THURSDAY MARCH 17 TOORA TO YARRAM 57kms
Not exactly a major relocation today – just up the road, really. Good thing, because it was hot and very humid.
Whilst we were getting ready to move on, John learned a major life lesson – do not put thumb where awning arms are going to close! I have no idea how he got said digit jammed, as he had not waited for me to help lower the awning. I do know that there is a huge amount of tension on those arms. I tried to lever it a bit open with a screwdriver, so he could pull thumb out, but had to go get a heavy tent peg and gradually work that down the little gap, whilst levering as well, until I’d enlarged the gap enough for him to get thumb out. He was in a lot of pain while I was doing this. The skin was broken, and he was bleeding. Bandaid applied. Lucky not to break it – or chop it off altogether. I wondered if anyone had ever managed to do that? Hope he learned the lesson to wait for me to help, in the future. Much easier with two people. And safer.
Was 10.15 when we left the park.
The driver felt fit enough to detour to Port Welshpool. From 1998 to 2002, a summer fast speed catamaran ferry operated from here to Tasmania. It was rather unfortunately named the Devil Cat and gained a reputation to match – for very rough trips and major sea sickness for passengers. That reputation probably, as much as its distance from Melbourne, accounted for its demise.
In Port Welshpool, there appeared to be a number of accommodation places that had been set up in the expectation of increased business from the ferry service, but were now languishing, with several for sale. Ditto houses.
We stopped and looked at the Long Jetty, as we came into the village. This was, as name suggested, a jetty that extended a long way out, to a deeper channel. It was the old jetty, in the days when this place was a thriving port. It was now closed, due to fire damage. One hoped it could be restored – a walk right out to its end would be rather lovely.
Next stop was the current jetty area – one that extends widthwise, rather than outwards. We walked around this – with dog very firmly on lead. Saw what used to be the ferry cat terminal, now closed off. There were some fishing boats moored, as well as recreational boats.
It was a pleasant little village, with a general store. It probably gets much busier in the summer holiday period, but would still be a comparatively quiet place for a break by the sea.
None of these Corner Inlet villages have any decent beach areas, due to the nature of the inlet.
Couey was very interested in the edge of the jetty and peering down at the sea below. I had a strong suspicion that had she been loose, there would have been a high dive into the water. For once, John didn’t suggest she be let loose!
Backtracked to where we had turned off the highway at Welshpool township, and continued on to Yarram though green farmland – dairy cow country in these parts. It was a pleasant drive, uneventful, apart from being passed by a speeding ambulance, sirens and lights going. As he came up behind us, John slowed and pulled right over to the side, so the ambulance did not have to slow at all – this section of road did not offer clear views for passing otherwise. We then noted, though, that the caravan ahead did not slow or pull over at all, and the ambulance got held up behind him for a few kms. What is it with some drivers that they must be so incredibly ignorant and selfish?
Had booked an en-suite site at the Yarram Rosebank Tourist park. $36 a night. We were able to drive through the site behind us, which made it much easier, then unhitch the car. Had to wait for our bathroom cleaning to be finished – it was only midday when we arrived.
M and C were pleased with their cabin. It was larger than the one at Toora had been.
The caravan park was based around what appeared to be an old restored homestead – rather intriguing from the outside. Reception was in part of that.
There was an under cover area for sitting around a fire pit, a good playground area, and we were told when checking in that we could give Couey a run on the grassy area at the front of the park. This is always a plus for us. Our bathroom was clean, with a big shower area. We were quite happy with it. Bushes to the sides made our site quite private.
After set up, we all went for a walk along the main street, admiring the several substantial old buildings. At a novelty shop, M bought some small water pistols, to use to deter Couey from jumping up on them at happy hours.
Back in the late nineteenth century, nearby Port Albert was the main port for these parts, in the days before railways and good roads. Yarram developed from the 1850’s and became the main service centre for the area. Today, it was an attractive small town, although the number of houses for sale suggested a declining population. Some of the houses for sale that we walked past, were beautiful looking old places, well kept up, on large blocks.
Walked the length of the shopping area and then back on the other side of the road. There was a fair range of shops in the town. Visited an art gallery, housed in the former court house – a solid, brick building. There was an exhibition of works in oils by a local artist; his urban scenes were not subject matter I liked, but he’d managed to make them appear almost three dimensional, so I admired the technique. I quite liked one painting of a Greek island village – but our walls at home were already too full!
The men were very strong willed today, and resisted the pull of the bakery, in favour of own-made lunches back at camp.
I found the walk rather hard. Lower back and shoulders were all hurting as I walked. Wondered if Couey’s pulling on the lead had somehow injured the shoulder and upper back. Didn’t realize it at the time, but this was the first manifestation of spinal problems that were to continue and slowly reduce my walking range over the next few years. Rather cruel, that.
On the way back, John called in at the sports complex, almost opposite the park, to find out about bowls – and booked himself in for a game on Saturday. Had I been asked, my preference would have been for doing some sightseeing!
The humidity was really draining, and after our late lunch we both had naps, with the air-con going in Bus. It was rare for me to feel like an afternoon nap! C had a sleep too, and M did crosswords.
It was cooling down by the time we met up again for happy hour.
Our tea was the lamb fillet I’d bought in Foster. Very nice and very tender.
During the afternoon I had phoned a friend who lives locally, left a message, and she called me back after they returned from a day out fishing for whiting. Years ago, we had all worked a couple of tourist seasons together, up north at the magical Adels Grove. So I was looking forward to catching up with J and D again. They had worked and visited there for periods, most years, and so were more up to date with the people and developments.
It was an uncomfortable night for sleeping – even a sheet was too much cover in the heat.