These were “commuting” days.
The day started at the Hummingbird Eco Lodge in Red Hill. This is a small establishment that is tucked away in a small valley and they grow their own vegetables, source local and sustainable produce including beer(!) and cater to small conferences and regular guests. It was very peaceful and the restaurant is worth a visit even if you don’t stay.
Mid afternoon we started our journey to Albury via the M’s: M11, M3, M80 & M31. Something struck me as disappointing. The motorways are tolled (which is OK) and all are at either 80 or 100 kmh limits (not OK). They all had “safety” cameras every few kilometres until well out of Melbourne and all cars were chugging along packed tightly because no one could get a good head of steam up. It seemed pointless having motorways where the traffic is jammed because someone is scared to allow drivers to go at a sensible speed. To make it worse, they were up to 4 lanes wide in each direction so they could have made them true motorways allowing motorists to get from A to B quickly.
I also decided that as I was on the freeway for a few hours, I would switch off Sport mode for the engine and suspension and put the gearbox in Auto mode as I was just cruising. I haven’t actually run the car like this, ever – not in the 4 years I’ve owned it and I can see why. On the rough freeway out of Melbourne we bounced along and the gearbox couldn’t decide between 5th and 6th at times – sometimes changing gear three times in as many seconds!
It was dark when we rolled into Albury and my memory served me well finding the hotel, the Atura on Dean Street. I’ve stayed here 3 times now over the past 10 years and it used to be the Rydges, Chifley and even a Country Comfort in its life! It has been refurbished and is a great spot with an ease walk along the main drag for food etc.
Another commute day to get back to Sydney quickly. So it was a long run up the Hume highway/freeway stopping at Yass for a coffee and then the Paragon (again) in Goulburn for lunch. This time it was buzzing and almost full, it really is an institution for the town – everyone knows it!
Finally, a very uneventful day finished back home – over 2,400 kms in 4 days and 2 of the best driving days I’ve had for years!