Saturday, 20 April 2013

SAA - Day 7 (Apollo Bay, Torquay, Wallan, Shepparton, Cobram)

Sue poses with Cora & Lynn,
of the guesthouse of the same
name, in Lorne.
An uneventful day - something your correspondent is grateful to have for a change.

The pack up was smooth but as usual, prolonged by Sue's inability to do much, which frustrates such an active person and one who likes to feel she works alongside her partner. It was chilly and a freshening on-shore breeze was blowing at about 30kms an hour from the south which made leaving much easier!

We returned back along the Great Ocean Road, with its two constants: the winding road and the spectacular views. The sun was out, catching the white caps and the building surf as it crashed on the rocks below us. Sue spent most of the trip to Lorne speaking with her sister Judy in that way sisters do, the conversation a mixture of partial truth, partial rumour, home decorating and partial memory. Both are passing through a stage of extreme Forgetful Jones', so every chat is new and revealing and its only the passengers in rooms at either end of the ethereal line who are confused.

We broke the trip at Lorne so that Sue could pose with the colourful Cora and Lynn, the namesakes of the Coralynn Guesthouse.

Morning tea was taken at Torquay, in a park beside a golf course which has been fashioned into wetlands - a neat trick, no doubt greatly enhancing the development application. Perched behind some low tea tree, the breeze was bearable and the billy boiled. Drugs and heat packs had reduced Sue's discomfort to dumb puns and cheeky reminders, but she still moved like a woman looking for her zimmer frame.

Using the Western Ring Road and several short cuts only Ken(1) knew, we by-passed Geelong and all but the outer western suburbs of Melbourne and headed north. The larger the city, the more it looks just like any other large city, so that country views - even at 110km/hr - are more prized.

Wallan was our lunch stop and our information was that it contained few parks but this proved inaccurate from the looks of it as we stopped at a pretty park, with new gardens, clean looking toilets and a very new lunch area including free electric bbq's. Lovely ... until we opened the door on 13 degrees C and the laziest wind. After trying to sit in the lunch area and being hit by the same gusts which we had left behind in Apollo Bay, we ended up sitting in the lee of the car to woof down the salad sandwiches Sue had made upon waking in the morning.

By now, we were behind our daily schedule and an unscheduled stop half an hour later didn't help our cause, so that by the time we stopped for afternoon tea at Shepparton, it was after four o'clock. Good directions from Ashley at Escape Travel, put us in the hands of an expert barrister but whilst the coffee was good, the company outside the window was distracting, as a small group of years ten boys tried to impress each other and the one lonely girl who had been fool enough to join them. Her presence no doubt acted as the excuse to fuel their displays of manliness and chain smoking and the repeated double shots of coffee. Left to this, humanity would be on its genetic knees within a  generation. I'm glad I never showed off to girls!

Late already and wanting to avoid being even later, I was discouraged that Sue wanted so desperately to see the collection of fibreglass cows which Shepparton has located in one of its parks and now, around town. With the trailer on, packing is always trickier and every turn we made trying to find them only placed us with compulsory turns which made the job of entering the parking bay from the right end even harder. After wasting twenty minutes, it was eventually achieved. I received creds but it wasn't worth it. We had seen said cows, albeit with different costumes, only two years aerlier.

We eventually arrived at Cobram, on the Murray River, just after dark. It was cold and I was tired, especially after unloading all the gear. The good news was Sue back. Despite 435kms, she had survived and was feeling free of pain. She took me out for dinner to the Cobram Hotel, which has more of a club feel but the food was excellent and the beer was cold. Cow guilt I suppose.

Sue soon went to sleep so I watched the Kangaroos do a second half number on the Kiwis. Pity that!

Free day tomorrow.

(1) Ken is our GPS

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