5th November – Sunday
After Maree and Zach break their individual best records for sleeping in (10am), we pack up and leave. We have to visit the sink-hole this morning to see it in the daylight. It is very pretty here with what is basically a Botanical garden inside a massive crater in the ground. We head off heading initially for Portland, and are over the border into Victoria in no time. Instantly the roads deteriorate dramatically. What is supposed to be the A1 National Highway is more like a national joke, with so many potholes and broken road edges, they make some of the corrugated roads we’ve done look good. OK, I’m exaggerating (a little bit), but I have to to make you understand how shit this road is – that shouldn’t be. Maree needed to go to Portland as she wanted to do a shop at Aldi’s. Jessie also gets her wish of a $2 McFlurry from Maccas. We continue to Warnambool, taking a slight detour into Tower Hill and Koroit on the way. We had a quick look at Warnambool which is another nice coastal town, but it was so cold and windy that nobody wanted to get out of the car. We decided we’d head about half an hour out of town to a free stop at Panmure. This camp-site was beside a bubbling brook near a farm. It was quite lovely if you could ignore the sound of the trucks rumbling past all night. This was also the coldest night on this trip so far. Even in the van under 3 blankets we were cold. Maree had donated our beautiful down quilt to charity back in Darwin (bad idea). Maree was worried all night (as she slept) about Zach sleeping outside in the tent. He had 2 sleeping bags and a blanket, so I reckon he was probably better off than us.