This was it. Goodbye, Peppers. After six wonderful nights of excellent customer service and a glass window between the bedroom and bathroom, it was finally time to leave Adelaide. I had pretty much had my fill of Adelaide by now, but I was sorry to say goodbye to our hotel.
I did promise to let you all know what I had for dinner on my last night in Adelaide. Drum roll… it was nothing spectacular. We ended up eating at Peppers’ Lounge 55 bar and restaurant, which serves the same food that’s on the room service menu. I had the mushroom risotto and it was pretty good. And as for my last breakfast in Adelaide… that, too, was anticlimactic. On our way to pick up the rental car in the morning, we ate quickly from the Gloria Jean’s selection of breakfast foods, and then were on our way. (I had a quiche.)
Our Europcar reservation was for a “Nissan Micra or similar” with a “Transmission: Manual.” However, Europcar informed us that “you’ve been upgraded to a small SUV in automatic” against our will. We really did want a hatchback for the drive, but Europcar was forced to shamefully inform us that they did not have any hatchbacks available. Thus, the “upgrade.” We trudged to the parking lot to pick up our Mitsubishi ASX and grudgingly loaded our things into the back (it had so much luggage space, UGH) at Peppers before heading out.
I wasn’t very familiar with Mitsubishis before coming to Australia — they are very present here as compared to in the United States. Our ASX wasn’t really too big, and not unattractive either. It was more of a crossover than it was a small SUV. And in the first few minutes of driving it, we discovered that it had a mode that allowed us to bump the shifter knob up and down to shift gears, so that we could try to pretend we were in a manual car — what fun! The ASX was pretty new with low mileage (kilometerage?), and it handled great! The car really only wanted us to love it. (Hayden didn’t love it yet.)
We drove a little out of the way to see the Birdwood National Motor Museum, which was our first exposure to cool cars since the Burnout Wedding. The museum didn’t really have anything super special inside, but it was definitely worth the look. What was super special was the event going on outside in the lawn — a Mini Cooper event! “Look at their cute little wheels!” exclaimed Hayden. “Eeeeee!!!” squealed Rachel at the cuteness. We ignored the sad, blimp-like excuses for Minis that were the modern iterations. But the classic Minis were so cute sitting all together. (Hayden told me that they were probably friends.)
The road leading to and exiting from Birdwood was an awesome drive — we weren’t even on Great Ocean Road yet! We saw sheep running! They were running!!!
We drove for a few hours until we stopped in a small town called Meningie just before reaching the coast. The public toilets were nearby a really pretty dock next to a lake, so Hayden and I looked around and got a quick photo.
We checked into the Robe Harbour View Motel just before dinner time and made a reservation at Sails, a swanky restaurant recommended to us by the concierge at the motel. While waiting for our reservation, we ate special handmade donuts at an eccentric ice cream parlor down the road.
Our dinner at Sails was really fancy — small portions, big price tags — and Hayden really enjoyed it and I thought it was fine. We did laundry at our motel and went to bed, ready to wake up early for the next day of the official start to Great Ocean Road.