Posts Tagged With: Melbourne

Just Mucking About…

We were sitting at a cafe in St. Kilda being harassed by the waiter about what we’d been up.  Tired and not looking to make conversation with a complete stranger (honest truth and for those that know me…please pick your jaw up off the floor already!), I just let him know that we spent the day mucking about.

It was a beautiful day in Melbourne but I was done playing turbo tourist.   I just wanted to hang out and explore good eats and great cafes so the day was filled with coffee and food with a touch of shopping.  It really didn’t amount to much other than having a great time with my Melbourne buddy.  As far as being a tourist, this day might be seen as an epic fail but it was exactly what I needed.

Categories: au: melbourne, AUSTRALIA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Grampians Are Closed? What?

Kangaroo in the morning light

Today was another day that started at the crack of dawn and brimming with excitement, I couldn’t wait to hit up a mountain as the sun came up.  The coolest thing about this day was that the kangaroos were all hopping about at this hour and so a photo shoot allowed me some time to wake up and get myself together for the hike up a mountain.

As we turned one corner and then another, the incline got steeper and steeper.  By the time we hit the summit, I found out that there was no waterfall at the end of yet another gruelling workout. Maybe I should have spent less time napping the day before and more timing listening to the driver ramble on about the activities and changes to the itinerary but seriously – WTF!

The images of the waterfall was what sold me on the Grampians and it turns out that the majority of what we were supposed to do was closed until end of November (possibly longer due to reasons that I missed due to napping).  It would have been nice to have known this information when I booked the tour but as I sat there on the summit basking in the morning sun, I realized that life could be a whole lot worse.

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A Pot Of Gold

No Meal Is Ever Complete Without Dessert

I refuse to write anything about the train trip as it was everything that I had imagined.  It was while I was trapped on the train that I realized that I was better off taking the refund and attempting to find another way from Adelaide to Melbourne as anything else would have been better than a wasted day.

This feeling might be related to the lack of real food on the train.  Spending the day eating a bag of rice cakes since they were more appealing than what’s being sold on the train is a sad state of affairs.  What made it better was the food that was awaiting me in Melbourne.

There was a buffet called Kitchen Workshop in the Casino that my Melbourne buddy wanted to try out.  Even though we only had an hour left to eat – we had hit the jackpot.  Yum!  It was a solid 45 minutes of power eating before we were so stuffed that it was time to head home.   Nothing else to say other than a beautiful ending to a rather horrible day.

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Not As Groovy As Advertised

I had everything booked through Groovy Grapes Getaways and then they cancelled.  No explanation as to why and I’m still a little miffed that they dropped the bombshell over email.  I was later to find out that tour cancellation is pretty common amongst the tour operators in Australia.  Sadly, it looks as though customer service isn’t a big deal in all parts of the world.

After the original offer of shifting my tour dates (ahem, consider the costs of changing flights much?), they offered to book me in tours with their competition or a full refund.  The idea of taking the refund and then scrambling to get something booked last-minute was so unappealing that I took the alternative arrangement even though it wasn’t exactly what I wanted.   So what I was left with in the end was the Barossa Valley Tour with Groovy Grapes, Kangaroo Island Tour with Adventure Tours, a day long train trip from Adelaide to Melbourne (something that I’m already dreading), and a Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour with Wildlife Tours from Melbourne (yes, I’ll be backtracking which makes the train trip that much more dreadful).

Since these tours are short in length and I’m hopping from one tour operator to another as if I were on crack, the chances of meeting a tour buddy for this leg of my Australian adventures is slim to nil.  I already have the taste of sour grapes lingering and the trip hasn’t even begun yet.  Thanks for that Groovy Grapes.

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