Saturday, 22 October 2011

On the top of the Otways

In what I hope doesn't become a habit, I cut my day short again. There was at least 700 m in climbing and it has turned wet, or possibly just damp. Also, I slept badly last night what with the heavy winds.
Shortly after leaving the motel in Skenes Creek, I came across a strange mammal by the side of the road. I took a few photos and set off for the tourist information centre in Apollo Bay. I thought I knew what the mammal was but I wasn't sure how it was spelt let alone pronounced. So being a librarian, I asked. It was an echidna. Pronounced "ekidna" and not, say "enchillada". (Also, the city I arrived in is pronounced "je-long" and not "gee-long".) As I sort of suspected, it is a particularly odd mammal being oviparous like the platypus.
I had a proper second breakfast in Apollo Bay and updated the blog. I also saw some galahs feeding on a lawn. Climbing out of town via a ridge there were a couple of large black parrots on a tree. 
After a 300 m climb, I arrive at Mait's Rest, a spot named after a forester who used rest his horses there on his way from A to B. The place has a short walk through the rain forest complete with signs about the massive mountain ash trees and the black carnivorous snails. Near the start there was something about the half the size of a raccoon scurrying through the underbrush. I haven't a clue what. The path wove its way around giant tree ferns which were wonderfully aromatic adding to the alien texture of the place.

Back on the road, I passed a black wallaby before I could stop. I turned around to whip out the camera but it bounded away into the sweet smelling eucalyptus before I could get the camera ready. A little later some black and yellow parrots flew by.
The road dropped back to the sea, before climbing again, up 420 m to Laver's Hill where a bird feeder being patronized by several species of parrot (crimson rosellas and Australian king parrots) and a laughing kookaburra influenced me along with the increasing rain to cop out early.
It was also another 32 km to the next town and I wasn't sure of accommodations. The Lebanese owner/manager of the motel I stayed in was in a bit of a tizzy over the death of Kaddafi, something I had been entirely ignorant of. He seemed surprised I didn't know. Then again, until that evening, I hadn't known about another visitor currently in Australia, namely the Queen.

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