A non birding drive

2007 Victorian trip report #10

When we travel I generally keep a keen eye out for the birds we can see as we travel along. When I am driving I have to be doubly attentive of course. When my wife is driving I can relax and take in the bird life and the scenery as we go. Unless I need to navigate.

Over recent days I have written about our visit to the Cranbourne Botanic Gardens south east of Melbourne, Victoria.

We were about 40 minutes later than planned setting off to our next destination. We were heading towards our friends’ home in Gisborne about an hour north of Melbourne. As we headed along the freeway we realised why we would hate living in Melbourne. Late Friday afternoon is not the best time to be travelling on any roads near Melbourne’s CBD, especially when an Australian Rules football match was scheduled at the Melbourne Cricket Ground a short time later. A Preliminary Final what’s more. We became gridlocked. For over an hour we were either stopped or at walking pace. The road system in Melbourne is farcical at peak times like that. Once on the other side of the city we were able to move at near normal speeds and we arrived nearly two hours later than expected.

I didn’t get much birding done on that leg of the trip, even though I was not driving. It was a combination of having to navigate, fading light, heavy rain and watching out for all the idiots on the road. Despite all the hazards of driving on unfamiliar roads we did arrive safely, though at one point my wife found out that the brakes worked very well. Three lanes of traffic travelling at 100kph in the dark on a wet road coming to a screeching halt does nothing for the nerves. But the brakes worked. And no idiot ran into the back of us.


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