Today we bad farewell to David and Kay at Warragul. Their hospitality has been fabulous and we really admired all the love and sweat that went into hand-crafting their mud brick house. Now it’s time to make our final stop in Australia and spend a night with one of Francine’s former colleagues. She and her family live at Macedon on the far side of Melbourne. Whilst we have to cross Melbourne, the advantage is that Macedon is on the same side of the city as the airport from which we will fly to New Zealand tomorrow evening. So, our subsequent trip to the airport should be relatively easy.
Crossing Melbourne should have been easy, too, using a few toll motorways (our car has an automatic tag for the tolls). It wasn’t.
“There are traffic disruptions on the route”, chirped our female Australian satnav.
We sailed on until, about 26km south of a glitch and probably Melbourne, we came to a halt. Progress was stop-start with the emphasis firmly on stop. Eventually we got to a point where various drivers were dropping a U-turn and heading back to the previous exit. We glanced at our Strine Satnav, saw what might be happening and followed.
Almost as soon as we’d clambered off the M1, we hit gravel road. We were following a truck that had also turned around so things were likely to be OK. They were. Eventually we worked our way westwards and picked up the M420 north into Melbourne.
The M420, we thought, really should have been a pretty straight shot, too. However, for reasons which still remain a mystery, our satnav decided to take us off the M420 and into the heart of downtown Melbourne. Here, we did a circuit or two with frustration levels increasing until we finally figured out how to override Strine Satnav and pick up the main road north towards Macedon.
Oh how we wished Francine had had a proper map with which to navigate. Not knowing the lie of the land and not being able to see enough in one view, we had been captive.
What should have been a 2.5 hour journey had turned into a 4-hour journey. Nothing some reminiscing and a few drinks couldn’t sort out.