Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wilson's Promontory, Victoria - A Sneaky Long Weekend Escape

Suddenly I found myself with a golden chance of taking a closer look at the Victorian bush. I had attended a conference in Melbourne and was not expected back in Sydney before Monday morning, giving me 2.5 days of freedom :-) A combination of computer trouble and general busyness meant that I was very badly prepared and when leaving for Melbourne I hardly knew what my plans would be for the weekend.

It all nearly cost me the trip - Friday afternoon I visited 3 car rental companies before I managed to get a way too large and way too expensive Ford Falcon Wagon with so much space that I would not have needed to bring my tent!

Already in the south-east corner of Melbourne and having to deliver the car back Sunday afternoon I decided that taking on the Great Ocean Road would probably be too much of a mouthful and that Wilson's Promontory would be the wiser target instead.

After a very pleasant drive through some lovely Victorian landscape I finally found myself at the gate ready to enter "The Prom". An early warning sign was a ca. 15 min queue .. in two rows! Queuing to get into a national park a Friday afternoon - what was happening here??? When I finally arrived at the counter the very friendly girl could shine a bit of light on the situation: The weather forecast had predicted absolutely fantastic weather for the entire weekend resulting in a migration of Melburnians to the Prom!

Since I had arrived relatively early she encouraged me to drive to Tidal River and pitch my tent for the night and "unless I wanted to sleep in the bush I would have to find somewhere else for the rest of the weekend" - I Proudly announced that I would be happy to take a night in the bush, but was met with a scrutinizing look and I realized that sitting in a Ford Falcon with only a hard shell suitcase and a plastic bag of apples as the only luggage, wearing a shirt, black trousers, black shoes and still having my conference name tag on - I did not look like the usual deep-bush-camper. I though about starting to explain about how small and light a tent I had (one of my favorite stories), but with 50 cars behind me, we agreed that I should pay for one night and have a little chat to the rangers in the morning about the possibility of going bush Saturday to Sunday. :-D

Arriving at Tidal River I realized how big this place was - 484 camping and caravan sites - surely this could not fill up(?) It proved a bit hard at first to find a good site, but the girl had told me to just pitch my tent anywhere, so I sneakily razed the little MSR Hubba in the school zone
- the sign said that the "school" restriction was only enforced Saturday and Sunday so I would be fine. Managed to raise the tent in record time and used the last light to run down to the water to take a few photos for this blog post. Fantastic spot, after a busy busy conference in Melbourne and a bit of stress finding a car, driving out of Melbourne without using toll roads and not really knowing where I would sleep tomorrow, I felt that I could finally relax and deal with it all as it came. Those Victorian beach sunsets works wonders!

Walking back to the tent, planning an early night. I was absolutely unprepared for what the night would bring :-D To be continued ..

1 comment:

Jarrod said...

Oh the anticipation I can't wait.