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Melbourne to Perth – Day One

There is something you should know about my husband. He is competitive. We have to do things faster than everyone else. We once managed to cover all four of Disney’s ‘kingdoms’ in 2 days. Normal people spend 2 weeks there. They don’t however spend it with my husband.  Still, I don’t think that example demonstrates just quite what he is like. Okay, another story. Years ago, we went to Universal Studios in California with two friends. Matt got hold of a map on entry. That was a mistake. Give a map to Matt and it’s his cue to plan the visit. He then scans the map, prioritises attractions and rides and then we follow. More than that, we have to do it FASTER than anyone else has EVER done it in the history of theme park visiting. I am used to it so just go with the flow our friends weren’t.

“What? You mean it is not normal for adults to run between rides?”

“Hurry up will you, if we don’t get to this show we will have to wait until the next one in 2 hours and that coincides with another show and, well, that means that whole day is shifted back 2 hours. Seriously, step on it.”

“No, I’m sorry, there just isn’t time for a toilet break. It doesn’t fit in the schedule.”

“No, you will have to wait until lunch for a drink….no dead time.”

This was the holiday we named Matt ‘Competitive Dad’. He wasn’t even a father at the time. Now, I must admit he has mellowed over the years, kids don’t fit into schedules, but he was never going to be the guy who took his time with a leisurely drive from Melbourne to Perth. Oh no, unscheduled stops would not be tolerated:-)

We set off from Melbourne on 27th December at 6:15 am (15 minutes late so I am told). I soon realised that my camera bag was in the boot, darn that food that was by my feet. Surely documenting the trip was more important that eating?

The first part of the journey was terrain we had already seen when visiting Ballarat and, if I am being honest, the rest of the road to Adelaide all looked pretty much the same. It was fairly green and every so often we drove through a small town which, much to Matt’s annoyance, meant the speed limit reduced. Did they not know we needed to get to our first stop, Adelaide, as soon as possible? One town we drove through/past was, Stawell, home of the Big Koala. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Australia, some towns around the country have what are known as Big Things that are a like a visitor attraction. Anyway, Stawell has a giant koala. I didn’t get a chance to photograph it for you, as my camera was in the boot and there was no way we’d be able to stop the car for such a trivial reason. Don’t worry there will be more ‘Big Things’ to report on, and you may even be lucky enough to have a photograph of some. I know, you don’t need to tell me, you can’t wait.

Some time after Stawell, we stopped off (about 3 hours into the journey) and refueled, did a quick trip to the toilet, and were back on the road again within 5 minutes. The next time we stopped we were at the hotel in Adelaide! Seriously, I am not joking. A 900 km journey, with two kids, with only a 5 minute stop for petrol. Maybe children can fit into the ‘Competitive Dad’  schedule after all. iPads, it would seem, are the perfect tool for keeping children entertained on a long trip. Prior to setting off we had uploaded them with films, games, scrap books, reading books and anything we could possibly imagine might be of interest. It worked like a dream. I promise, we had to actually tap their knees to disturb them to make sure they were okay.

No “Are we nearly there yet?” every 5 minutes.

No moaning about being bored.

No prodding, name calling and generally annoying each other each.

No “He’s put his foot on my side of the car.”

No, “She keeps looking out of my window.”

No anything.

Matt and I may have been guilty of some of the above but the kids were fantastic. We have truly had much harder 5 minute car trips to the local shops.

As we approached Adelaide from the East I was surprised by how hilly and green it was, only 20 kilometers from the CBD. We were very close to the city before it was built up which I really hadn’t expected.

We checked into the hotel and then went out to Adelaide’s streets which were packed with people trying to get a post-Christmas sale bargain. We gave the kids a well deserved treat.

The main shopping street was full of surprises….

This arcade wouldn’t have been out of place in Melbourne.

After a walk around and a meal, we headed back to the hotel for an early night. We had another big drive ahead of us tomorrow.

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