|Travelling Australia - Journal 2008|
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|9 February 2008 - Casey Weir to Dandenong|
Leaving the rest area on a bright and sunny morning we headed towards Benalla; traffic was moderate to light, mainly with cars coming from Benalla. The town itself was still quiet early on a Saturday morning as we followed road signs through the shopping area and out to the Hume Freeway which was almost empty of traffic at first.
The Hume Freeway passes through hilly terrain going around Seymour and negotiates the ranges north of Melbourne. A strong and gusty wind buffetted the car and caravan and caused fuel consumption to increase noticeably. Once we joined Melbourne's ring road, although we were still maintaining 80 kph the roadway was protected from the wind and fuel consumption improved.
We remained on the ring road across the West Gate Bridge, passed Melbourne CBD, and continued onto the South East Freeway toll road out to Dandendong. I had estimated that paying $11.45 for a weekend pass on the tollway was more cost effective than the wear and tear and high fuel consumption of repeated stopping and starting on Dandenong Road. I had to ring the toll operators (132629) to buy the toll pass.
In practice, the South East Freeway was quite slow in places. At least two slowdowns were caused by Saturday morning roadwork and there was quite a lot of traffic tailing back into the left lane of the freeway while waiting to get off the freeway at Warragul Road, near Chadstone Shopping Centre. Following the vehicle in front got us through or past these hold-ups although it was clear that even when the traffic was flowing all three lanes were busy.
Arriving at the caravan park where we had booked for a week we were allocated a difficult site (56) and were fortunate that a nearby vanner offered to direct me backing into the site. Then we drove into Dandenong for shopping.