Page 118: Port Campbell.
|Port Campbell continued.|
|Next morning the weather was yuck! However, by afternoon the sun was making a bit of an effort so we ventured out, backtracking along the route that brought us to Port Campbell yesterday. Impressed by the views we'd already been privileged to see, we wanted more. The first place at which we stopped gave us a panoramic view over Port Campbell Bay, the town and the ocean.|
|Port Campbell, its bay, Campbell's Creek in the foreground and our caravan (circled). A lovely little town.|
|Out beyond the bay, impossible to see in the top picture, was a group of surfers.|
It's truly amazing what a 200 mm lens will reveal that a standard 55 mm lens misses. The two pictures were taken from the same spot.
At the next lookout we saw another large hole worn in the rock. This one is known as the Arch. Although the ocean had little swell, when the waves crashed into Australia it was with awesome force, the water foaming, swirling and boiling.
|The Arch. Sorry, I took the wrong lens for this
one. That water seen through the Arch looks fierce enough.
If you could see it with sound and motion added you wouldn't want to swim there, trust me!
And what appears to be a large human shadow in the picture . . . isn't. It does look like it though.
We were exceptionally lucky as we left the Arch. There, in the distance, were three large rock stacks caught in a shaft of sunlight that had left the background cliffs in shadow. We think they are three of the Apostles. We'll be seeing the Apostles closer up soon.
For those unfamiliar with the Twelve Apostles, in the 1950s the name was bestowed upon twelve towering rocks that stood just off the coast of Victoria. They were originally known as The Sow and Pigs (or Piglets), Mutton Bird Island being the Sow. The constant action of the waves has, over time, eroded away the bases of the 'Apostles' and by August 2005 four had collapsed into the sea. I understand that there are seven left standing today - enough to warrant helicopter and boat tours.
But, hey, turning water into wine was good, but Victorians can turn pigs into Apostles.
|Three of the Apostles? These rock stacks were caught in a brief shaft of sunlight.|
Our last visit for the day was to the Bay of Martyrs. The lookout sported a large notice board explaining lots of things to visitors but not a word about martyrs. We discovered that the name may have originated from a nearby massacre of Aborigines but facts were impossible to come by. We found similar reticence in Bright regarding the massacre of Chinese miners in the Buckland Goldfield, remember?
A scan through the internet revealed very little. The best I could find was the following:-
The place names - Massacre Bay, Massacre Point, Bay of Martyrs - refer to a strong component of local oral history which suggests that Europeans killed a large group of Kirrae-Wurrong Aboriginal men by driving them off the cliffs hereabouts. The women and children were allegedly killed in a nearby swamp. Although there is, not surprisingly, no written evidence, it seems the local Aboriginal population dropped from a couple of thousand to virtually nil at some point, which may suggest migration but this is not what local folklore suggests.
|The Bay of Martyrs.|
|A Storm like we've not seen before.|
|Monday was such a fabulous day as the above pictures show. Now it's Wednesday. All night long the wind roared around us and the rain lashed the caravan. We had decided to sit out the storm; sight seeing was out of the question. Early in the afternoon the park manager and his wife came to see if we were alright and to warn us not to drive out of the park as the only exit at the office end was under water. They had never experienced conditions like this. Neither had we; I was too late to take the awning in and the centre strut is severely bent.|
|In the foreground is the road in and out of the
park. Beyond is the Campbell Creek which looked so benign two days ago.
Now it's up to the top of its banks, a torrent of muddy water. If it rises another metre the levy bank will hold it.
If it rises much more than that we'll be getting wet.
|That picture shows the situation to the west of us. To the south we have Port Campbell Bay and the wind is driving the seas straight in off the Southern Ocean. Another look at the top picture on this page will show that we are scarcely above the water in the creek or the bay. The neighbours in the next caravan have gone. We are alone.|
|Campbell Bay. Not friendly and those dirty waves are rolling our way.|
|This part of the park is under renovation. Yes,
and under water. All those trenches, pipes and cables are submerged.
Whose idea was it to tour Victoria in the winter? Is this what a drought looks like?
Thursday dawned grey and windy with occasional blustery showers and - just occasionally - a peep of the sun. The water in the park is receding. The wind force has dropped a little, too. The outside of the caravan is covered in hundreds of splodges of bird poo. How it got there is a matter of conjecture as the birds were grounded yesterday. Probably penguin poo blown across from the antarctic.
The spell check and the Macquarie Dictionary are trying to tell me there's
no such word as 'splodge'. Well there damned well is and the Collins Dictionary
Look at this mess! What did we ever do to them?
If the Luftwaffe had been this accurate, this site would be written in
Yes, those of you with eagle eyes are quite right, that rego sticker on the window did expire in May. From January 2010, light vehicles registered in Western Australian are not required to display a registration sticker. This applies to our Pajero, too, which displays nothing at all. This change is unique to Western Australia and I have been dying for some cocky cop in Victoria or South Australia to pull us over for failing to display a valid registration sticker. (Not you, Sergeant Lou, you're a nice cop.)