I arrived home from work at 7pm Friday night and I had already packed. By 7.15 we were on the road. I am not sure why I torture myself when there are so many good food places around, but we stopped at a McDonalds for dinner. R enjoyed his choice, which included jalapeno peppers to give it some taste. I chose, I think, a chicken and bacon burger. How does McDonalds manage to eliminate taste from their burgers? We should have at least chosen Hungry Jacks, which does manage to insert some taste into their food. But we needed fast food, fast.
We arrived at our accommodation in Point Lonsdale about 9.20. Mine host had called us 20 minutes earlier to check on our progress. We had been offered two nights for the price of one. It is just as well because we think the accommodation was very expensive had we paid full price. Our room was compact, aged and without air con, but it did have a ceramic electric heater, which we left on high for the whole time we were there. It kept the place warm enough, just. The bathroom was even more compact, but at least reasonably modern. The beds were comfortable enough but the view was lousy. This is the only photo I took of our room. I don't especially blame the accommodation. We had to keep in mind that I limited our choice of room by wanting twin beds but nevertheless, I was surprised to realise that there was no cooling in any room for summer months, as far as I could see. Trip Advisor reviews indicate if you booked for dinner, it is very good, as is breakfast.
It's an historic building and came close to demolition in the 80s. From memory it was built mid 19th century by the light house keeper and his descendants ran it for some time. We had our ántique' period in the 80s and 90s, and now prefer clean lines and modern........and spacious. The business is for sale, which is perhaps the freehold of the land too. I can't see that it is sustainable in its present state. Oh yes, mine hosts were delightful. As I later said to Bone Doctor, I think she would laugh if you told her she had cancer.
Rear view where guest's cars are parked.
Pool and spa with a tennis court beyond. Not much call for these at this time of the year.
A fully equipped communal kitchen.
We saw a few of these structures around Point Lonsdale.
An area mid building with a lemon tree and a couple of healthy looking cumquat trees. I am sure it would be very enjoyable if the temperature was above 13 degrees.
Looking at the front of the building from the east.
A view from the west.
Bone Doctor is in training for the Melbourne Marathon and had been out for a run. She will burn the breakfast kilojoules off very quickly.
Approaching the lighthouse.
There is a collection of this large dormitory like buildings fenced off and in poor repair. I said to R that they reminded me of my childhood school camps on the Mornington Peninsula. Sure enough, an investigation informed me that the buildings were erected to house Italian prisoners of war during WWII (the source I read said POWs but wouldn't it be more likely they were internees?) and then later reinvented as a school camp by the charitable organisation known as Toc H. Another source said the buildings were used by the Womens' Land Army and army personal.
We reached the beach and started out on the pier.
Note the concrete box on the beach. The area has several such structures, both from WWI and WWII. Point Lonsdale sits one side of the entrance to Port Phillip Bay and Point Nepean on the other side with a narrow gap in between known as The Rip, so called because of the speed at which the water flows in and out of the bay as the tide rises and falls. It is an ideal place to shoot a cannon ball at an enemy ship coming into the bay.
To the right a Norfolk Island Pine dominates the skyline. At Christmas it is decorated with coloured lights and is quite spectacular, and exciting to passengers as they pass by in cruise ships.
Not sure what this device is on the pier.
I know what these are for though, to hold fishing rods.
More war bunkers can be seen to the left of the base of the lighthouse.
At the end of the pier is a fish cleaning trough. The handle pumps up seawater which comes out of the black rubber hose. We tried it, it works and no priming was needed.
A wave breaking for no apparent reason.
This electric motor cycle type vehicle runs a drop off and pick up transport service from where we stayed to the Blues Train which departs from Queenscliff, some kilometres away. I think it is available for general hire too and is operated by someone called Bongo, which somehow seems appropriate.
We had called Sister on way to Point Lonsdale to see if she wanted to catch up for breakfast and kind of received a negative reply. Little Jo had her theatre class in Geelong at 10.30 and then a local play date with a boy from her school. The boy must like be bossed about by girls. Later Sister texted, meet us for breakfast at 8.30 at Cafe Amore. R moaned about having to get up so early but nevertheless, after having a dram or two of the good stuff, we slept well in comfortable beds and Sister, Bone Doctor, Little Jo and ourselves gathered for breakfast.
That done, we separated with an arrangement to meet Bone Doctor later at the Queenscliff venue where her 40th birthday party was to be held. We would help set up. R and I went for a decent walk and as we have seen the lighthouse before, this time we chose to take the left fork and walk out on the pier. The sea was quite rough with big waves. The breeze was brisk, but the sun was out.
On our way to set up the venue, we took a little drive around the better streets of Point Lonsdale, where retired judges, celebrities and other kindred souls live discreetly and modestly, often hidden by tea tree and other greenery. It is a town for retired folk who are tired of city life and just want to walk their dogs on the beach path and chill over newspapers in expensive cafes. My goodness, everything is so expensive in Point Lonsdale. We saw the French born TV chef Gabriel Gate in the main street three times. He was chatting to various people. He seems like a very nice bloke.
A very tame magpie.
Although there wasn't a scheduled service run by the Bellarine Railway tourist steam train, it nevertheless made an unscheduled departure from the station with clouds and smoke and steam.
After helping set up for the party we chilled for a little while back at our digs, read me using my tablet and R having a decent siesta, and after showering and dressing, Sister picked us up at just after 6pm. Neither of us wanted to be nominated driver that night. The party began at 5.30 and when we arrived around 6.20, there were kids afoot and lots of adults too.
The party and the aftermath in the next post.
Note to self, a blog post probably works better when you upload the photos first and then write. This time I did the reverse, and I can't say it worked so well.