As is our want, and is becoming a habit, we went on to Altona Village. It was a warm day and so Altona Beach was very busy, as was Altona Village with parking at a premium, but we parked in the Coles carpark without too much bother and bought something in Coles before we left, so our consciences are clear. Up near the station was a place we have lunched at before and it we chose it again and it was very nice. It was a bit less busy at this end of Pier Street. I could not believe how busy the beach was.
It is a rather crap train service on the Altona Loop, as Misguided Jenny informs me in Tweets. Trains are frequently diverted from the loop to the mainline meaning a gap of 44 minutes between trains. It shows on the live Metro Trains app as 'minor delays'. It is a single track, so you can't have trains going in both directions without a place for them to pass. However, trains seemed to be plentiful as we lunched, so I must check Marcus Wong's rail maps as to where there are passing places for trains on the Loop. Trains from the city were delivering lots of people from the city direction. There is also a Saturday and Sunday afternoon bus service from the city.
R had the breakfast bruschetta and I had the lunch bruschetta. Ok, I will give them a gig. It was quite good and is called Runkle Dell Rouge. Bruschetta is an Italian word and has a hard centre c, but it is usually pronounced in Australia with a soft ch. I never know what to do. Be correct or be as others do. At the end of the day my pronunciation was neither and quite an ugly word stumble. (Confirm about Italian pronunciation please Bunyip)
As we finished lunch, I let R know of my secret plan. We will journey on to Sanctuary Lakes to see what the housing developments there are like.
Oh my god. I was shocked. These are houses where the word McMansions applies. It was all very clean and neat, with lots of ground cover roses in public spaces in full bloom, nice green grass and immature trees. Yet, it felt kind of fake, like the houses were a movie facade and there was nothing behind the houses. Most of the development is two storey but there was an area of single storeys, the cheap seats I suppose. Did we like the development? No, not really, not for us. We took a full circuit of the development with a couple of diversions to housing islands. This is a typical house at Sanctuary Lakes.
What attracted me to have a look was the layout of the area on a map, and you can see all the little islands full of houses with bridges across to them. The area of blue to the right looks like it is water, but it is coastal swamp, swamp marshes?, and not very attractive.
If you want to go anywhere else from the area, it seems you use Point Cook Road, which has a very convoluted path to the city to Geelong freeway, or Sneydes Road. I don't know about Sneydes Road, but Point Cook Road is narrow and very congested and I can't imagine what it must be like in peak travel times. Both roads are often mentioned in radio traffic reports. There was a minor accident on the freeway on the way home, so we crawled over the West Gate Bridge, adding about 15 minutes to our journey home. Melbourne is a miserable place to try to get anywhere by car. The horrendous traffic is relentless and spoils your outing before you are anywhere, even when going out in the earlyish morning. Our journey was to principally to wash the car at a very good and cheap car wash. If we were just going to Altona for lunch, we would have caught the train, and aside from a change of trains on the way, it a pleasant journey.
One of R's very elderly clients, who as a volunteer he takes her somewhere quite often, told him of one of her outings. She lives in a Beaconsfield Parade apartment in St Kilda, so I would guess she was not short of a quid. She goes down to Station Pier at times to watch cruise ships depart. I said to R, that sounds like the nerdy sort of thing I would do. R replied, well we should. So, we went to Station Pier to see the Golden Princess depart at 16:00. She had visited Phillip Island the previous day, which I think is a first for a cruise ship. We arrived at quarter to four, and mein gott, was it busy. It was a warm day and so many people were at the beach, as well as Spirit of Tasmania passengers and those seeing off people on the Golden Princess. The traffic was very heavy but we easily parked in our secret spot and no, it is a secret spot, for one hour's parking. Fork lifts were busy loading the ship at 3:50. Fork lifts were busy loading at 4:00. Fork lifts were busy loading at 4:10 when we left, a little disappointed. A woman had suggested to us that she did not think it would sail until 5:00. I was lying on my bed at home when she came into view at 5:45. The ships usually depart on time, so we were just unlucky. Another time.
I believe the wide part at the top at the
arse end stern is a restaurant, with good views.
I can't remember where I first saw this mode of having fun. I did not capture it but I was grinning ear to ear and I caught his eye and he smiled back at me (or maybe his girlfriend or a pretty girl was standing in front of me).
When the Spirit of Tasmania is alone at Station Pier, she looks to be of an impressive size, a decent sized ship. But when a cruise liner is at the pier, the Spirit looks like a little boat.
As you can see, a chap was was fishing and you can see his rods.
Later: This morning, Monday, I was working out what was owed to who for yesterday's outing. I thought, who payed for lunch? It wasn't me and I don't remember R paying. I asked him and apparently neither of us paid. We just stood up and walked off down the street. I rang the business and they had noticed that we hadn't paid. I offered to pay by card over the phone, but they didn't have the facility. He asked if we lived nearby and of course we don't and we are on the other side of town. He then said, don't worry about it. I told him that we are over that way about every three to four months, so we will pay then. Oh, the shame, but honestly, we are not fully to blame. When we were asked if we were finished and the plates were cleared, and asked if we wanted more coffee and said no, we should have been brought the bill. We have come close to walking off without paying elsewhere too. The cafe will get its money eventually, non adjusted for inflation.