Day 32 - 25th October
O'Neill's Creek, Gowrie to Rocky Cape Tavern, via Stanley
Distance Travelled - 196.2 km
My eyelids popped open just after 6 am and I managed to doze until 7 am but then my body informed me it was time to get out of bed. I followed orders and promptly got out of the tent. The morning was pleasant enough, somewhat overcast and dreary but much warmer than the day before. I had breakfast and then with the possible threat of rain becoming more distinct, I packed away the mostly dry tent and then went for a walk to stretch out the somewhat stiff and sore muscles in my legs.
I came back and read for a while in the car as Sheffield was only 15 km away and I wanted to call in to the visitor centre there before heading off to Stanley and the centre doesn't open until 10 am. I left at about 9.15 am and drove through getting there just after 9.30 am. I spent some time wandering through a few of the shops and looking at the murals set up in a park near the visitor centre. There were some quite good efforts there and, wouldn't you know it, gave me a few ideas for school.
Went through the centre when it opened and got the info that I wanted and headed off. The drive to Stanley was nice for the first part, travelling through farmland, forestry scenery and other nice backgrounds until I reached Bass Hwy and then it was relatively dreary. Before reaching the Hwy, I went through the small town of Forth and as I was exiting was fortunate enough to see another echidna trudging through the grass and leaf litter on the side of the road. I pulled up a short way down the road and went back camera in hand to take a few photos. After about half an hour of waiting and quietly snapping of exposures as the opportunities presented themselves I returned to the car and the journey to Stanley continued.
As I neared Stanley the wind was noticeably picking up and it started to very lightly rain. I arrived in Stanley and organised some lunch before going through the Cow and Calf Gallery again. Spoke to the owner David for a while about a few things and was very thankful that he was so much nicer and helpful than what I experienced with John Temple in Westbury. I had hoped to do a bit for photography in Stanley before leaving but the conditions had deteriorated too much and it was not possible so I drove through to the Rocky Cape tavern, my campsite for the night.
Set up the tent after booking in and spent the afternoon reading and looking through photos on the computer and listening to music. Wrote the blog early in the hope that I can post it in the pub where I will have tea tonight. After tea it will be an early night as I am feeling somewhat weary. Tomorrow I will drive back to Lilydale and start to sort out things for the trip back on the ferry to Melbourne and then the start of the journey home.
Just got back from tea and there was a problem with the internet connecting so this will have to wait until tomorrow.
Echidna near Forst
A selection of the murals at Sheffield