Thursday, 18 April 2013

SAA Day 6 - Cape Otway

Cape Otway Lighthouse
Slightly troublesome night for both of us: Sue waking from sleep and unable for several hours to return to it and me unable to get uncomfortable in any of three beds and eventually falling asleep on the lounge listening to Bruce Springsteen through the headphones. It rained during the night but only enough to drum the roof and add harmonies to the pounding surf across the road.

After all these years together, we have become resilient and there are few posts we don't make into winners, so despite Sue being stiff when she woke, it was a case of continue with the basics and see what happens. I drove into town and sourced some adhesive chemical heat packs (and a had a coffee and a read at Sue's insistence).

After lunch, we drove up to the lookout above Apollo Bay. Unfortunately it required a twenty minute walk from the carpark so we didn't undertake it. Urged to do the walk myself, I invoked the spirit of Maverick and refused to leave my wingman. Instead, I stopped the car fifty metres back down the road so Sue could see the view from the car. Driving on, we headed south thirty odd kms to Cape Otway and the magnificent Otway Lighthouse.

Opened in 1948 to protect the increased level of shipping travelling from Europe and trying to navigate the gap between King Island and Cape Otway on its way to Melbourne and then the east coast of Australia, it was the cornerstone of three triangulated lighthouses that dramatically reduced shipwrecks along this notorious section of the Australian coastline. Like all Australian lighthouses, it has a rich history of service by keepers and their families, in far flung remote places and like the rest, it has also been outlived by technology. Now, a small solar powered light sits squatly in front of the tall, locally hewn stone, assembled without mortar by local tradesmen like a giant, three dimensional jigsaw.

We were granted special dispensation to drive into the compound so Sue would only have a short walk to the cafe. After we ate lunch - certainly NOT a highlight of our day - Sue watched videos and drank pots of tea while I walked down to the light and then climbed the internal staircase to the top. The outside gantry was windblown and offered an awesome view as I snapped pictures.

Reunited with Sue, we started our return drive but had not got very far before we happened upon a colony of koalas - twelve in all and several of them in branches only a few metres above us. On such occasions, Sue becomes an excited little girl again, pointing to each new sighting with the glee of a child on Christmas morning.

Back in Apollo Bay, we had coffee and did a short wander along the shop front.

A much better day than either of us anticipated.

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