Our next stop after Wye was in the Apollo Bay area. We ended up at Marengo Holiday Park, which is a couple of kilometres past Apollo Bay and right on the beach. After settling in we decided to go for a drive. We continued west – primarily because we both enjoy the “this is the furthest point we’ve been from home since starting our trip” conversation – and took a right hand turn down a very windy dirt track (that’s windy as in the trail wound around, not as in the air was blowing in gusts).
The windy road proved more eventful than anticipated. At one point our driver’s side mirror extender fell off. So that’s broken. Then, we saw our first ‘mystery animal’ for the trip. To set the scene it was approximately one and a half times the size of your average house cat and ran with a similar gait, was coloured a dark browny-grey and possessed a long, bushy tail which it held upright.
After some spirited Googling, a phone-a-friend (thanks Greg) and consultation of our Cronin’s Key Guide to Australian Wildlife book (thanks Fran), we’ve come to the conclusion that the mystery animal was less ‘mystery’ and more ‘mountain brush tail possum’. Still cool though.
We pressed on after emerging from the windy track, heading towards the Cape Otway Lighthouse.
On our way there we spotted koalas as we drove along Lighthouse Road. Wild ones, in their natural habitat!
Those of you who know Laura won’t be surprised to hear that she couldn’t leave Apollo Bay without sampling the award-winning ice cream from The Ice Cream Tub. We highly recommend this place, which more than holds its own against Gelato Messina. Besides Milo and Cookies and Cream we also sampled the Vegemite flavour, which was confusingly nice.
After two nights in Marengo it was time to take a detour from the GOR and head inland and into the mountains. We stayed at Dando’s Camp Ground, which is a free-camping area in Lardner Creek Forest. While here we took a couple of different walks, the more notable through a rainforest next to a creek where Neddy enjoyed el mucho swimming and we exalted in the serenity while fending off hordes of leeches.
Dando’s has a number of fishing holes and it was at one of these that Neddy made known a habitus concernicus. It seems he is compelled to chase lures in the same way he does balls. And when we try to restrain him from chasing lures he barks and yelps and lunges like a creature possessed. No fish were caught at Dando’s and based on Neddy’s behaviour we anticipate that no fish will be harmed during the making of our trip.