Today was a short ride to Clifton Springs.
Stage 3 : Queenscliff to Clifton Springs.
Up at 5.30am. Packed up quickly but then people stopped for a chat about the Magnum and triking. Eventually got away at 9.00am!
Today I am visiting Ted. We went to school together far too many years ago and both decided separately to move to Australia (1974). We caught up a bit last winter when I was camping at Temora in NSW but now Ted has moved to Clifton Strings.
I decided to head to Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads before seeing Ted. The two towns featured in a hit ABC series called SeaChange first aired some 20 years ago. The way into Ocean Grove was surprisingly hilly and one hill had me wondering if I would make it to the top. Pushing hard on the pedals my back started to object. No, no I thought .. Let’s not damage things on a whim. So I gave up the idea of riding over the bridge to Barwon Heads, sought out the Ocean Grove shopping centre and had a coffee instead.
Later Ted drove me over the bridge (which featured on the show) while pointing out the original bridge had been replaced a few years back. He was able to point out Diver Dan’s boathouse and Laura’s cottage which is, in fact, part of the caravan park.
The aptly named Grubb Road to Clifton Springs was straight almost all the way from Ocean Grove. On the left for part of the way was a sad looking nature reserve. Some people are trying to revive it but the current drought is doing it no favours. Other people suggest that because the climate is changing perhaps the original plants can’t live in the new conditions and something that can should be tried. No agreement or decisions yet.
On the other side of the road was a desert. Actually it is the site of a new shopping centre and planned housing estate. It is huge, has been flattened and the topsoil was blowing away over the road and me.
All around the Peninsula new giant houses are being built. The walls reach to the land boundary and the houses have no eaves. They look very crammed in.
Coming from Tasmania all this concentrated, rapid development with associated traffic is a bit hard to take in.
After a gentle climb from OG, we then enjoyed a top downhill for several kilometers until finally arriving at Clifton Springs. So named because for quite a time a popular mineral water was bottled here. The way to Ted’s house looked simple on the map but it was all uphill away from the sea.
After a cup of tea and a chat Ted took me on a tour of the area. It seems that most of the coastal towns had developed in the late 1940s as migrants from Europe arrived. It looks like there was also a shack culture occurring alongside that and each town was separate with it’s own identity. Today the shacks are disappearing, knocked down to enable another huge “Grand Design” to be built.
Clifton Springs has so far not been completely involved in this development but the signs are it soon will be.
An interesting day. Pleased to see Ted already settling in.
Once again I had problems with pictures. I know I take them but they have disappeared!