My walk today took me through several bedroom communities east of Melbourne. The towns were very much like ours in the U.S., with some businesses still calling themselves “Melbourne this” or “Melbourne that” even though I’m now 35 miles from the city center.
The weather was sunny and very warm. I once again woke up about 3:00 AM and couldn’t sleep. However, I couldn’t check out of my hotel until 8:00 because the office didn’t open until then and I wanted my $100 cash security deposit back, so to optimize my time, I packed up and walked down the street to eat breakfast at 7:00 and walked back to the motel to check out at 8:00. After that, my walk was very routine. I had jogging/bike trails along my entire route all day, although the trail kept jumping from one side of the highway to the other all day so that got annoying. That’s about all I have to report about my Day 2 walk, so now I’ll come clean on an embarrassing incident that happened at the end of the day yesterday that I was to tired and limited on space to write about on my Day 1 entry.
You need to know I have this entire route planned out in detail. I know where I plan to walk to everyday and what motel, if there is one, that I’ll sleep in each night. Before I left Texas, I made reservations for my first 10-12 nights to make sure I had a place to stay because most of these little towns only have one or two motels. In most cases I sent an email to the motel a few weeks ago to reserve the rooms. For last nights motel, however, I used expedia.com to make my reservation at the Sandown Heritage Motel. It’s a small family run place with maybe 20 rooms. Also, when I arrived in Melbourne on Sunday, I called all the motels using my newly activated cell phone to confirm I had room reservations.
So as is always the case at the end of my walking day, I was tired and dragging but I finally made it to my motel yesterday. I walked up to the desk to check in and the gentleman, with a very strong Asian accent, said I didn’t have a reservation. I said I was sure I did; in fact I just called two days ago and confirmed that I did. Unfortunately, there was no record of it anywhere, and I couldn’t find my email or Expedia confirmation in my phone either. However, lucky me; they had a room available so I checked in, went to my room, unpacked my backpack, took a shower, and went back to their restaurant for an early dinner. While sitting alone waiting on my dinner, I started looking at Google Maps to see where I could eat breakfast the next morning along my route. And that’s when I saw it; I WAS AT THE WRONG MOTEL! The guy at the desk was right. This was the Sandown Regency Motel, and my reservation was at the Sandown Heritage Motel, which was another quarter-mile down the road. In all honesty, these two motel signs look somewhat alike on a normal day; but after walking 17 miles all I saw was SANDOWN and staggered in.
After I realized my mistake, I called the right motel. The manager said unfortunately they could not cancel my reservation because it was through Expedia and my card had already been charged. So I went to the manager of the motel I’d already checked into, admitting my gross ignorance, and he agreed to refund 50 percent of my bill. So off I went back to my room to pack back up and walk a quarter mile down the road to the correct motel. Lesson learned. Read the sign.
From the land down under, Happy New Year to you all! JB