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carmel’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 15 Dec 2005

Location: Parkdale, Melbourne, Australia

MapSaturday, 10/12/05

A quiet day again, and more perfect weather. I wrote up some Christmas cards then did the river canyon walk – a walk through a canyon beside the Owens river.

Sunday, 11 December 2005

Today we intended going on to Omeo, but, when we got there, decided to go on to Lakes Entrance. We are in the Big4 caravan park here – but only for 1 night, we are not impressed at all with it. So we’re booked into another park here for 2 nights.

The road between Bright and here was great. Friends had told us how great the Alpine Way was, but I had no idea. I think it is even more spectacular than Tassie – and the road was even more winding.

As we got near Mt Hotham, there had been more fires, and the dead trees were almost horizontal. I couldn’t work out how they didn’t fall over. Barrie thinks the weight of the snow caused the ‘lean’. Also, where there hadn’t been the fire, the mountains were thick with trees, but broken up with strips about 3m wide of dead trees going straight down to the base. Barrie thinks they may be the ski runs??

We stopped off at Mt Hotham, everything was closed, but the chalets etc looked great. You really feel like you are on the top of the world.

The signs on the way were impressive – ‘turn on headlights – use low beam’; ‘flashing light means black ice on road – 40kph’; ‘diamond pattern chains recommended’; ‘snow poles mark edge of road’ (the snow poles were about 3m high); ‘keep right of snow poles’ (you wouldn’t have wanted to go to the left of them or you would have dropped off. These signs were on about every 3rd pole – slow learners?); ‘high risk area’; ‘accident zone’ and, in Mt Hotham itself ‘do not ski on road’.
A few kms before we reached Mt Hotham, we came upon about 20 cars parked by the side of the road – but no people – ‘very interesting’!!

From Omeo to beyond Swifts Creek, we had to drive through a plague of moths. The road was covered in dead ones. Apparently it happens at certain times of every year. I wouldn’t do too good there – I’d have to keep my mouth closed. Then at Bruthen, we came upon ‘Ye Olde Oppe Shoppe’ – it was run by the Uniting Church.

Monday, 12 December 2005

We decided not to stay on at Lakes Entrance after all, but decided to go to Toora and Port Albert, however when we got there, it was blowing a gale. They were even issuing weather warnings over the radio, so we though we’d try Yanakie, however, if anything, it was even more windy there. So we finished up coming on to Leongatha – and mild weather. What a wasted day!

Tuesday, 13/12/05

The wind and rain came up last night – the bad weather had obviously come inland, so we packed up and came to stay with (Barrie’s brother) Kevin and Mary for the night. We are going to stay in their holiday house at Blairgowrie on the Mornington peninsula till just before Christmas. We will be back in Melbourne for Christmas at (our son) Ross and Jacque’s place.

So, no more Planet Ranger till then. Wishing everyone all the best for Christmas and the New Year.
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