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carmel’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 11 Feb 2006

Location: Port Campbell, Victoria, Australia

Map7/2/06, Tuesday

We left Mary Quinlan's on Sunday after a successful garage sale on Saturday. We were a bit worried because Mary reckoned garage sales were not much chop at Anglesea, but it went quite well, generally a steady stream, although a couple of times, it got crowded.

From there, we drove along the Great Ocean Road to Port Campbell and we will be here for a week. Another very spectacular trip. Victoria might be small, but it has such a variety of scenery. This is a very rugged coast line, with the twelve apostles (now 8, the others have collapsed because of the strong surf), and the Bay of Islands with the London bridge and the arch carved out by the surf. Last night we watched the mutton birds ( they call them spearwaters here) come to roost on mutton bird island. There are 50,000 birds, plus chicks roosting there at the moment. This was at the Loch Ard Gorge. The gorge is so called after a ship wreck there in 1878 where, of the 56 passengers and crew, only 2 survived (saved by the Aboriginals).

Port Campbell is only a very small town, geared mainly for tourists - and there are a lot - but we still have a couple of local walks we intend doing, plus going back to the Twelve Apostles to watch the penguins come ashore.

9/2/06, Thursday

We now only have 1 more walk to do – to the jetty here in Port Campbell. We’ve been up to the lookout which overlooks Port Campbell – and our little caravan in the caravan park. We went back to Loch Ard Gorge again today and did the ‘Wreck of the Loch Ard’ and the ‘Living on the Edge’ walks. On the ‘Wreck of the Loch Ard’ walk, you go from the site of the shipwreck to the Loch Ard cemetery, (a distance of 1.4 kms). The ‘Living on the Edge’ walk is 3.2 kms, but you get to see a blowhole, a thunder cave and ‘Broken Head’ (you need a good imagination to see it). We also saw some really good stalactite formations and I found a limestone formation which, I thought, really looked like the ‘Dog on the Tuckerbox’ - but not in the photo I took.

11/2/06, Saturday

We went to see Glenample Homestead yesterday. It is a museum dedicated to the Loch Ard disaster. The two survivors, Tom Pearce, a midshipman, and Eva Carmichael, a passenger, were initially taken to Glenample Homestead until they were well enough to travel. Apparently by 1970, the house was a disaster, but it was then leased by the National Trust who restored it to its original state (you couldn’t say ‘glory’ as it is a pretty basic place).

Then last night, we went to see the penguins come in at the Twelve Apostles. However, because it was so cold, we were up so high, it was almost dark and the penguins are so small you could only just see them (they are fairy penguins), we only saw the first 16 come in, then came back home to the warmth.

Unlike Tasmania, we have seen no road kill on the Great Ocean Road. However, we have also only seen 3 wildlife (or was it 2) – echidnas. We could have seen the same one twice. As we were going to Loch Ard Gorge, a stopped car flashed us and we waited until an echidna crossed the road. Then yesterday, coming back from Glenample Homestead, and, in approximately the same location, we saw an echidna crossing the road (the same echidna playing chicken??). So it was our turn to stop and flash cars coming in the other direction. They all waved to us that they had spotted him as they went past.
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