Friday, 14 November 2014

A travelogue

Greetings!

Travel writing is a style of writing many aspire to perfect - probably due to the opportunity to travel to exotic, beautiful and exciting locations and combine it with a love of the written word.

While in Italy earlier this year, I wrote quite a bit about the sights and sounds of that magnificent place, but today I'd like to share a little travelogue I wrote a couple of years ago.

Stuart and I had taken an early morning drive to Phillip Island - about one and a half hours from where we live in Mornington -  and set out on a bush walk around Cape Woolamai.

When we returned, I sat down and wrote about it. As far as travelogues go, this is nothing flash, but you might enjoy it, and perhaps, one day, you might be inspired to do the walk yourself.

 A cool 8 Ks on a hot summer day

Residents of Victoria, there are so many wonderful natural attractions for us to explore. One such is the 8 kilometre walking track around Cape Woolamai on Phillip Island that Stuart and I decided to check out.

The day we chose for this walk was predicted to reach 37 degrees so we set out early armed with insect repellent, water, hats and a bottle of 30+ sunscreen. Leaving the car at the Woolamai car park about 8:30 am, we set out on a three hour trek which began on the beach – a two kilometre stretch of pristine sand beside the gloriously blue and white-capped surf.

But for the aeroguard-resilient flies, the going was rather easy. Once leaving the beach, we followed the well-defined trail which undulated gently between a moonscape of mutton-bird burrows and the spectacular pink granite cliffs, affording magnificent views over Bass Strait. 

The magnificent coastline of Phillip Island.
Wildlife was in abundance: mutton birds, kangaroos, snakes, magpies and much more, and we saw all of these wonderful creatures as we followed the trail past such sites as Pulpit Rock, The Pinnacles, and the peak of Woolamai Hill. This hill is the site of the historic Navigation Beacon that has guided ships along this rugged coast since 1921.
 
From here, the trail began its descent and moved inland and now the landscape dramatically changed. Previously we’d walked through scrubby foreshore grasses and low-lying shrubs, but this rapidly transformed into a thickly wooded area where bush tomatoes grew amongst other native shrubs and trees. We inadvertently surprised a dozing roo who exploded from the greenery and bounded away rather indignantly.

The sandy path we followed showed clearly the slithering marks left by the many snakes inhabiting the area. We only encountered one brown fellow who, with the slow arrogance of one who knows he’s not only beautiful but deadly, slid out of our way and disappeared into the undergrowth.

Eastern brown snake. Ordinarily, I don't mind snakes but I wasn't about to introduce myself to this guy!

The track turned once more toward the beach and a disused quarry where, in years gone by, up to 100 men had cut blocks of pink granite from the hill. They did this by hand-drilling into the granite and hammering wooden pegs into the holes. When the tide came in, the pegs expanded to split the granite. Would we be so in tune with nature these days I wonder?

Now we were once more on the beach with the San Remo Bridge in the middle distance. Enormous sand dunes rose above us on our left and met the water on our right. We walked a narrow stretch of fine white sand between the two and it was here we encountered other people for the first time. A family were enjoying a game where they dragged toboggans up the dunes – no mean feat given the dunes’ height – and rode them down the sand to plunge into the water at the bottom. Fun indeed!

But by now we were exhausted. It was just after 11 am and the day was considerably warm as we located the path to the car park. Turning away from the sparkling water we began the last leg of our trek.

Having completed the 8 K circuit, we arrived at our car and gratefully divested ourselves of our hiking boots and sweaty socks. We had thoroughly enjoyed our explorations of this beautiful place but now, alerted by the rumblings of our stomachs, we had other pressing issues.

There’s a fantastic little place in Cowes that does the best trio-of-dips and it was there we decided to head for lunch – but that’s an entirely other story...

Until next week, why don't you take a wander to a something near your place - even if it's just the local park or your favourite cafe? Write about it, and if you like, send it to me at: info@karenturner.com.au and I'll send you a little review.

Bye for now!

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