16th August, 2011
17th August, 2011
18th August, 2011

Tuesday, 16th August, 2011

Village photograph

Hahndorf Village

Drop Cap nother bad night and we awoke to heavy rain which continued all day. We headed off in the direction of Hahndorf, which took quite a long time so when we arrived at Hahndorf we could not really appreciate the charm of this little Germanic village because of the weather and Geoff's blood sugar dropping. We had to sit him down on the doorstep of a shop and feed him jelly beans and the apple scroll he bought for morning tea.

Hotel photograph

German Arms Hotel, Hahndorf

Drop Cap nyway, we headed off again, heading south for the coast. Our first stop for lunch was at Meningie beside Lake Albert. We had a bacon and egg roll at a diner and a walk in the park (in the rain) beside the lake.

We drove on for hours, (it seemed) along the Coorong, the flat wetlands and sand dunes we all remember from "Storm Boy". Then we finally arrived at Robe, a little historic port town (yes, another one!) in time for afternoon tea.

Drop Cap hen we looked for a place to lay our heads. The NRMA book had given us some choices but the first, Robetown Motor Inn, had no triple rooms except with bunks not suitable for Geoff's length. The next was Harbour View Motel, very close to the Port and the lady there showed us a ground floor unit with a queen size bed and a single tucked away in a corner. It had a good fridge and a toaster as well as the usual kettle. Everything we need. So here we are in the Harbour View, must find a meal tonight, then, tomorrow, into Victoria.


Drop Cap e went for a Chinese meal locally. Not particularly good. We have lucked a couple of really good oriental meals this trip but your luck sometimes runs out. Oh well.

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Wednesday 17th August, 2011

Cliffs photograph

Windblown Cliffs at Robe

Drop Cap very wild night with galeforce winds. Seems our leitmotiv for this trip. But at least the rain mostly held off as we made a quick tour of some of Robe's scenic attractions. We started near the lighthouse, a quite unusual tower, unlike the normal round shape, where the sea was very wild and driven by the wind which was so strong it nearly blew us off our feet. Very scenic though.

Lighthouse photograph

Robe's Unusual Lighthouse

Drop Cap e went on along the cliff edge to the Doorway Rock, a holed offshore rock stack (like the London Bridge on the Great Ocean Road) which had surf crashing through its arch.

Obelisk photograph

The Obelisk, Robe

Drop Cap ear this was the Obelisk, a red and white cone shaped maritime mark which they say can be seen twenty miles out to sea. Down the track from this were the ruins of the Old Gaol, a bijou dungeonette which looked as though they didn't have too many criminals. Of course, they may have sardined them in!

Rock photograph

Doorway Rock, Robe

Drop Cap s it was getting on we returned to town and had coffee and morning tea then filled up the tank and set off for Port Fairy. This was a somewhat convoluted course which Geoff navigated us over very well. On the way we passed a sign for a lookout and went in to see the Woakwine Cutting, which Mac and I had seen before but was new to Geoff. It was a drainage cut, one of many in this flat reclaimed swampland, very reminiscent of East Anglia. It is incredibly deep and cut by only two men over two years. With various tractors and explosives, but still very impressive.

Cutting photograph

Woakwine Cutting

Drop Cap t lunchtime we arrived in Port McDonell where we found a lovely cafe called Periwinkles, right on the seafront. Or the breakwater at least, lovely view. Mac and I had pumpkin and potato soup with a roll and a serve of rosemary, mustard and parmesan bread and Geoff had fish and chips and a garlic bread. All delicious.

Drop Cap fter lunch we made good time through forest plantings, fields and small towns, to Port Fairy, where we found a great unit in the Best Western Motel Ashdown. It has a kitchenette, two bedrooms and a spa! All for $160 for the night. But its best amenity was the lovely fluffy cat which greeted us at the door and accepted our attentions as its due.

Drop Cap ac and I went and got some groceries and refilled the car for tomorrow. Then back for a meal cooked by me, scrambled eggs and beans on toast for Geoff, eggs and mushrooms with pasta and sauce for us. Probably lots of pro-points, but can't be helped.

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Thursday 18th August, 2011

Drop Cap nother really wild night, it blew a gale and poured with rain and was still raining heavily when we left at about 9:45. We went for a little tour around Port Fairy, along the picturesque river area and out to the beach, where the surf was really going to town.

Drop Cap hen, back to town where Geoff had a very large morning tea and I found a second hand bookshop to browse. I have finished the four books I brought with me and really need something to read at night when we can't find anything on TV. The little old man who ran the shop was very keen for a conversation and we ripped modern writing and TV adaptations of books to shreds, happily. I found Jasper Fforde's second Thursday Next book, "Lost in a Good Book" and bought it. His humour is both quirky and quite erudite and I loved the first in the series "The Eyre Affair."

Flagstaff Hill photograph

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village

Drop Cap e then headed off for the Great Ocean Road and the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village in Warrnambool. Mac and I came here in 94 but Geoff was a newbie. We wandered all over the village, seeing all the old businesses, school, bank, fire station, seamstress (not the kind described by T.Pratchett).

Lighthouse photograph

Lighthouse at Flagstaff Hill

Drop Cap e saw the very good shipwreck museum and the special "Loch Ard" section, which contains the Minton majolica peacock, the only thing saved from the wreck of the Loch Ard apart from a young ship's apprentice and a young lady passenger.
Just seeing the plaques detailing the many ships lost on this piece of coast makes you wonder why any of them ever went to sea again, but the young sailor from the Loch Ard had already been wrecked once before and went on to be wrecked again.

Flagstaff Hill photograph

Flagstaff Hill

Drop Cap hen we left Flagstaff Hill it was about 3:30. We had had a light lunch there in the tearoom so went on towards Port Campbell. We paused at Logan's Beach, where whales are sometimes seen but none were visible today.

Coast photograph

Bay of Islands, Great Ocean Road

Drop Cap n the way to Port Campbell we started seeing signs for the scenic lookouts and, since the sun had reappeared at Flagstaff Hill, we had the luck to visit the Bay of Islands, The Grotto, Bay of Martyrs and the famed London Bridge in good weather.

Grotto photograph

The Grotto, Great Ocean Road

Drop Cap t was just fantastic, the sea was very wind tossed but the rock stacks, arches, caves and cliffs were spectacular. The new walkway to London Bridge made it much closer than I had seen it before. It was great, but starting to get dark so we put the cameras away, deciding to go back tomorrow morning if it's fine and finish the ones we missed.

Bridge photograph

London Bridge, Great Ocean Road

Drop Cap e got a nice family unit in the Best Western motel at Port Campbell, not as spacious as last night but perfectly adequate at $124 the night. It has a fridge, microwave, jug and toaster but no stove, so we went off to dinner at a cafe recommended by our host, called the 12 Rocks. I had a delicious lamb rump on a bed of mash with six different veges, Geoff had lobster and prawn ravioli with prawns and scallops, Mac had chicken parmigiana. I think he has given up on the WW, he had shepherd's pie for lunch. Anyway it was all good. Tomorrow to Apollo Bay, where we stay for two nights. Chance to catch up with the laundry, oh joy!

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