Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Eden truly was an Eden…

The skeleton of Tom, the leader of the Orca pack that helped the whalers
Long before our cruise we had arranged for two timeshares, one in Lakes Entrance in Victoria; the other in Ballarat, also in Victoria. So, the day after our cruise ended we headed off in a rental car on the “other”—not the “wrong”—side of the road to Lakes Entrance via the coast road.

We had lots of suggestions for our longish trip from Sydney to Lakes Entrance, most of them spot-on. The coast road, the Princes Highway, was definitely the way to go and we planned an overnight stop in the aptly named Eden. Our shipboard friends, Peter and Fred, drew a detailed map on the back of a laundry bag—the biggest piece of paper available—with suggested stops for food, wine, cheese, and scenery. What else is there?

Randy drove the whole way to Eden (later I would take pity on him and do some of the driving) so he was a tired puppy when we finally got there about 600 km later. The best stop of the day was in Tilda Tilda for cheese. Mmmmm Good! And the Starfish Deli in Batemans Bay for lunch; double Mmmmmm Good!

Driving in OZ is an experience (even more of an experience in Victoria, the Nanny State, but more on that in my next blog chapter). For example, in the US you have “Deer Crossing” signs and sometimes the exotic “Elk Crossing” or even “Moose Crossing.” In Australia? “Koala Crossing”  and “Kangaroo Crossing” (thank goodness they haven’t discovered the US penchant for spelling words with a “K” like Koala Krossing). But Australia does have some seriously weird town/road names: Toulijooa Rd., Wattmolla, Croajingalong, and my favorite, Yatte Yattah.

We had elected to stay in the Snug Cove B&B rather than the hotel that was suggested by our friends. A great decision! Jen and Eric, the owners, were actually in Bali when I emailed about availability but they were on their way home and were happy to have us stay (isn’t email great? We would not have been able to stay there if they had relied on the telephone). Snug Cove is a purpose-built B&B with three gorgeous rooms, all overlooking Twofold Bay, a great whale-watching destination. (I’ve put a longer review on TripAdvisor.)

We had a lovely glass of wine with Jen and Eric, a dinner in the local pub, a restful night’s sleep, and the most lucious breakfast I’ve had in a long time. The ship’s breakfasts were very nice but there is something about a really big table and fresh fruit, fresh yogurt, bread and fresh eggs cooked to order and HOT (our ship eggs were rarely hot), and homemade rolls—that just can’t be beat!

Sadly, we had to leave Eden for our (what turned out to be) ant-infested time-share in Lakes Entrance. It wasn’t really that bad (but there were a lot of ants in the kitchen) and Lakes Entrance is in the lovely area/ugly-named Gippsland and our luck with weather continued. 

We spent the morning in Eden at the Killer Whale Museum. It has exhibitions about the shore-based whaling operations from Twofold Bay during the 1800s and early 1900s and includes a full skeleton of 'Tom' the Killer Whale, one of some legendary Orcas who hunted for baleen whales on their southward migration each year and actually helped the human whalers. A very interesting museum.

Since Greg and Yolanda (our son and dil [daughter-in-law] ) joined us in Lakes Entrance we did some touristy things like Buchan Cave and Paynesville and Raymond Island.

Then off to Ballarat for a visit with Ian and Melinda and a catch-up with a couple we met four years ago on our 4WD camping trip, Lurlene and Gerald.
Just a pretty scene on the way to Lakes Entrance

Looking out from our room at the Snug Cove B&B

An excellent philosophy

Pam and a local beer, Pigs Fly,at the Starfish Deli in Batemans Bay

I love this logo!
Tom, the famous Orca in Twofold Bay

How gross is this!

We got the absolute best cheese here, in Tilda Tilda

Greg & Yolanda at Buchan Caves

One of the "rooms" at Buchan Caves

A beautiful lunch cafe,

The hotel in Tilda Tilda

Greg and Yolanda in the kitchen (ant-infested) of our Worldmark timeshare in Lakes Entrance

I just love this scene at Paynesville

Mom and Dad swan near Paynesville

Mom (in front) is about to be boarded by one of the little cygnets; Dad already has at least one rider

The really pretty harbor in Paynesville

We found this cute little guy on Raymond Island, across from Paynesville

Closeup of the cute little guy.

1 comment:

  1. We will be in Victoria, Australia at the end of November. Still waiting to hear if we will have a timeshare in the Melbourne/Ballarat area. Our request has been in for over a month. Main problem seems to be that the end of November is "spring break' in Australia.

    Can't wait to see the Coast Road! Thanks for the photos.