More strangeness at the Loch Sport motel this morning as we tried to check out. Nobody around, no bell, no key-return slot, no note, nothing… We ended up driving off and leaving the room unlocked with key sitting on the table.
Loch Sport is a very long stretched out town, the bakery almost at the far end had some very tasty iced buns for breakfast which we took with us into Sperm Whale Head National Park. No whales here, not even their heads, from above the peninsula looks like a sperm whale’s head.
The dirt road in the park is thoroughly corrugated, it was a slow and shaky drive to the lookout tower — although at first we couldn’t find the tower, even though we were parked at “Tower Car Park” ! Almost starting to believe that it had been removed, or burnt down, we set off on a walk anyway, then there it was in front of us! Quite a large wooden structure despite being almost invisible from the road!
There was no wind, no rain, no clouds, just a beautiful warm morning as we followed the scenic walk down through the banksias and ti-tree scrub to the lake and back in a big loop. Yet again, lots of bird-life, and huge banksia trees everywhere. Information plaques again imparted fascinating bits of knowledge — we now know that there are two types of banksias in the park — the saw banksia and the other one that I’ve forgotten the name of!
The state of the road convinced us not to drive any further into the park, but to head back near the entrance and walk down to the Dolomite Swamp — unfortunately there was no explanation of how it came by that name — and then continue on out to Oil Bore and Pelican Point on the northern shore of the lake. A long walk, a couple of hours or so, and the skies clouded over and the wind picked up across the lake while we were out. Heading back at a faster pace we were surrounded by squeakings and creakings from the intertwined branches of the ti-tree, almost as though the forest was talking about us!
Time to move on — two more finger bugs from the bakery for later, and two sausage rolls for now all helped to sustain us for the drive back down the beaches to Longford(-38.1666667,147.0833333) and then around to Sale(-38.1,147.0666667). A coffee in Sale helped us to get over the shock of being back in a big town again.
We followed the back roads around to Bairnsdale, then down to Meetung where we would have liked to have stayed… but the whole town seemed to have moved up-market. The caravan park has been bulldozed, the motels are all four-star and above, luxury this and exclusive that… the wind was howling, the temperature was falling, we gave up on Meetung and drove on to Lakes Entrance(-37.8833333,147.9833333)!
Everywhere we looked in Lakes Entrance there is accommodation, motels line the highway and most of the side streets, some with weekly rates that match what Meetung wants for the night! If only the wind had dropped it would have been a nice place to stay for a while, as it was we had a very cold and windy walk along the esplanade, past fishing boats and pleasure boats and admired the wooden sculptures that have been created “in-place” where the avenue of honour cypress trees have had to be cut down due to old age. The stumps have been carved into various figures from Australian military history, such as Simpson and his donkey, and others I didn’t recognise — balancing the wishes of the RSL to respect the avenue of honour and the reality of the 90 year old trees dying and threatening to fall across the main street!
Even with the wind we spotted more bird-life, the whole few days seems to have turned into a bird-spotting trip! A Sea Eagle cruised past up the river to roost — something I haven’t seen for years — and two fat oyster-catchers were running around digging worms out of the park.
Dinner was had in the Ferryman’s Seafood Café — an old ferry from Paynesville that’s been closed in and turned into a floating fish-shop and café-restaurant. The foods was great and the whole meal would been excellent, if only the staff hadn’t been quite so intent on closing at 9:30 and whisking us out the door! Almost had to hang onto your glass to stop it being cleaned away between mouthfuls!
Not sure of our options for Friday-night entertainment in cold, windswept Lakes Entrance, we settled for a bottle of port and watching “The Great Escape” on a tiny TV in the cabin while the wind howled through the trees outside!
Loch Sport, Longford(-38.1666667,147.0833333), Sale(-38.1,147.0666667), Bairnsdale(-37.8333333,147.6166667), Meetung, Lakes Entrance(-37.8833333,147.9833333)