Our accommodations last night was in a lovely, small B&B in Colac, VIC, which was run by a sweet, older woman. She knew she had WiFi because she used it on her iPad, but she had not idea what the password was, or that her guests would need a password! So we had an internet-free night last night and lived to tell about it!
We had a fabulous dinner in Colac last night at a restaurant called Fusion. Our experience started off with the server offering to let me taste two of the white wines that were available by the glass before serving me one! Then we were served the tastiest dinner rolls I think I have ever had at a restaurant, made on-site! Jim and I each had a wonderful appetizer and then the lamb back-strap which was delicious. We decided to try the lemon-lime tart for dessert because we have tried it at several other restaurants and like to do a comparative analysis. Well, this one wins! It was served on a plate that had a smear of browned meringue on the plate. There was a small pile of toasted coconut shavings next to a dollop of mixed berry compote. The lemon-lime tart was placed on top of the compote and a scoop of thick cream was on the side. It was heavenly. I almost wished I didn’t have to share it!
Today we made our first stop just outside of Colac at Red Rocks Volcano Precinct. We were able to drive to the top of an ancient volcano cone and from there we had a great view of the surrounding farm lands and lakes. Many of the lakes were other volcano holes or vents that have filled with water. There was one huge lake, Lake Corangamite, which is the largest salt water lake in Victoria (maybe Australia, we’ve read differing facts). Even on a cloudy, misty day, it was an interesting landscape.
As we left the volcanic area we drove past acres and acres of farmland with miles of dry stone fences, similar to what we saw in England. These types of fences are made with such skill that there is an enduring quality about them.
We drove on, heading west and south to Warrnambool. I was in Warrnambool with Jeannie and Britni to do some whale-watching, and that was what our hope was for today. We arrived at Logan’s Beach, Warrnambool and it was still overcast with on and off again drizzle. We stood on the overlook platforms for a long time before spotting some whale action (blow-hole spouting) quite a distance out off to our left. We watched this for a while and then something caught our eye to the right! And there was this whale, very close to shore, doing head stands!!! She dove down many times, showing her beautiful tail and seemed to enjoy putting on a show for all of us on the platform! Once again I took way too many photos, but it was truly a memorable moment with nature!
When the whales seemed to move farther out to sea, we decided to move on. We drove on west to Port Fairy, about an hour away from Warrnambool. Our first stop was for lunch and we found a cafe that had free WiFi and was pretty busy. I ordered the soup special (cream of leek and cauliflower) and Jim ordered the open faced steak sandwich. Notice the fried egg on the top of his sandwich! Both were yummy!
In Port Fairy we walked along the wharf area of the Moyne River which flows into the ocean at Port Fairy. We then crossed a pedestrian bridge to Griffins Island where there was a nice trail that went around the island to a lighthouse on the far side. The sun came out during this hike which made the scenery even more enjoyable. Jim saw a whale while we were out by the lighthouse, but I missed it because I was watching the surfers!
From Point Fairy we continued west towards Portland, Victoria. It was during this stretch of road that we saw lot of wind turbines! We pulled over to an information board about this wind farm and learned that it was a joint venture between private investors and the government and the turbines were originally installed in 2001. We have been a bit surprised that we haven’t seem more wind turbines, especially along the coastal areas since the wind seems to blow constantly. We saw more turbines on the other side of Portland, so I guess it is a viable energy source in this area.
We did a quick drive-through of Portland before going just a bit farther south to the Cape Nelson Lighthouse. All these lighthouses we’ve seen along the Victoria coast played (and continue to play) an important role in maritime trade and navigation. The southern coast of Victoria is known as the Shipwreck Trail, and there are volumes written about all the ships that have gone down in these waters. The unusual feature at this lighthouse was the surrounding landscape. We usually see fairly dense, low bushes growing along the coast, but Cape Nelson has a moonscape look to it. The rocky cliffs were sharply eroded limestone, with very little vegetation taking root. And of course, there were lots of crashing waves along these limestone formations and cliffs. Jim almost had to confiscate my camera because I couldn’t stop taking photos, or waiting for just one more set of big waves!
We made the short drive back to Portland, arriving at the Lorelei B&B shortly after 5 PM. The host greeted us, showed us to our spacious room and offered to provide a cheese plate to go along with complimentary beer and wine! What a nice way to unwind after a day with lots of thrills and lots of miles walked!
Tomorrow we have a few things to do before heading back to Melbourne. Stay tuned.