WEDNESDAY 28 MAY HOME TO LAKES ENTRANCE 325kms
We spent much of the previous two days packing the van and Truck. With the crowded house, and all the earlier building and renovation works, the travel gear had been well moved around, and took some sorting out again. At least, this would only be a short trip, compared to our usual treks, so we did not need to take as much. But I packed more winter clothing than was our norm!
We were so looking forward to the break from home and a quiet change!
After breakfast, hitched up the van and parked the rig out on the road. John then lopped some overhanging branches from the neighbour’s trees – so the van parking area would be clear when we got home again.
We pulled away about 10.15am – pretty good, considering. It seemed a very long time since we’d last been out with the van!
Took the “back” route to Gippsland, through Wandin, Yellingbo, Cockatoo, to Pakenham – winding, but little traffic and easy enough. Also much prettier than the alternative of using the roads closer to Melbourne, through the outer suburbs.
We had a good run through the industrial Latrobe Valley, with its long time focus on coal mining and electricity generation. As always, the smokestacks of the power plants were in evidence from the highway.
Pulled off the road near Morwell and ate our pre-packed lunch. Then, continued on, through Sale with its several corners to be negotiated, Bairnsdale and on to Lakes Entrance.
It had been grey, misty and chilly when we left home, and the drive through the back of the Dandenongs to Pakenham showed mist lying in the bottoms of the valleys and shrouding the hilltops. But this had started to clear by the time we reached the Latrobe Valley, and it was quite pleasant for the rest of the day, with the sun appearing from behind light cloud, for much of the time.
The highway east paralleled the Great Dividing Range – a distant purple off to our left. It crossed some of the main rivers that flow down from those mountains – the Thompson as we approached Sale, the Avon at Stratford – no prizes for guessing that association! The bridge over the Mitchell River at Bairnsdale gave us a lovely view down the stream, with some small boats moored at points along the banks. Then there was the Tambo at the hamlet of Swan Reach.
The approach to Lakes Entrance is down quite a steep little hill. I have always loved the view that one gets of the town and the lake, as the road winds down to sea level.
We booked into the Big 4 Waters Edge Caravan Park for the night. It cost $25.20, after discount. The park was quite adequate for our needs, with modern and clean amenities. It was not a very large park and had several annual sites with permanent structures on them. At this time of year, it was not very busy and we were able to use two sites to stay hitched up.
Best of all, the park was within walking distance to the shops, and just across the road from the waters of the lake inlet.
After the minimal set up for a one night stay, we walked to the main part of town, as far as the floating restaurant and fish sales boat, moored across from the shops. There, we bought a half dozen oysters – for John’s entree tonight – and some flathead tails. We have always found the seafood prices here quite reasonable, and of course the daily catch sold was totally fresh.
Our fish dinner was lovely. I fried some potato rounds, and just dredged the flathead with flour and pan fried it.
The night was chilly and we did not stay up late.