Motorhomes Australia

 Part 12
The travel adventures of
Geoff & Margaret Clifton
CMCA Member


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Saturday 08/05/04
3.4/14.6  24.5/-55

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.  Doesnít happen every day but itís 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.

Sunday 09/05/04

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 ďCragsí 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 $ís 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 ĎGods 
Countryí.  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 

Monday 10/05/04
5.2/13.4  24..2/-68

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 Iíve 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.  XPís CD backup worked 
fine and Iím wondering that Nero didnít comply because XP was in charge of the 
CD but didnít have time to find that out.

Tuesday 11/05/04
3.5/12.3  24/-67  

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 menís 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 & bbqís.  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.

Wednesday 12/05/04
4.4/7.3  24.4/-48

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 itís 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 
coast again.
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.  
Stalkerís 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 thatís only 60Km farther on so we can return if we want to.


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