speaking of honey BG hasn't popped in for a while, that rose he bought working well
BG's Portland Sojourn
I know it is a bit cheeky of me to post this here but it is pretty much all Portland related and I'm not going to start a new thread for it Plus Shunter asked a Q or 2.
'Er indoors and I decided on a last minute trip down to Portland for the Australia Day long weekend. We booked one of the very few remaining motel rooms on Wednesday night and set off from Castlemaine on Friday after I skipped off work early at around 3PM. The trip down was an uneventful one apart from some sort of truck incident in the middle of Ararat necessitating a detour straight after we had re-fueled which caused a few momentary dramas as I lost my bearings. It was great to drive the road from Maryborough to Ararat criss-crossing the now active rail line as the last time I had done this trip it was still closed with rakes of grain hoppers stored on it near Ararat.
A bit of shine was noticed on the rails either side of each of the crossings we encountered on the leg from Maroona down to Portland and this has been covered by others in this thread.
Saturday was spent sightseeing using the Cable Tram as transport. The tickets are good for the whole day and you can hop on and off at will. We took full advantage managing to board all 5 services for the day as follows; 1st - Depot / Museum > Maritime for Brunch, 2nd Maritime > Water Tower to visit the excellent RSL museum and lookout, 3rd Water Tower back to Depot for a look around while waiting for the 4th service which we took for the short hop to the Portland Powerhouse Motor and Car Museum and then finally back on board the last service of the day back to Botanical Gardens and the short walk to Mac's Hotel.
My bet with Shunter about Mineral Sands traffic wasn't exactly foremost in my mind during this relaxing getaway but even so we sampled all 3 of the actual pubs in the town proper although we didn't have a drink at the Gordon which was way too pub TAB for us. The Royal apparently does a good feed and was really busy on Saturday night but we always seemed to roll up when they were closing as we walked home from the excellent Sandbar at Mac's Hotel. As I posted in my Google Review my Friday night dinner at Mac's was the best bar meal I have had for many years and we backed up for drinks on Saturday and then again for dinner on Sunday after a day trip to Nelson and Cape Bridgewater. I am disappointed to report that I failed to find anything resembling Stout on tap anywhere in town despite the Ballarat Stout sign in the bar at Mac's so some forward planning may be required should we ever make the trip back to settle the wager - I may have to BYO a keg of Oatmeal Stout! Oh and as for Rose? What were you thinking man! A nice Coonawarra Cab Sauv will suffice thank you.......
While in town I dragged my long suffering partner to the old North Portland station site on Saturday afternoon as it was quite close to the Motel and then thrilled her to bits by getting her to drive from this morning's breakfast at Bahloo past the port around Medeira Packet Road to take a look at the Alcoa plant and then back along the Cape Nelson Road so I could take a look at the yard. No sign of action there and all roads were still rusty but lots of saw logs stacked up possibly bound for the ship which we watched come in on Saturday which i think was Pacific Basin's Champion Bay as it is shown making multiple movements around the port on the Port Website and surprised us by being tied up at the quarantine berth where the Cruise Ships normally dock when we got back to town on Sunday afternoon. We were told they fumigate the log ships heading to China but the ship didn't appear to be loaded so maybe just parking it.
We decided to drive back to Melbourne this afternoon as the other half is starting back at work tomorrow after the summer break. I wanted to avoid Port Fairy for fear of never wanting to leave should the Caledonian be open when we arrived and so I chose a shorter route as suggested by Google Maps. Not my finest hour as navigator but that very long story can wait for another day. Suffice to say that coming across a livestock truck rollover on a 60km bend with dead cows littered all over the road reservation wasn't appreciated by the driver. We also came across a motorcyclist who had run off the black stuff and come off just before Inverleigh but he was OK and somebody had stopped to help him by the time we pulled over.