Sunday, January 21, 2007

City Link

It was quite a thrill to recognise the skyline of Melbourne as we crested a hill on the freeway into town. A sign flashed by telling us familiar Federation Square was a mere 15kms away. Further signs followed thick and fast - something about a Tag or Daypass only to use the tunnel we were fast approaching. Then the signs screamed a phone number. Ring 13 26 29 for information.

This was no ordinary Toll Road then. We knew we didn't have a Tag because the old chap used to use one to get into Wales back in the days of the daily grind, when at one point he was having to attend regular meetings in Cardiff. It didn't look as though there was anyone going to be sitting in a little booth to take our cash either, and fearful of a scheme similar to the London Congestion Charge with punitive fines for non compliance there was nothing for it but to ring 13 26 29.

Veronica was very helpful and didn't miss a beat when I explained we were English in a hire car, nor while I panicked about losing my call to her as we plunged into the tunnel that leads to the other side of Melbourne. Our mobile link didn't drop. Amazing. Unlike London, Melbourne give you three days to pay $10.90 for using the City Link route for 24 hours and Veronica patiently outlined the various methods of payment. We could have used our credit card over the phone and paid her, but as we needed the car registration number which was attached to the ignition key we agreed that this was not really an option while we were cruising through the tunnel. Instead we went for the simple method of pulling into a Shell Garage and letting them record our registration number and take our dosh sometime later down the freeway, after we emerged from the tunnel to climb up the high West Gate Bridge that took us over the Yarra River towards Torquay, the gateway to The Great Ocean Road. Yes, really, - Torquay! Surreal, I know.


PMM&L said...

You should really write a novel you know! Good grief, you've had a busy journey. Old Tom looks more like a dinosaur!! M thought it very odd to get Kangaroos on the beach!

axx said...

Our travelogue - or notes to remind me what we did when we finally get home, is getting novel lenth!

Koala picture for M & L today .....