The screechy correllas out the back of our cabinDay two of my Wagons West Birthday Extravaganza Road Trip Down Memory Lane ensues...
Dunkeld to Warrnambool
We stopped off at the tiny town of Hawkesdale, where I completed my final three years of high school (that school looked pretty much as I remembered) and then continued on to the charming town of Koroit where we hoped we might find a cafe serving breakfast, but we were out of luck. Maybe we were too early, or perhaps breakfasting outside the home hasn't really caught on in small towns yet.
I had also hoped that the signage on the outskirts of town would still read: "Koroit - a green and pleasant land" as it did when I was a kid and which I always read with an Irish accent (the area has a strong Irish heritage), but alas, it was gone. I was quite taken with the old red phone box in front of the bluestone post office though (below). Koroit's main street has a nice old world feel to it, with old buildings and footpaths shaded by old shop verandahs.
Anthony and I were both feeling pretty hungry by the time we arrived so we were pleased to find a few places serving breakfast in Warrnambool. I had a big cooked breakfast. Yum.
Loch Ard Gorge is a nice little cove with a narrow mouth (at the right of the picture above). It was named after the Loch Ard which was shipwrecked nearby in 1878 on a voyage from England. There were two survivors, who came ashore at the gorge. When I was in Grade 6 I won a story writing competition in which we had to imagine we were one of the survivors. My story was published in the local paper, The Standard, and I got a book voucher for my efforts.
The most recognisable of the formations is the Twelve Apostles (although there's only 8 left now). The view was complimented by more fabulous clouds. There was ace cloudage all day, in fact. I was pleased. It was the cherry on top.
Apollo Bay foreshore
We hit the road again and didn't stop until Anthony dropped me off at my place, tired but happy.
Split Point Lighthouse near Lorne (taken from the moving car)
So...that's it! The weekend lived up to - no, exceeded - my expectations. The gig was great and it was wonderful - in a bittersweet way - to revisit places from my childhood. It still feels a little bit like home. I feel a new sense of fondness for it.
South-west Victoria is lovely in the cooler months when everything is lush and green. It always makes me think of the closing lines of the poem Binsey Poplars by Gerard Manly Hopkins:
A ginormous thank you to Anthony for helping me to make my whim a reality. I couldn't be more grateful if I tried.