We woke up to a beautiful bright sunny day this morning in a fully grassed area that has an abundance of fairly large trees. but then again, life is tough and someone has to do it...
There was no rush to get going this morning, however we did get out of the caravan park by about 9:30am for a drive around the Blue Lake, which at this time of the year is not as blue as it is in the summer months, nevertheless it still has blue colouring at the moment. It shows it's best blue shades from November through to March, then gradually turns grey for the winter. We then a drove around Mount Gambier City centre which did not take too long but was quite interesting as there are a number of old buildings still in use but with the range of facilities present, there is not much that is not available for any needs.
The next attraction we visited was Umpherson's Sinkhole Garden, which 'One of Us' considered to be a highlight of our last tour around Australia. Unfortunately it is not the season for the flowers like it was during our last visit in January 2004 (See journal page Saturday 24th January 2004), even so it is quite a spectacular spot and well worth the time and effort to visit it. Whilst there, the 'Other One' had a chat to a farmer and his wife who come from Wanamal in Western Australia.
From Umpherson's we made a line for the 'Lady Nelson Visitors Centre' where we sat through a short documentary film showing what they call the 'Green Triangle'. It appears this runs from Warnambool in Victoria through to somewhere around Robe in South Australia, with Mt Gambier being in the middle of the triangle. We then perused the pamphlets and other information that was available before heading back into the City Centre as the girls wanted to do some shopping.
After doing a couple of laps of the shopping area, we found the Coles Store and the girls were in there before the 'Other One' could get out of the Patrol, so he went looking for a Tandy shop so he could purchase some more important stuff, like another switch for the reversing camera setup on the Patrol.
Once the girls had bought some essential food and a lot of "I'd like that" treats, we returned to the caravan park where lunch was prepared and the afternoon was spent relaxing and doing some non essential activities like washing, writing letters and a few other similar stressful things like reading etc. The girls considered it was an ideal time to rest up and prepare for an early start to 'Booze O'clock' tonight.
Another beautiful day today with a bright warm sun and no breeze at all. the reflection off the surface of the Blue Lake is magnificent and the water is a deeper blue in the sun.
Our first visit was to Valley Lake and Brown Lake area which is right behind the caravan park (beside Blue Lake). This is an area that has been set up for families and recreation on huge grassed areas beside Valley Lake and it includes a wildlife park that people can walk through and be with the animals such as emus etc.
Next, as the girls had their priorities set for today, the 'Other One' dropped them off at the 'Rivers' store and let them browse whilst he made another visit to the electronic shop and purchased another couple of switches and some twin flex wiring to put an over-ride switch on the electronic auxiliary battery connection. They were still browsing when he returned to the 'Rivers' store to pick them up.
We then returned to the caravan via one of the lookouts over the Blue Lake to take a few more photographs of the lake with it's reflections.
After lunch was prepared and packed into a picnic basket at the caravan, we headed off South and traveled the 24 km to the ocean and town of Port MacDonnell. First we visited the 'Wool Washing' information post which is a shelter with information about the industry in that area. It appears that they washed the bellies, pieces and locks wool to remove the dirt and 'dags' so the wool was lighter when it was loaded onto the old sailing ships en route to the big cities and overseas. The industry commenced in the 1850's and ceased to exist by about 1914.
The picnic basket came out and we enjoyed lunch sitting on the foreshore looking out at the large number of fishing boats resting at anchor in the harbour that was protected by a long encircling break water. Once the lunch rolls had been demolished, we drove a couple of kilometres to the west of the town and visited the headland which is the southern most point of land in South Australia. This is a very scenic spot that has a number of lookout points, and we stopped at them all. The cameras became pretty hot from over use so there should be at least one or two good images from all that we took.
When we left this area we diverted around the edge of the town and called in at the home of Adam Lindsay Gordon, a famous poet of the 1850's. We did not take a tour of the house as it required the ringing of a bell and waiting for someone to turn up to give an escorted tour of the inside of the house, all this at a cost of $6 per person. The house and grounds appear to be well maintained and looked after by a society or 'Friends of Adam Lindsay Gordon'.
It was then time to return to Mount Gambier and under the instruction of the girls, the 'Other One' had to scour the city looking for a bottle shop that sold Stanley casks of Lambrusco as the one they were using at Booze O'clock was almost empty. With this task successfully completed, we returned to the caravan for the rest of the afternoon so that 'One of Us' could have her hair made beautiful and younger looking again but the 'Other One' will not make any comment about hair for reason that are obvious if you know him.
Judy found a church to attend so she took herself off in the Patrol just before 6:00pm (Booze O'clock had to wait), whilst 'One of Us' prepared a sumptuous meal of Roast Pork with all the trimmings.
We woke up to an overcast day on our last day in South Australia for this part of our trip. The morning was cooler as we packed up the caravan in readiness for the journey to Warrnambool, eventually getting under way at about 9:00am.
We chose the road through Nelson in preference to the Princes Highway. This took us through quite a number of pine plantations and farm land before we came to the South Australia and Victoria border about three kilometres West of Nelson and the Glenelg River. We made the customary stop to take a photograph or two of the border signs and for Judy to say farewell to South Australia and all the wines she has tasted since visiting the Barossa Valley.
We crossed the Glenelg River at Nelson and continued on through a couple of small towns before we turned south and made our way on a narrow and winding road through to Cape Bridgewater. We called in to the beach area of Cape Bridgewater for a few more photographs before heading off East again into Portland.
When we reached Portland we drove through the main part of the town and out to the wheat silos before returning to the main road again via the port area. From here we made the drive to Port Fairy which is a quaint little seaside town. The town centre appears to be quite old but it has quite a pretty little dock area where there were three or four fishing boats tied up, although the smell of one of them left no doubt it was a fishing boat.
From Port Fairy it was only a short drive through to Warrnambool, however we did pass through a number of very small villages (or towns) on the way. Warrnambool is quite a large country city on the coast of South West Victoria and they make quite a deal about being on the 'Shipwreck Coast'. We made our way in to the town centre and then it was only a couple of blocks to the Figtree Holiday Village and Caravan Park where we set up the caravan for the next three nights.
After setting up the caravan and Judy tried out her unit, we took a short drive around the city centre to ascertain where the Dawn Service is to be held in the morning and also the Anzac Day March which the girls want to attend and the 'Other One' has full intention of participating in.
The look around the city was not a very comprehensive tour because the girls were getting a little edgy and keen to get back to the caravan by 'Booze O'clock'. The wine was cold and nibbles enjoyable as we start to show Judy around this part Victoria and the Great Ocean Road.