then continuing on foot. As we approached Cheviot Hill it started to drizzle. We saw a couple of echidnas by the side of the road (one I named Ecky, and the other Kiddy), but most of the bird life appeared to be in hiding. There were the inevitable crows, magpies and hippity-hoppity birds (mynahs to you) but nothing more exotic around. As the drizzle was turning into fully-fledged rain we turned around before reaching the tip of the peninsula, and returned to the car. I’m sure it’s lovely on a nice day, but we weren’t going to see any further than we had at Cheviot Hill.

We drove back to Sorrento and stopped there at the Continental Hotel for some lunch. Then we drove to our planned afternoon activity – the baths at Peninsula Hot Springs. These are heated geothermally as they sit on the Nepean Fault – a rare example of geological activity in Australia. There are various pools and other water-related activities there – sauna, Turkish baths, cold plunges – and we took a tour around a lot of these.

In the evening, we went out to the restaurant down on the pier, The Rocks – a seafood restaurant that prides itself on sustainability. I had the prawns, from the barbecue. Yes, really. I managed to order with a straight face. Nicola had the baby snapper cooked in oriental spices. Both dishes were fairly substantial so we skipped dessert and had a quick coffee before coming back to the hotel.

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