Tag Archives: smelter

What I did on my Summer holidays.

I feel like I am a little kid, back at Primary school, writing an essay about what I did over the Christmas break, hence the title.  It was interesting, and more than a bit bizarre, so I thought it might be of interest. Anyway, it provides background for the photos, which is what this is all about, after all.

In early January, on the way back from visiting our family in Adelaide, we stopped for four nights at a caravan park in Portland, Victoria.

One of the historic buildings in Portland

Portland itself is an interesting town. The local tourist office has mapped out a two-hour walking tour of the historic buildings in the city centre, and the port that gives the town its name is big and bustling. We were lucky enough to see an oil rig being towed into port for repairs while we were there – something that most people would never see. It was an amazing sight, particularly at night after the lights all came on.

The aluminium smelter is a pretty dominant feature of the town, and Alcoa has done a lot of work in developing parks and walking tracks, as far as I could tell, though I don’t know what it would be like to live near it.

Glorious beaches and views out to the Southern Ocean made for spectacular walks, though the flies were present in unbelievable numbers. Forgetting the insect repellant on our first day there made for a few unpleasant hours, I can tell you!

Cliff-top walk from the Blowholes carpark to the seal colony off Cape Bridgewater

The bizarre part of the trip was the accommodation.  Booked online, as it was, I was at the mercy of their website for information, and I think someone had been putting a little ‘spin’ on it, making it seem better than it actually was. Though I wasn’t lied to by the person who confirmed my booking, I think they were a bit literal in their interpretation of our needs.

When told that the cabin I was booking wasn’t one of their newest, I had said that as long as we had somewhere to cook; somewhere to sleep and a bathroom, we would be fine. And that is what we got – except that the bathroom was IN the main bedroom, with the toilet about two feet from my head at night.

Our bizarre accommodation…

This; the fact that we were told it was very clean and wasn’t, and the fact that the Caravan park in question was one of those with lots of long-term residents (where there always seems to be a lady who goes to the toilet block at around five in the evening in a purple brunch-coat to get ready for bed), mean that this is one place we won’t be revisiting! A nice motel next time, perhaps? And bucket-loads of Aerogard!

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