Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day 68 - 18 Feb 09

A quiet day today, had a look around at the rest area, but the only thing to see was something called the "Burnt Bridge" but, as the road was closed, that too, will have to wait for a further trip.

Headed into Lakes Entrance in the late morning and took a walk along the arm between the beach and the river to Flagstaff Hill and the entrance to Bass Straight. One of the locals was using the path at the time, so being courteous, I waited until he (or she) had finished his (or her) journey.
The walk (4.8km) was very pleasant, but it was a shame to see the native vegetation being taken over by introduced species. This stand of Morning Glory has complete over-run the native heath.Continued on to Flagstaff hill, which was the original site of the harbour control after the channel was cut. About the only original building still existing is the Rocket Shed, a store for rockets which were fired to alert shipping entering the lakes. Most of the other buildings were all demolished by the Victorian government in the 1970's - pity that such heritage items couldn't have been preserved.From there it was only a short walk to the cut. The tide appeared to be going out as I was there and the area where the tide met the incoming waves was a scene of utter turmoil. I pity anyone caught in the currents there.Walked back along the beach and saw a project which appears to be taking sand from one part of the beach and putting it in another. Seemed rather pointless to me. Seems it would make more sense to take the sand from out in the ocean beyond the surf and bring it on to the beach. Oh well, I guess they know best what's good for us.

The weather was fine but blowing a gale and fairly cool when I came back into town and had a walk along the Esplanade. The wooden sculptures which form a sort of multi-site War Memorial are striking, not only in their simplicity (I don't feel qualified to comment on their artistic merit) but in the consideration of the enormous tree trunks out of which they were carved.There were a lot of fishing boats in port which makes one wonder how good the fishing is these days. I can remember many years ago people saying that the scallop fishing was in trouble then so heaven knows what the situation is today. Must admit that one of the boats tied up gets my vote for being the ugliest boat I've ever seen. A coat of paint wouldn't hurt.

On to Bairnsdale. I have not mentioned it before, but I have a thing about Post Offices. During previous trips, I have seen some magnificent PO's (the one at Wilcannia sticks in my mind) and during this trip, I am trying to take photographs of them as I come to towns. So far I have been pretty disappointed. We don't seem to consider PO's as worth preserving and they are all being replaced by "Post Shops". I have enquired at some as to the location of the original PO and the answer too often is "it was here but they pulled it down" - so sad. I will admit that next door to the PO in Bairnsdale is one of the most interesting Court Houses I have seen - looks like something out of Disneyland.
I have pulled up at a rest area about 33kms from Bairnsdale for the night. Right on the highway, so it may be a noisy night. See you soon.

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