The Mt Gambier leg of our trip has not turned out to be what I had hoped for. Pretty much all of the second day was spent trying to work out:
- what went wrong with the car
- who would fix it and
- when it would be fixed
A big thank you to OGR. They couldn't guarantee that the work would be completed before the end of the day, but at 1:00pm, I get a phone call letting me know that the car is ready to be picked up. $1,100 later, and the car is all packed, ready to drive back into Victoria.
2. The Bondi Express
I don't know. It all looked good on the website. Something novel for the kids as we get to the end of our trip. And admittedly we had difficulty in getting accommodation around Warrnambool due to the horse race meet on this week (5th May is a public holiday around here).
A couple of things to note. Codrington Gardens is a fair distance from Warrnambool. It's a fair distance from anywhere (phone and wireless internet reception are not good here). There's also a lot of these things around:
Anyway, back to Gardens, and out accommodation on the Bondi Express. The idea was sound, and the photos on the website were all professionally taken, probably a fair while ago. The hosts are nice people (no complaints there), I just think there is something lacking here.
It may be that the train is furnished in much the same way as your grandparents furnish their house. I was going to provide some of my photos, but their website I think shows the interior much better. All perfectly appealing to a different age group than a family with two young kids (I guess the magazine in the lounge titled Fit and Fifty was a hint). If you look carefully at the photo of the upper deck lounge room, you'll see a bottle of port, provided as part of the service. I had a taste of the port and cannot guarantee either's its age or drinkability.
It may be that the kitchenette is missing some basic items, such as glasses, and most cutlery and crockery (though you can make a cup of coffee or tea. No milk, though)
It may be that the bathroom requires significant work (though to their credit, they have had the plumber out 4 times to fix the plumbing to the toilet). The monogrammed towels are thick and luxurious and a nice touch. The bathroom also has one of the most unique signs I have seen in all my years of travelling:
It may be that there are 4 or 5 dud light globes that need replacing, as well as the television set.
Look, it has potential, it just needs some money spent on it to bring it up to scratch.
3. The Loch Ard
Tonight we drove the Flagstaff Hill in Warrnambool for a dinner and show. The dinner was at Pippies by the Bay (not too bad).
I must admit I enjoyed the show. The sound and laser show is all based on the final trip aboard the Loch Ard, sailing from England to Melbourne, with it coming to grief somewhere near Port Campbell. The show utilises the village at Flagstaff Hill as a backdrop, and tells the story of three people on board the Loch Ard, the two survivors of that trip (Thomas Pearce and Eva Carmichael) and Captain Gibbs. The show itself went for about 20 - 30 minutes, but I thought it was well worth it. The boys were probably looking for more action, somehow (a ship sinks. The End. Sort of like the Titanic). If you find yourself in or around Warrnambool for a few days I suggest taking the time to visit Flagstaff Hill, and if possible see their Sound and Laser Show.