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Published: February 9th 2012
February started well – the weather looked good as we packed ready for our return trip towards Melbourne. We were looking to head for Wilsons Promontory for a day or so but we hadn’t booked anywhere so we would be making it up as we went along. If necessary we could get all the way back to Melbourne but we’d have to re-site the caravan before we could use it so we’d probably leave that for tomorrow when we could give ourselves more time. This morning we took the main road back to Sale where we had stopped for a break on Friday. We were due a cuppa so we stopped again next to Lake Guyatt but today it was very windy so we stayed in the car for our tea and cake. Afterwards we took a new road for us and headed for Foster which is at the “head” of Wilsons Promontory. We passed through a few small towns on the way including Yarram and Welshpool before arriving in Foster at about 1:00pm. By now the weather had changed and there was some rain in the air. We checked at the Foster Information Centre and discovered there was
a small motel in Foster which charged reasonable prices so we made our way to The Wilsons Promontory Motel and were allocated room number 13!! The one day test match had just started on the TV but we decided that, with so much daylight still left, if the weather improved a bit we would explore the Prom this afternoon and evening which would give us more time to get back to Melbourne and settle back into the caravan tomorrow. We investigated a couple of cafes for lunch but didn’t fancy anything so we went back to the room, watched a bit of cricket and ate the rolls I had prepared this morning. We left for a ride around at about 3:00pm and at that time the weather still looked OK – not brilliant but dry. We drove towards the main centre of Wilsons Prom, Tidal River, and called in at a few lookouts on the way. Some of the walks and access roads were closed off as a result of severe weather – almost twelve months ago the area was hit by torrential rain and a huge amount of damage had occurred in the National Park. Nearly 400 visitors had
to be air-lifted out on March 23rd
2010 as the one access road was badly damaged by the freak storm.
One place we wanted to visit was Squeaky Beach and the weather was still dry when we arrived there. We had been there before, years ago, and remembered the beautiful white sand which really did ‘squeak’ when we walked on it. It was just as lovely now and is indeed a special place. While we were walking from the car park to the beach, however, it started to rain. It didn’t come to much then but later, just as we got back to the car, it rained heavily. We stopped at a couple of lookouts but the views, although brilliant, were shrouded in rain so we drifted on into Tidal River – the main area on The Prom but which is really a glorified camp site. There were plenty of campers there and although there are only a small number of powered sites, it didn’t stop the caravanners being there in huge numbers. The facilities looked good and a large store-cum-café was doing good business. We helped boost their profits by buying a couple of ice-creams. While we were
just finishing them the shop owner, thinking we were campers, warned us that there was some wild and wet weather on its way. On hearing that news we were very pleased to be in a motel and not the caravan or the tent!! However, we were determined to have a look at the beach, so with hoods up we made our way along the footpath - in good weather it is no doubt delightful but the rain was now quite persistent and the wind was getting stronger so, although we loved the view out over the bay, we didn’t hang around very long.
We began our journey back towards Foster, calling in at a few more lookouts on the way. We didn’t let the rain dampen our spirits but it did interfere with the sights. Back at the motel we turned the TV on to watch a bit of the first one-day cricket international in Melbourne but that, too, had been affected by rain. Grant, Rod and Chris were due to be there so I texted Rod to see if they were at the MCG. Yes they were and play had just resumed after a long break for rain.
We watched the rest of the play on the telly - it turned out to be a bit one-sided as a match but we know the boys will have enjoyed the experience of being at the MCG just as we did in December.
February started a little overcast but at least the rain had cleared. We were to make our way back to the caravan today and we decided to follow a bit of a tourist route rather than to go directly. The route we chose gave us glimpses of Wilsons Prom but, for some reason, we didn’t find a particular lookout that we had in mind to visit. Nevertheless, the scenery was nice and we eventually happened on the small town of Loch which boasted an unusual pedestrian Suspension Bridge. We were due a tea break so we followed the signs to the sports ground which doubled as a campsite where there were facilities for our break – a picnic table, loos etc. The bridge had been constructed to link the town with the sports area which is the other side of a fairly deep creek. The bridge acted as a pedestrian short cut as, using
the road-bridge involved quite a long detour. It also worked well as a tourist attraction as there were several people using the picnic area just like us. Afterwards we carried on towards Melbourne via several towns including Cranbourne and soon linked up with the Ringwood Freeway which took us to the caravan at Wantirna where we arrived at about 1:00pm. We settled back into the park, on a different site, and adjusted to life back in the caravan. In the afternoon we did a bit of shopping at Vermont South, Graham had a swim in the pool and we began to get ourselves ready for an evening out at Anna’s parents’ house in Doncaster – it was Helen’s birthday today – Happy Birthday, Helen. It began to warm up quite considerably which gave us a bit of a dilemma as to what to wear. Our invitation was a last minute affair and we didn’t know the nature of the “do” but we both decided shorts were probably inappropriate. We arrived at about 6:20pm and joined the rest of the guests (mainly poms!) in good time for some pre-dinner drinks and chat. It was an exceedingly pleasant evening and we were
pleased we had managed to get there. We caught up with Rod and Tania’s latest exploits and heard about their on-going plans. Despite Tania’s attempts to make an early get-away ahead of a busy day tomorrow, we were all still there at about 10:00pm as the conversation flowed freely. We got back to the caravan at about 11:00pm and were soon in bed after what had been an extremely enjoyable evening.
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