Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Yanakie to Melbourne - 25th July
Waking up in the Black Cockatoo cabins, over looking The Prom (as locals supposedly call it) was fantastic. The clouds were low over the horizon and the sun was just peeping through so we could pretend it was sunrise when it was in fact about 8 o'clock. After a leisurely breakfast and a slow car pack, we reluctantly left. There was still nobody around, both the cabins and main house still having no sign of life.
The plan was to head along the coast road into Melbourne, however I needed a BP service station (more on this in later posts) and I had also noticed and amusingly-named town which needed visiting - Poowong. Those who know me know that my humour leans towards the juvenile and dictates that even vaguely rude-sounding towns must be visited. Smoo Cave and Twatt (both in Scotland) being prime examples.
The TomTom again decided a gravel track would be more interesting and sent us through some gorgeous countryside en route to the scatologically-themed town. Poowong is tiny. There is a Post Office, a service station, a café, a hall (called Poowong Hall), a large building of indeterminate purpose with a giant "POOWONG" painted on it, and a general store. It was to this last shop I headed to hopefully purchase lots of postcards, write "Hahahahahahahaha!" on the back, and send to everyone I know. The shop seemed deserted and it was only after triggering an old-fashioned bell upon entering that a small, buggy-eyed woman appeared from somewhere out of the dark recesses of the building. I asked her about postcards and she said they didn't have any but they did have a bumper sticker for $5. Her tone implied that she knew exactly why I wanted postcards and that quite possibly I was not the only one who had ventured off the beaten path simply to visit a town that starts with "poo". I of course played dumb and pretended to be passing through on the way to Korumburra, but I think her eyes gave her magical powers and she saw straight through me. After the obligatory photo outside the mystery building, Yvette tried the local café for postcards. Apparently the Post Office had them, but being Saturday they were shut. She seemed oddly surprised that people wanted Poowong postcards. Was the hilly dairy country really that interesting? On the way out we passed the Poowong Milk Depot which gave us one last giggle.
Heading down to Inverloch took us through the beautiful mountainous dairy country from which we could eventually see the south coast again. As it was Saturday there were more cars on the road then we had been used to which was a little annoying, but somehow we coped. The town of Inverloch seems geared towards summer visitors from Melbourne. There is a lot of touristy shops and real estate agents with windows full of weekender properties for wealthy Melburnians. Enticed by the promise of 50 different kinds of pies advertised by the local bakery, we parked and headed in. Although there did seem to be 50 pies listed on a large board, not all were available, in particular the two vegetarian ones Yvette was interested in. Do vegetarians not visit the south coast in Winter? In the end she settled for a bacon and egg pie which apparently could have used some cheese.
After a not-very-successful attempt to make some brewed coffee in the car (the brewing worked, the coffee tasted awful) we took the winding, scenic route along the coast road via Cape Paterson. It was quite windy and therefore quite cold and we only stopped once at Eagle's Nest lookout to look out over Venus Bay and to take a few photographs. The road continued on until it turned into the Bass Highway which took us in towards Melbourne.
The freeways into Melbourne are wide and easy to navigate and it was surprising to see so much farmland so close to the city. Coming from cities such as Brisbane and Sydney whose urban sprawl-cancer spreads in all directions, it was heartening. This time the TomTom was good and took us directly where we needed to go, quickly and without any strange detours or road choices. We arrived at my friend David's place about 4pm and after unpacking and catching up decided the local pub would be a good place for dinner. A little overpriced for a suburban hotel, the food was still good and the servings massive. Coupled with a Guinness and a Carlton Draught it was just what we needed. David's spare bed futon is insanely comfortable and even though it wasn't a long day of driving, we slept very, very well. Again.
Posted by Ross at 16:45