Saturday, 5 April 2008

Holiday in the Otways

This past week I spent three days in the Otways, staying in a house north of Apollo Bay.

It was my third trip to the Otways with my mother, and the weather was more of the rapidly fading "authentic" Otways type than on my previous two visits in September 1999 and early April of 2001. The last day in particular had a lot of rain.

During the two full days there (Tuesday and Wednesday) we drove through the Otways and saw some forest much more scenic than I recalled on my previous visits. The dense rainforest I saw on Tuesday was particularly impressive, with countless tree ferns the dominant feature.

The Wednesday storm was in the news everywhere, and it was at times terrible for us. Mummy had to evade a large number of fallen trees on a road through Tanybryn - probably the wettest place in all of Victoria and holder of the records for highest daily (22 March 1983 with 375mm) and monthly (June 1952 with 891mm) rainfalls. Whilst we were driving to Hamilton to see where Mummy lived between the ages of four and thirteen, it was impossible to tell dust from thick rainclouds. When we stopped on the attractive main street of Camperdown, Mummy thought the weather was so bad that we should leave. However, it soon rained quite heavily and in fact the Western District countryside - apart from a portion south from Hamilton - looked quite green and farm dams far from empty at the time of year when they would normally be lowest. Hamilton itself clearly had had considerable rain just before we got there, and it was quite a large and not unattractive town. The old school to which Mummy went was in fact largely intact, as was a bakery which she remembers going to very fondly. Her house, however, was turned into a pub, which really annoyed Mummy.

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