Salty Pandas and Boat Sheds

The bloody wind. With two great days of our Travel Australia adventure camped on the river bank near Marlo behind us, we continued our march westward and stopped for lunch in Lakes Entrance. Our goal is boarding the Spirit of Tasmania Ferry in Port Melbourne this coming Sunday. This is the only point in Victoria where the Princes Highway touches the ocean so unless we leave this highway, that’s the last sea-breeze we will feel for a while.

This is a very attractive town, worth coming back we comment, to visit the waterways of this district but we’re reluctant to move on actually, dawdling over lunch in the park taking in the sights and smells of the water front. Lakes Entrance 02

Lakes Entrance is also the most easterly point of the Eastern Plains, the exposed flat country that stretches westward over 300 kilometres, right to the doorstep of Melbourne itself.

As a matter of curiosity, on the other side of Melbourne, the flat country is called the Victorian Volcanic Plains and they stretch another 300 kilometres west, past Portland and almost to South Australia. They’re not called ‘Volcanic’ for nothing, in fact the whole area is covered in low craters and volcanos considered by many in the field to only being dormant ie a temporary lull,  with the last eruption only 7,000 years ago.

With no more excuses and gritted jaw we turned away from the gentle local sea breeze to engage with the full-on, in-your-face bloody wind that slowed our progress and exhausted our tired little engine.  After another 100 kilometres or so, we’d had enough of the conditions.

Obviously new and inconvenient, several highway roundabouts had just been installed on the ribbon of development that defines the eastern entrance to the unremarkable city of Sale. With no reason to stop, we pushed on against the wind, aiming for Willow Park, a free camping site another 20 kilometres west of the city, just before the attractive little town of Rosedale.

The park has a plaque that informs the visitor that ‘at one time this park was considered the prettiest park on the highway’. We couldn’t see how could have occurred unless it was the only park on the highway. We’re not saying it was ugly, but pretty?

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