Finally, after seven days at Marengo Headlands, we’re heading off up the coast. After feeling that my feet were growing roots, it was a relief to pack everything back in the car and set off. Although the weather continues to be a bit overcast, it is broken up by occasional spells where the sun breaks through the clouds – and when that happens you’re quickly reminded of how fierce the sun is here, so close to the ozone hole. We’ve been away since July, and have got pretty used to the sun, and have developed tans which protect us from the worst of it, but even we still get caught. On Wednesday Sarah got sunburnt eyelids, when she sat out in the sun for an hour without her sunglasses on, and the result was painful, puffed up eyes for a day.
The drive today, from Apollo Bay to Warrnambool, took us past the 12 Apostles, probably the most famous sight of the Great Ocean Road, and we had to stop for the obligatory family photo – and you can see the effect of the weather. Although it’s still warm – T-shirt weather – the temperature can be very variable, depending on how thick the cloud cover is. When we arrived we were all feeling a bit cool, but as we were leaving it had become too hot, as the clouds had thinned a little, and were letting through much more sunlight.
The thing that you can’t really get any sense of in photos is the ever-present Australian fly. Whenever the weather is warm enough, they swarm over the landscape, looking for something to land on. At the viewing point for the Twelve Apostles, we came across the worst fly infestation we’d seen in Australia, and by the end of a twenty minute walk we all had 50 flies clinging to our clothing, and wandering around our faces. Although we wave them away, they quickly just fly back and start crawling over your mouth, nose, ears and eyes again. It’s so bad that it cuts short the time you spend outside at some places, and makes it a relief to get back in the car. And we always have to have a vigorous fly-swatting session before a photo – otherwise we’d end up looking like currant buns!