Departed our special spot at Childers Cove yesterday with the weather getting
worse. A sunny day would have made this spot wonderful but it was not to be and
the fish were also noncompliant. A half hour drive to Warrnambool where we
the break wall and stopped for lunch, chatted with a couple we had met at Cape
Otway and reeled in a couple of huge lumps of seaweed. Gave up on that and
spent some money, like five hundred bucks. $270 on diesel, $170 in Safeway and
$55 in the Safeway soft drink shop. Doesn’t happen every day but it’s a good
reason for towns to make motorhomers welcome. Drove out on dusk and found the
GG Payne reserve from the C2 book. Very pleasant, even if close to the hiway,
with free electric bbq, shelter, loos and water on the banks of the river.
Today we go to Port Fairy and maybe to Portland for tonight.
We had originally planned to end our coastal run at Warrnambool & Port Fairy but
are going further to Portland on the recommendation of the TI lady at Geelong
who said it was very worthwhile. So far it has been a pleasant country drive
but the big sea views are behind us as the road mostly runs around 15Km inland.
Taking side roads, we went for a look at the “Crags’ which was another rocky
cliff cove with different rock formations to what we had seen on the GOR. We
were targeting a rest area on the Fitzroy River but by chance found ourselves at
the river outlet to the sea on another campsite which was listed $’s in C2 but
has reverted to a freebie or $5 per week in peak. Ernie and Colleen live in a
little house right on the park & beach with five acres of his own ‘Gods
Country’. Lovely spot if you can cop southern Vic winters. We became friends
and spent the evening drinking and lying around a huge wood stove. GPS
With a pleasant spot and two new friends we stayed around the river yesterday.
This morning before we left I got a chance to play with a near new Toshi laptop
similar to what I’ve been considering. Helped Colleen out with a couple of
things, tried without success to get Nero to CD copy on a single drive and also
without success to join our machines with a Xover cable. Without an internet
connection to look for help I had to give up on that. XP’s CD backup worked
fine and I’m wondering that Nero didn’t comply because XP was in charge of the
CD but didn’t have time to find that out.
Drove into Portland yesterday stopping first at the breakwall for a quick fish,
nasty spiky inedible things. Went to the TI and the end of the wharf and found
them very good with some big local maps and advice. Did secret men’s business
at the nearby facilities, a quick hit on Safeway and then took advice from the
TI against stopping in town and headed 15Km back to the Sawpit PA. A pleasant
forest stay with loo & bbq’s. They have a demo saw pit and old jinker cart on
display in the middle and there are view areas to look at today. The compost loo
building is almost brand new and a real nice piece of work but already some
rotten bastard(s) have kicked out half the fence pickets from the access ramp.
Whether they burned them or took them home who knows but I do so hate vandalism.
Big whinge and bring back floggings.
Today we plan to do the tourist drives and walks around Portland and then head
out towards Hamilton, with a little trepidation. The morning radio is reporting
zero temperatures up in that area.
I tried very hard to have a sympathetic approach to Portland yesterday. It
really is a very nice and well serviced town and if it was first port of call
there is more than enuff to oooh arrr about. But Margaret and I must just be
overexposed to breathtaking vistas and have done the best, now seeing the rest.
We drove the recommended tours. Cape Bridgeway with it’s cliff tops, blowhole &
petrified forest. Fished the bay for a double hookup of baby salmon and went to
Cape Nelson lighthouse which wanted $10 per adult to go through the gate but was
shut anyway. I had also wanted to tour the Alcoa smelter but it was reserved
for a school party on Tuesday and booked out for Wednesday.
Late in the arvo we had a last long look and decided that we had completed the
coastal part of our trip. Time to head north, inland and across to the NSW east
Heading for Hamilton we found a rest area around 5ish and, with a little 4wd at
the expense of a clearance lamp lens, pulled up in a fine little spot hidden
from the road and beside a sheep paddock. I set the stairs up and realised the
air was less than pleasant due to the not quite skeletal remains of a fox at
rest close by. On we went for another half hour and found another one.
Stalker’s Bend, about 30Km south of Hamilton. Large grassed parking area beside
a weir and brand new bbq shelter. Stalkers Bend 37.51.37:2 141.48.07:6
This morning was 7 deg inside so about 3 outside and very fresh. We shall head
for Halls Gap, about 150Km, today and have our first look at the Grampians which
the tour book promises may reinvigorate our sense of wonder at natures beauty.
At this stage we have just tonight there as we are expected at Ararat tomorrow
but that’s only 60Km farther on so we can return if we want to.