Six Weeks Down Under

Feb 23rd, 2017, 12:21 PM
  #41  
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Thanks for continuing to follow along. We've been here 3.5 weeks and have 3 more to go.

Northie-lucky you living in Melbourne. I see we miss you in Sydney, that's too bad.

Bokhara- funny. I'm with you on only my coffees are "skinny" these days. Too much good food here. Thanks again for organizing the GTG in Sydney on the 14. Anyone else there then, please join us. Love Port Fairy which we will post about soon. Bet is was something back in the 70's. Heading to the Grampians today.

Tp- yes, we are fortunate to have the time to leisurely pace ourselves. And there was so much to have seen if the weather had cooperated. I'm a fair weather hiker-don't mind light showers, but t hate the big puddles and muddy trails.

Sartoric- what's a little gray weather? We're here and it's great! The predicted rain on the GC next week. I assume that it's not all day rain everyday? More likely to be showers now and then?
yestravel is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2017, 12:24 PM
  #42  
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Oops, forgot - TP, we had a koala right outside our window in Wongarra. After a torrential rain we didn't see the koala anymore. Probably ran for cover.��
yestravel is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2017, 12:44 PM
  #43  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
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One clarification to my earlier write-up: our room with a view faced south. We were not viewing sunsets but instead the impact of off-stage sunsets on clouds over the ocean. And I meant to say, before I lapsed into what appears to be Tagalog, that the Moonlight Head walk was approximately one kilometer. Also, the name of the restaurant in Port Campbell where we had the excellent calamari & rocket salad was Waves. The calamari through out this trip has been consistently delicious and well-prepared. GotT
gottravel is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2017, 04:21 PM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Hoping you enjoy some better weather, at least for the hiking. BTW, I'm slightly jealous about the GTGs that you, Bokhara2, and others have planned, in Australia no less.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2017, 06:46 PM
  #45  
 
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All the more reason to come back soon, Tripplanner! Just give us a little notice & least one or two of us will be around to meet up with you over a meal & a tipple somewhere.

You & the " Travels" are our favourite type of visitors - curious, open to different experiences & with a realistic grip on expectations v's possibilities.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2017, 07:33 PM
  #46  
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Port Fairy is a Charmer

It seems like every trip has at least one lodging disappointment and Daisies by the Sea proved to be our first one. Great location right on the beach with the ocean ~60-70 feet away. I know beach properties are difficult to maintain, but Daisies really need a facelift. More troubling was what we perceived as a lack of thorough cleaning. We did some preliminary cleaning upon arrival and were constantly wiping down surfaces. There are 2 units and the unoccupied one next door seemed newly furnished and appeared to lack the same degree of spider webs. We would have asked to switch rooms but there was no one around to ask. The owner had emailed me he would be away (he lives upstairs) and Janet would be looking after us. I guess she was looking after us from afar. For 2 nights we would make do.

After the long days drive Gottravel took a nap and I sat on the chair on the empty beach and gazed at the ocean. Even though it was the first really warm day of our trip, the ocean was frigid so no swimming for us.

Later we drove the 5 minutes into town, bought some wine and water and searched out a place for dinner. The town is a charmer. It has many 19th century bldgs built in a variety of architectural styles and from many different materials. We planned to take a walk with the Historic Walks Map the next day.

We had a very nice dinner at L'Edera Italian Restaurant. I finally gave up on ordering Aussie wines and had a wonderful Italian Soave. Normally I enjoy Australian wines, but I had been picking some losers I guess. That evening we headed down to the waterfront, drove thru the newer more modern neighborhoods and admired their architecture. Later we watched a pretty sunset and then called it a night.

Bright and early the next morning there was a knock at our door...it was Janet inquiring about breakfast which she made and delivered a short while later.

We had a leisurely morning, it was cool again and for the time being sunny, that was to change. We decided to go to Tower Hill State Game Reserve about a 20 minutes drive from Port Fairy. Tower Hill is open 24 hours and there is no admission fee. They have a series of walks, none too strenuous and promise lots of animal sightings. We decided to take the walk to the volcano that last erupted a mere 7000 years ago. The naturalist at the park showed us a side trail that he said would have an abundance of animals. Off we went. Let's just say that after 90 minutes or so, we saw all of 2 lizards. The walk was mostly uphill and through a forest so for us not real exciting. The crater of the volcano looked like a 7000 year old crater. We went back to the visitor center and lo and behold who should greet us on the grounds but an emu, our first and only animal sighting!

Not being lucky at Tower Hill we headed back to town and popped into Rebecca's for coffee, salad and a piece of delicious lemon cake. It seemed a popular item was a yellow cookie like confectionary. Being the sweet addict that I am I had to ask and then buy one. It was heavenly, so if you visit PF, stop into Rebecca's and try a yoyo, you won't be disappointed.

Next up was a walking tour of the Historic District. Invest in the map at the Visitors Information Center. It costs the princely sum of 20 cents. I mean when was the last time you bought anything for 20 cents? One side of the map gives you the history of PF and the other is a map with the locations of 36 historic public buildings. Note that many more of the cottages are not on the map and they are lovely. Most of the buildings are in excellent condition and have terrific decorative features including old cast iron doorknockers, fancy grillwork and chimney pots. Many of the buildings have markers with the original purpose of the commercial building and the history.

We had a mixed result at dinner at Merrijig Inn. Both of us deviated from seafood, me with duck and GT with steak. He fared better than me. I did strike it rich with a delicious wine from a vineyard in the Grampians. Note that this Inn is celebrating 175 years as an Inn and is the oldest Inn in Victoria.

Our plan had been to go out to Griffiths Island to perhaps catch a sunset and watch the shearwaters or Mutton birds return home to feed their young. But foiled again by the weather which was gray, gloomy and rainy. As we debated about walking in the rain, it stopped so we took off and walked for about an hour. We saw several wallabies but no Mutton Birds. Maybe they went to bed early.

Once again we feel we shortchanged a destination and could have easily stayed another day in delightful Port Fairy.
yestravel is offline  
Feb 24th, 2017, 02:29 AM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Reading along and catching up. Fun to hear an account of our own city (Melbourne) via new eyes. What a great location in DeGraves. I go through there almost weekly and didn't even realize one could let a short term apartment there.

Wish I knew they were going to foist one of those "bagels" on you... soft bread rolls with a hole punch in it. For shame. An associate of mine, originally from NJ, owns a "real" bagelry on Katherine Place, nearer Southern Cross Station and the aquarium.

Must say, I learned a lot on your Tasmania portion that will come in very handy in the future.
CounterClifton is offline  
Feb 24th, 2017, 03:10 AM
  #48  
 
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Bokhara2, thank you.

Yestravel, Port Fairy sounds like a lovely place to slow down for a few days.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2017, 12:13 PM
  #49  
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Cc- the building we stayed in while in Melbourne was next to the donut shop and it seemed to have quite a few short termers like us.
I wrote the bagel on the tour off as something locals might enjoy, but coming from the US east coast, it was not very good and hardly local food which the tour should have featured. Glad the Tasmania portion may help you. Be happy to answer any questions.

TP-yes, PF would be a lovely place to slowdown and loll away the day. But based on what we read while there PF had quite a lot to do in the town and in the immediate area. As we we leaving yesterday we both kept lamenting all that we could/should have done. But isn't that always the way?
yestravel is offline  
Feb 24th, 2017, 03:17 PM
  #50  
 
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Ok, I know just the Degraves building you're talking about yestravel. Friend of mine owns the little gift shop with the Vespa next to the doughnut place. Never realized they were renting there! Will have to remember that, if visitors are ever looking for a CBD spot.

Yeah, my FIL keeps bringing us those bagels. Now I just set them aside and use as a sandwich roll later. Fortunately, Zev at 5-and-Dime Bagels boils and bakes them every morning (mentioned in case any other visiting Americans get a hankering for a real bagel)
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Feb 24th, 2017, 04:34 PM
  #51  
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Loved that shop-clementines I think it was. We took a shot of the Vespa. Nice woman in there that we chatted with and I did see a guy ride up on it one morning. Guess that was your friend. Small world.
yestravel is offline  
Feb 24th, 2017, 04:50 PM
  #52  
 
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Bookmarking - hi!
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Feb 24th, 2017, 05:30 PM
  #53  
 
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Yes, that's the place and that was probably her! Imagine it was her hubs that rode up on the scooter. We have some products for sale in there.
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Feb 24th, 2017, 07:50 PM
  #54  
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Hi! Liz!
Cc- what products did you have sale?
yestravel is offline  
Feb 25th, 2017, 03:56 AM
  #55  
 
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Hi yt, Mel carries our hot sauce and some BBQ type spice rubs.
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Feb 25th, 2017, 07:29 AM
  #56  
 
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just found this so I had a lovely long read of your TR so far.

looking forward to reading more.
annhig is offline  
Feb 25th, 2017, 02:36 PM
  #57  
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Cc/ah, yes, I remember those.

Ann-welcome along. This is giving us great practice for left handed driving we'll do when in England in the Spring.

Currently zipping along A8 on the way to Melbourne airport.
yestravel is offline  
Feb 26th, 2017, 01:07 AM
  #58  
 
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CC - called into Clementines on Friday . I get five and dime bagels at my bread stall at Preston market .
yes travel - did you realize that the GOR is a war memorial - it was built virtually by hand after WW1 by returned soldiers for those who died .
Tower Hill has a special place in my family - my grandfathers 6 brothers and sisters are buried at Tower Hill cemetery - they died of. Diphtheria within 8 weeks of each other in the 1870's .
Enjoy Gold Coast
northie is offline  
Feb 26th, 2017, 01:59 AM
  #59  
 
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northie, you're already covering half my circuit....

Wanna job?
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Feb 26th, 2017, 06:02 AM
  #60  
 
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<<>>

Ha, ha! Excellent description! My first Aussie bagel experience was at a bakery somewhere along the GOR. I posted about it, and was thoroughly chewed out by an Aussie Fodorite who told me I should try new things.
Melnq8 is offline  

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