Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Tourist Information Centres


When you roll into a brand new place and have no fucking idea where you are or what to do or where to stay, and you eye spy one of those Big Yellow I signs, you can breathe a sigh of relief cos help of all sorts is at hand.

When I was younger I just refused to go into these places cos I figured arrogantly that they were staffed by banjo playing yokels who would get off by sending you 100s of kilometres out of your way to a place that still wouldn't have a loo, but age has its perks and wisdom might have to be one of the biggies.

It was a big drive yesterday from Robe to Port Campbell.

We had found the Robe accommodation as we drove in and even though we immediately disliked LOIS with the 'I'm Responsible' badge we checked in and parted with too much cash because we were keen to get out and about and have a look at this lovely wee place, and lovely and wee it truly is.

The Big Yellow I gave us a map and told us everywhere was wonderful, the accomm was all wonderful and the food everywhere, yep, everywhere, even that manky smelling takeaway place was wonderful. Sometimes the Big Yellow I people are just a little too parochial, but they always have good maps.

So where we stayed in Robe I would not recommend, but more of that in a later post.

The point was, that we were under prepared so I chewed into my Mobile data while we bumped along towards the Great Ocean Road, to find somewhere to stay in Port Campbell for a couple of nights. I had already done quite a lot of research before we left the Goldie so I had a list of places and phone numbers, but I did a bit of checking first. I rang a few people and bugger me it seemed that the whole of this village was booked out - of course it's a long weekend - great to remember the ANZACs of course, but not so wonderful if you are trying to find somewhere clean and tidy to rest your head.

I ended up ringing one of the places I had found online, only to be told by SUE, that I would have to book it online cos she didn't take bookings over the phone....SHIT. It's a bit tricky punching in info and card numbers while you bounce along, but punch I did and we were all sorted.

The Big Yellow I beckoned us as we got to town and we popped in to get a map and some directions to our little home away from home. I clocked that our guide did a bit of a double take as she handed us the map and circled stuff and then found a brochure and told us everywhere was wonderful, but I wondered if she might have just had a little palsy.

Off we trotted to our hand built A frame place. It was a little out of town, not great, it didn't seem too far on the map, but what was really not too great was that it was up an almost vertical dirt goat track and when we got there we really were looking out for the banjos.

There was a little parking but it had mostly been taken up by vehicles that looked as if they had not seen action since perhaps some of our oldest Anzacs parked up many moons ago. It was oddly silent. There was a hand written sign saying to call SUE. She said to let ourselves into the cabin down the the hill aways, so we did.

Well fuck me!! I thought I was not all that fussy, well ok actually I am aware that I am pretty fussy, but I thought I was at least reasonably shock proof! This place was truly fucking awful! I mean I suppose if I had built every bit of it by the sweat of my own brow I might have looked on it fondly, but as a stranger wandering in from the big smoke, well I wanted at least for it to be clean and the bedding to be clean! One of the beds was still unmade and the mattress protector, well let's just say it had done it's job, and then some, about 100 years ago and had earned a long a prosperous retirement, just not on any bed I planned to rest my head. OOOh Yukky. There was newspaper stuffed into the roof boards and Steve couldn't work out what it was there for cos it couldn't have been water proof. Anyway to say we were underwhelmed might well be the understatement of the holiday! But SUE had our 350 bucks and I was beside myself in not wanting to stay, so Stevie took a deep breath and put on his very best polite English and managed to talk her into giving us our cash back, but he did truly have to suck it up as she told him she didn't think we sounded like the sort of people who should stay at her place, and she thought that was a insult!! We took it as high praise, and tootled off back into town where we found a clean tidy place across form the pub. Bliss!

So now we are off to Lorne today via the 12 Apostles which I can hardly wait to see.

We haven't got anywhere to sleep sorted and our methods to date have been unsuccessful, but onward and upward and we'll keep a little look out for the Big Yellow I and maybe ask specific questions, like, 'Is this place fit for human habitation?'