Thursday, 11 December 2014

Princetown to Ballarat

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Today we got up early again and ready for travelling.  Since we'd had power and showers we’d made good use of those and after a brief chat to some of the German birdwatchers, who had also arrived at the camp the day before, we were on our way again.  We were happy with a bit of sunshine later in the morning, because at daybreak it was again bitterly cold.

As we had missed a few of the sights we travelled back to the Twelve Apostles, Port Campbell and Loch Ard Gorge and took a lot of pictures.

The Twelve Apostles is the most well-known of the sites and on earlier trips I hadn’t had a chance to stop, so was very happy to go there.  Not all twelve exist anymore, as one of them has collapsed in recent years and I don’t know if at the time there still were twelve at all.  I guess I will have to google it one day.
The Twelve Apostles

Our next stop was at Loch Ard Gorge, where there was also a cemetery, as there had been a shipwreck in the late 1800s and Loch Ard was the name of the ship. We took lots of pictures on our walk. We could have walked much more, but Patricia had hurt her knee a few days before at Mt Schank and wasn’t really up to lots of walking yet.  It meant that I also had to forego my search for an earth cache, as there were five different waypoints at distances of 200 to 300 m apart, which would have meant a lot of walking for somebody with a sore leg.

Loch Ard Gorge

Next we drove back towards Princetown and left the coast road to turn off towards Ballarat, as we are heading for Everton where Patricia’s friend lives, whom we want to visit as well.  As we were not travelling along the highway there were no picnic areas, so we stopped along the roadside to have lunch. This must have been somewhere near Simpson or Cobden

As it was quite early when we arrived at Ballarat we decided to grab some geocaches in the nearby area.  The first one we couldn’t find, but the next one was easy enough.

School of Horticulture (DNF)

Cache (DNF): School of Horticulture
The small container was supposed to be at knee-hight.  We checked out the tap and sprinklers, but none of them contained a logbook.  After checking with the CO we discovered that we had been on the wrong track.  Ah well, you can't win them all...


Cache: Wetlands

A nice walk, not too far, and the weather was still beautiful, albeit a lot colder than before.

We walked back with a bit of a detour and past another cache, one I knew we wouldn’t find, because I was not going to try. :-)  It was a 3.5 star difficulty and involved climbing a tree.  Having had my bad experience in America I was not going to try and get injured again!  Plenty more easier caches if we really want them...

On our way to the campsite our house sitters rang to find out from me why the washing machine wasn’t working anymore.  It appeared they had turned off the wrong pump, so the problem was solved pretty quickly. And ooops, the found a SNAKE in the house the day I left!!!  Shall we call it house AND pet sitting from now on? ;-)

Otherwise they seem to have a great time, having teamed up with the Bicycle User Group and have already made plans to go house sitting for other members when I come back.

Our camp site for the night was a few kilometres north of Ballarat, hidden away in the forest: Slaty Creek Campground #524, S 37 27 46, E 143 54 15) 

A beautiful quiet place with birdsong, and right next to a creek.  We shared a gazebo with the ‘neighbours’ in a big bus, who seemed a bit reluctant to do so, but we’re in a free world and these sites are meant for sharing.  The use of the gazebo appeared quite necessary as it started to rain when we were ready to cook dinner, so we could do so with a roof over our heads. 

Slaty Creek Campground

Of course there was no TV reception in the bush, so we watched another DVD.

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