Storm on the beach at Ricardo Point, south of the town of Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia, June 2011. Original size 5616x3744px. (Gerald FitzGerald)Not a great day for weather. Sunrise was beautiful but by the time I left my motel at 8:45 the rain had started and with a couple of breaks, kept up all day. As a result, I did not have much opportunity or interest in stopping to wander or take pictures, the net result of which is that I covered a fair bit of ground and my day should be a bit easier tomorrow, particularly if the weather improves. One of the few breaks in the rain created a magic moment. As the rain paused and the sun broke through the clouds the gum tress on the left side of the highway, where they were struck by the sun lit up like christmas trees, but only the gum trees. I guess it’s because the eucalyptus leaves are long, curved and relatively narrow and hang down like icicles so when the sun hits their wet surfaces it explodes with silver. What was even neater was that not every leaf on a given tree was affected, but only ones whose orientation was just right to catch the light at a particular angle. So while many of a tree’s leaves were green, scattered among them were a large number that glowed bright silver like mirrors. It really was like driving through a forest of brightly lit christmas trees covered with silver icicles. The whole effect only lasted about 2 or 3 minutes and then vanished as the rain came down again, but magic while it lasted.

My only sightseeing detour was to a part of the coast just north of the town of Lakes Entrance with a very rugged section of beach called Ricardo Point. The wind was literally gale force off the sea, the sand wet as it was from rain and surf was blowing in my eyes and the waves were colossal, coming in so fast and on top of each other that the surf for a 100 metres out from the beach was a welter of white. I tried to set up the camera on a tripod for some long-exposure shots but the tripod and camera were vibrating in the wind and I had to hold onto them to stop them from blowing over. Not a hope of getting a picture that way and I could only manage to fire off a couple of hand-helds, one of which is in todays photo album. It was monumental to feel the wind and see what it was doing to the sea but I could not imagine what it would be like to be a sailor in weather like that.

In a very pleasant little town called Metung where Mark Lelliott suggested I overnight. It’s only purpose for existence seems to be yachts and those who sail in them, but that’s fine with me and I’m very comfortable in my home for the night, Five Knots, a very nice self-catering hotel right on the water.

Signing off ’til tomorrow.

Oz On the Road - Day Six

Oz On the Road - Day Four