Feb 2020, Apollo Bay, Vic
We’re off to a caravan club muster. Leaving Lake Colac, we cross the highway and meander through the Otway Ranges to the little town of Forrest where we stop for a coffee at the Brewery. Forrest is becoming a popular spot for mountain bike riding and bushwalkers as it is surrounded in pristine cool climate rainforest. Of course, being high in the Otways it is drizzling with a thick mist.
As we climb through the hills the dreaded orange light comes on, on the dash once more, followed by a red high temperature light. This looks similar to the problem that we had on the way home from Yackandandah after Christmas. Before you ask, yes, we’ve had the transmission serviced since then. As Apollo Bay is the nearest town it is a worrisome winding climb up and over the range on wet slippery roads. We breathe a sigh of relief when we reach the Great Ocean Road at Skenes Creek. The drive had been so foggy that we hadn’t even glimpsed the ocean on the way down. How different this is to last year’s February muster at Toora that was stinking hot and swathed in bushfire smoke.
Apollo Bay is busy with tourists and the little that we can see of the beaches they are looking wintry and wild yet people are out walking. We set the van up at Marengo Caravan Park and don’t bother with the awning as it is too windy (yep wind and fog) and return to town to see the RACV mechanic. The exact problem is identified by his computer as the orange light is still unhappily glowing. He suggests that when we return home to our mechanic we take the Great Ocean Road home as it is less hilly. The problem should be fine on the flat and when not towing. We buy a scallop pie in town and return to camp to relax, but not before Woody gets hot scallop juice all over his clothes.
The park is filling up with our muster mob, at least we can see our mates in the fog. The whole coast is shrouded in mist and the surf is pounding, no roaring. I find two dead Fairy Penguins on the beach.
We BBQ snags for dinner then relax and sit about chatting because there’s no TV reception. Although we’re in a stunning headland location there’s no sunset, the misty gloom just gradually darkens.