Glenelg 2017 Day 14 – Arrival in Glenelg and harbour town outlet shopping and Beachouse

It was another day of travel and waking up early. I woke up early to check out the sunrise again. Before leaving the apartment, left a bottle of milk in the warmer before driving out, which was a really chilly morning. Instead of hitting the beach like I did the previous morning, I drove around to see if I could get a higher view of the bay. In fact, going around the estate I found a dirt road that was at a level higher than our apartment and gave a full view of the bay and the rising sun. There weren’t any clouds blocking the sun this morning and a perfect yolk could be seen at slightly past 7. Had to wait in the car for a while since I was very early and later tried to get a clear view of it by going low beside and past a bush. It was there I also noticed that there was a herd of sheeps at the land above the apartment where we stayed.

Sunrise at Emu bay

After returning to the apartment, found both mommy and K awake. Then we got prepared for our trip back to mainland, first was to catch our 1030am ferry at Penneshaw an hour drive away. This meant we needed to get moving by 9am. As we worked towards that target, trying to overcome the same daily challenges for preparing a toddler to leave the apartment, I loaded up the baggages as and when those were packed and ready. Then as we finally said goodbye to the nice apartment with a nice view, K couldn’t bear to leave the binos, we were on an hour drive to the ferry terminal.

Uneventful along the way and as we approached the ferry, I lined up behind one of the busy car lanes. Mommy got off the car as usual to get the tickets and boarded herself through the passenger bridge while K stayed in the car while I waited for the staff to direct my car into the ferry, learning from the trip to Kangeroo Island. After some really tight parking, with the assistance of the staff, I carried K to the passenger’s lounge, and found mommy at the front of the ferry with a good view, the benefit of being early.

Lining up at Sealink ferries
Ferries tickets
Inside the ferry, front facing seats
Signboard at the terminal
Penneshaw waters

The ferry left Kangeroo Island and it was about an hour trip back to Cape Jervis. K was the usual active self, climbing up and down the stairs from the 2nd floor to the 3rd floor. We spent some time sitting at the 3rd floor with him on my phone and finally just before disembarking, we rejoined mommy on the 2nd floor. Carried K back to the car and sat him onto the child seat and after a short wait for the cars in front to leave, and again waiting for the staff’s instructions, we drove off the ferry and onto the passenger pick up location where mommy stood waiting.

Leaving Kangaroo island
Top most deck

From Cape Jervis to Glenelg, it was at least an hour and a half. K was already feeling tired and was physically in agreement to take a nap until we arrived in Glenelg, and did fall asleep. The drive was the same feel until we hit the freeway and as we got closer to Adelaide,  we went thru the beach towns which had a lot more traffic and felt more and more what we were used to. I was looking for a gas station to pump petrol to full for the car return and as we got into Glenelg, I found a Caltex at a awesome low price of aud1.19/liter and filled to full, costing me aud36. Paid with credit card since we were already low on cash.

A couple of minutes drive later, we arrived at the Airbnb that was just close to the beach, but we had to stop by the side of the road to read the instructions again, in order to recover the garage door remote and the keys to the apartment. Mommy opened the gate for me and I parked the car at the designated car park. Had to take 2 trips to bring stuff to the apartment, first was to bring K who woke and some small stuff and the second trip for the luggage.

Master bedroom
Laundry machines within the bathroom
Master bedroom toilet
Living room
Dining and kitchen
View from balcony
View from room balcony

We took the opportunity to have lunch in the apartment, K having his cooked meals and I went downstairs to explore the surrounding for any stuff to eat. As we were staying so close to the Jetty road, the stretch of street lined with eateries and stops, there was no lack of food to eat. I didn’t go that far but just across the road next to a massive indoor arcade building the Beachouse was a small street and a store Sushi Arari selling Japanese cuisine and got ourselves takeaways of ramen and teriyaki bento. It took awhile to prepare as it seemed like a one man show and I took the chance to walk around and to the beach before collection and returning to the apartment.

Ferries wheel under maintenance
Jetty Road
Glenelg beach side
Glenelg Town hall
View from the beach
Pano view from the town hall
Pano view of the beach

After having our lunch, I had to return the car by today and before they closed at 430pm. And since we had decided to visit harbour town anyway, I dropped mommy and K at harbour town for their outlet shopping before driving to the airport. The main problem was I didn’t check the instructions of the return location and assumed it was at the airport. So I drove there and found the rental car return location in a multistory carpark after going around in circles (literally because of the roundabouts because the direction on the sign  seemed to be wrong  because the first exit should be the one to be taken to the multistory parking instead of the second exit indicated on the signboard). Apex was not there, only the major ones such as Hertz, Thrifty, Budget and Enterprise. I left again stopped at a carpark somewhere and referred to the paper documents that were handed over to me then. Luckily there was the return information there on the  car rental documents as I didn’t have access to internet as the 3GB data plan that we had purchased was gone already (even though there was minimum usage, suspect those pesky apps auto updates or feedback were eating up the data). It was at a street behind the runway and they would provide a shuttle return to the airport after dropping the car.

Quickly I drove there (not as quick because of multiple traffic lights and traffic, something different from the road trip) and returned to the huge carpark of Apex rental company.  Almost immediately upon entering the office, I was served by the staff who did a quick check and signed off the return of the vehicle. As I was going to meet my family at harbour town, I was asking if he could drop me at harbour town instead of the usual airport. Initially he informed that he could only do the airport trip and I should get my own transport from the airport to harbour town, easiest by taxi which should cost about aud15. Later, he offered to drop me there as he still had time to receive another customer scheduled to come in a little later and I was relieved for this kind gesture and excellent service, as it resolved the transportation problem and saved me some money.

Apex Car rentals office

It was a short 10mins drive back to harbour town and I bade farewell to the staff who let me disembarked at the carpark. The area was huge and I had to give mommy a call to find out where they were. They were actually at a playground right in harbour town itself. On arrival to the playground, I saw K enthusiastically climbing the obstacles and having lots of fun. Mommy then could finally go for her shopping while I looked after K in this playground.

Harbour town
Inside harbour town
Playground in harbour town

In the end, I got myself 2 Quiksilver tees for aud60 from one of the surf shops there mommy didn’t manage to get any as the down jacket didn’t have the colour that she wanted. K had the most fun of the trip, having taken a kiddy ride and watching aeroplanes take off from the nearby Adelaide airport and also eating almost a whole ice cream cone when mommy bought a vanilla and salted caramel ice cream for all of us to share.

We visited the information center to find out how to return to Glenelg, since we didn’t have the car anymore. It was just to take the bus J1, scheduled to arrive at 510pm, according to the board on the bus stop, just outside the center office, which was within the parking lot. We waited for a while for the bus to come and paid the tickets to the driver itself, a whopping aud10.6 for 2, something unheard of in Singapore. And went on back in the almost empty bus.

Bus stop back to Glenelg
J1 bus
Expensive bus tickets

We got off the bus as it arrived onto Jetty Road and walked along the road back towards our apartment. Along the way, we went into a pharmacy Chemist Warehouse to buy a mouth ulcer gel for me and some pastries for breakfast at a Baker’s delight bakery. The center was lighted up mostly by eateries as the shops were either already closed or mostly closing. The skies were in a sunset hue with a mixture of blue, a beautiful sight.

Jetty Road
Baker’s delight
Sunset view from balcony

Back at the apartment, K didn’t want to sleep though he looked tired the entire day out in harbour town. So after 30mins, we went to the Beachouse indoor games building that was opened till 9pm to have some fun first before going for dinner. There were 2 levels of fun, including bumper cars and boats, arcade machines to win tickets in exchange for prizes, small kiddy rides and big ones including a train, a carousel and a Ferris wheel that was under maintenance. Bought a package of aud22 that had a ride of the train, the carousel and the playtime in the indoor playground plus 3 other games and K sat on the carousel and one other ride before we proceeded to dinner (saving the rest for the next day as it was already getting late).

Inside Beachouse

We walked to the end of the promenade to try the recommended seafood restaurant Sammy’s on the marina, going through a walking street lined with restaurants on the one side and yachts parked on other side. Upon reaching, we found that it was actually quite pricy and very limited choice for K. Worst of all, it was closed. Made a Uturn and ended up at a Tomiko Japanese Steak House and sat on the outside that had transparent plastic wind shields and a heater. Ordered a large side dish of fried rice, a California roll and a tonkatsu with steam rice, all for aud86, quite expensive meal but sorta expected it.

Promenade beside the yacht docking area
Tomiko Japanese Steak house
Fried rice
Pork fillet
Yacht on the marina

The walk back to the apartment was very chilly as the cold wind picked up quite a bit, so much different from the warm afternoon. We returned to the apartment and had K bathed in the bathtub and some handphone time before going to bed. He fell asleep very quickly. I did an online check in through the Singapore Airlines app ( pretty convenient to use) and also scheduled a Uber ride on the app to the airport on Sunday morning, worried that we might not get any taxi at that unearthly hour, especially in this part of Australia). We spent some time out in the living room watching some reality TV of couples undergoing strained relationships trying to to get back together called “the last resort” and also turned in close to midnight, something we didn’t do in a while.

Belgrave 2017 Day 3 – Melbourne to Belgrave, Puffing Billy train ride

7am and the alarm rang. K woke up to and asked for milk, which I made in a jiffy for him. He fell asleep after that. The parents however were all up and preparing for the move today. Mommy prepared the meals and I packed. Deflated the tub and anything that wasn’t required for the day all went into the luggage. I left early to the car rental company to get the car first as we had to leave by 930am. Brought along one luggage to minimize moving later. Apex car rentals was sharing an office with Budget, and could be found at the storefronts facing Spencer street. When I arrived, the staff was servicing a couple already.

Apex Car rentals in Melbourne

15 mins later, it was my turn. Since we have made the booking online, I just had to give my address and 2 phone numbers, signed 2 forms and I was ready to go. She gave me a carpark redemption ticket and informed that I could pickup my Hyundai Elantra at the Wilson carpark just up the ramp to the left and to meet with one of the staff there who would proceed with the handover. I left the office and met with the staff on the first floor and after looking at the form, he handed over the key to the car saying that he checked and since it was zero excess he wasn’t overly concerned. A quick intro and a help with the luggage, I was ready to leave the carpark.

I drove out with the redemption ticket and once on the main road, I made a right to drive to the small Little Londales street and left my car there. Supposed to pay for parking but since we were going to be quick and also I couldn’t remember what the signs met, I took the chance and went up to the apartment.

Entering the apartment, I found K still sleeping in bed. I tried changing the diapers for him and that woke him up. Changed his clothes gave him some Youtube “Wheels on the bus” videos to make him move. Even with that it took a while to get him out of the apartment. Mommy had already done the tablet check out earlier on.

After dropping the keys off at the letterbox, I loaded up remaining luggage and start our road trip, a drive towards Belgrave, at almost 945am. With the GPS on Google maps with the newly minted data plan, we drove about 40 mins to Woolworths in Belgrave. After a few busy streets in busy Melbourne, we got onto M1 and joined quite a crowd on the expressway with many heavy vehicles. There was etoll, like ERP, and charges would be done through the credit card. Exited M1 and onto the smaller roads, it was also not difficult to drive.

1030am and arrived into the small town center of Belgrave. We were lucky to find a parallel parking slot that I drove right into, especially when the road was extremely busy, for the visit to the supermarket. Mommy got off the car to buy something to eat and when she returned, she only managed to get cream rolls. We continued towards the final location which was another few hundred meters to free parking of Puffing Billy, which I was quite surprised to find it full on a weekday so we drove further down the street and found an official carpark of Mater Christi that was free too.

Mater Christi carpark

We had to backtracked down the street to the entrance of Puffing Billy and we used the toilet there before proceeding to the ticketing, further ramps below. Since we had made an online purchases, we only need to exchange for the return tickets and souvenir tickets at the counter. Through the souvenir stores, we moved to the boarding platform and it was crowded. We got up close to the locomotive at the front to take a photo of the “true to its name” Puffing Billy and went to search for a place to sit in the free sitting train. We ended up in an enclosed carriage at the end as the open carriages in front was all filled. The enclosed carriage was initially empty when we boarded but eventually was filled up too.

Puffing Billy entrance
Walkpath to the boarding deck
Train tickets
Belgrave station
Puffing Billy train

A while later as scheduled, the train started to leave at 1110am. It was an interesting experience on this comparatively slow moving train and amusing to see everyone have their legs hanging out in those open carriages as the train travelled.

All the legs hanging out

The train would stopped at multiple stops, first at Menzies creek and then at Emerald, both for about 5 mins where people could get off, take photos, stretch and/or use the toilet. K got off to kick some rocks and stomped on some leaves.

Menzies Creek stop
Emerald stop

Our choice of stop was the next one at Lakeside which we arrived at 1230pm. There was a small lake by the station and the plan was to find a table and bench where we could sit there for picnic lunch. Mommy and K settled on one of them and I proceeded to the one and only Emerald Lake Park cafe there to buy a chicken focaccia and a chicken wrap for aud18 and aud4.5 for drinks.

Lakeside stop
Train staff topping up water
Emerald Lake park cafe
Chicken wrap

We took our lunch till 1pm, disturbed by a bee and accompanied by birds, a few moments of chilly wind and an overall nice backdrop. Explored the area a bit and went to the bridge, where K had fun running across the bridge several times. After the photos and the running, we returned to the train at 120pm, this time earlier to try to get some seats. This time, we chose the open carriage one and the journey back seemed to have less people. Train left at 135pm.

Accompanying bird at the park
Panorama of the lake

The return journey felt colder because the carriage was uncovered. K soon fell asleep. The 2 station stops were very quick, about 1min stoppage and the train would leave. We arrived back at Belgrave at around 220pm. With K still sleeping, we walked back to the car with K in my arms until he awoke upon reaching the car. Before heading back to the accommodation, we made a stop at Woolworths again and parked at a 3P carpark across the road. Spent some time at the supermarket while K was engrossed with the Marvel stuff on sale, mommy went to shop for groceries.

View from the train back
Train moving on a wooden bridge tracks
Belgrave Woolworths supermarket
Inside Woolworths

By the time we left for the airbnb, it was about 330pm. There were driving instructions given to us over email and I immediately recognized the parking area when we arrived. We parked at a small carpark area.

The landlord met us and showed us the apartment with a fireplace. We were surprised not able to find kitchen as it was stated in the webby and we were intending to cook. K seemed to like the place as he started running around from room to room. The landlord then showed us what was available outside like the playhouse that was built by her husband and boy which K played in. K liked the steering wheel but there were cobwebs as it might not have been used that often. We were introduced to their gardens and sandpit with filter, all didn’t seemed playable for K at this time of the year. There was a nice breakfast eating place too. The family had a thing for engineering and ecofriendly things like solar panel. We were also told about not turning the aircon on throughout the night with big temperature difference as that would chocked up huge bills, and not being energy efficient.

Playhouse in the airbnb
Living room
Master bedroom
Fireplace at the dining place

The husband came back and I had to move the car to the side as that space was meant for their car. After that, he helped us set up the fireplace to warm up the area. Then we stayed in in the apartment to rest and bathed. Couldn’t cook so after bath, K watched some online videos (no TV too) before we decided to drive out for dinner. It was drizzling as predicted by weatherman so I went to landlord to borrow umbrellas. They only had one which was taken by the husband and he was out. So K wore raincoat and we scurried to the car and drove out to town, negotiating the dark small streets in the drizzle of the neighborhood.

In the almost dead town, we saw a restaurant still opened called Bell tavern. Parked at the roadside closest to the ramp to the entrance and braved the drizzle to get in. There weren’t many people in this bar that was designed like a bar of the old West. Ordered red snapper and a spinach and broccoli fetuccine for aud46. Water was free flow. Since K didn’t have any home cooked dinner, he shared our dinner which he liked and ate a lot. After our meals K spent some time playing at the steps going up and down. We only managed to leave at about 830pm but good thing was, the drizzle had stopped.

Inside the Bell Tavern bar
Spinach and broccoli Fetuccine
Red snapper
Bell Tavern
Belgrave town at night

Once back, we found the fireplace burning with ferocity since the owner had helped to put in more firewood. It felt warmer already but it was enough to warm up the room where the fireplace was. We changed to pyjamas and got ready for bed. A few story books and a bottle of milk later, it was lights off at 930am, earliest time in the cold night.