"Relocation relocation relocation...!"

Trip Start Oct 04, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  ,
Sunday, May 8, 2005

Relocation relocation relocation, nope not the crap channel 4 TV program with the annoying couple, its what we were doing to get out of Melbourne.

Australia understandably has a lot of campervan hire companies, and luckily for us all need people to drive their campers back to their original destination, after they had been hired out by the rich tourists.

Everybody is a winner, the hire company gets their van returned safely, and the poor backpacker gets to rent a vehicle they would never usually be able to afford. There are restrictions of course; you usually get given a maximum daily mileage - about 500kms, and you are given a date to deliver it by.

That said though, the hire companies are quite generous. For our relocation we were given a maximum mileage of 1500kms (Adelaide is only 1200kms away), 3 days to do it, and they also gave us $200 petrol money.

The best thing though was that the campervan was a brand new 6 Berth Mercedes. 3 double beds, a shower, toilet and kitchen would make our journey to Adelaide very comfortable indeed!

Originally it was just going to be Dan and I driving there, but after a lot of persuasion, we managed to get Aaron, our flat mate in Melbourne to come along to, flying back when we reached our destination.

I had actually spent the weekend in Sydney, visiting some friends, so was picked up by a very excitable Dan and Aaron at the airport. Because I had been asleep the last time I travelled along The Great Ocean Road, and Aaron had never done it before, we drove along it again. Although the weather wasn't as good as before, it finally got better by the time we made it to the Twelve Apostles, making for some cool sunset photographs.

Just before it got dark we made it to our first campsite in a small town called Warrnabool. No one had actually told us how to plug the camper in, so we spent the next 30 minutes trying in vain to find the power cord! Give us a 5 star hotel any day!

It wasn't until the morning that we realised what a nice beach we were camped next to. Although we would have loved to go in for swim, if anything just to get rid of the hangover from the night before, we just didn't have time, so we packed up and hit the road again.

We were heading for another small town called Kingston, about 500kms North. It surprising how much the scenery can change in such a short amount of time. We left the lush vegetation of The Great Ocean Road in the state of Victoria, and entered the dry flat lands of the state of South Australia. Not only did the scenery change though, so did the clocks, strangely going back 45 minutes!?

Whilst driving to Kingston we drove through a little village that caught our attention, a village called Southend! Although not quite the size of our Southend at home (200 people) we took great pleasure getting our photo taken in front of the sign - something Aaron didn't quite share our enthusiasm with!

Sadly Kingston's nightlife wasn't quite up to that of Warrnabool's, so after eating possibly the nicest roast since home in a local restaurant, and having a few farewell beers in a pub with Aaron, we called it a night.

[It was at this bar we watched Australia's opening night of Big Brother - unlike England's weirdo's, Australia obviously picks the best looking applicants - much better viewing!]

For our final day we drove the final 400kms to our destination of Adelaide. Before we arrived though we made a quick photo stop to please Aaron. Yep, at the worlds biggest lobster?! We really couldn't see his fascination with it... apparently the highlight of his trip though!

We eventually pulled into Adelaide, ahead of schedule and under the maximum mileage allowed. It was here it dawned on us the reality of the having to spend the next few months sleeping in hostels!

Its not that we dislike hostels, its just a big come down after spending 4 months in a luxury apartment. Following the Lonely Planet's (LP) advice will booked into a 'delightful' hostel called Sunny's. Apparently recommended by 'lots of travellers' the LP stated this was the best hostel in the area. Well after one night, we were out of that dump and booked into a better hostel around the corner!

We later found out that the LP we owned was 3 years old, and after reading the new version, their advice had changed from 'highly recommended' to 'not recommended and people smoke in the rooms'

Welcome back to the life of a backpacker...
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