Mount Gambier & Melbourne – day 283

Having woken up in one of the strangest hotels that we’ve stayed at in a long time, we showered in the communal bathroom (slash laundry room) and headed out to the Blue Lake. The town of Mount Gambier is situated in the flatlands below an extinct volcano and the main ‘tourists’ attraction is the Blue Lake. In all honesty, we only stayed in Mount Gambier as it was a major town that suited us for our visit to Naracoorte and made it easy to drive back to Melbourne later today. However, when in Rome… The 75 metre deep luminous lake is beautiful and well worth the detour on our way out of town. During the summer months, the lake turns an insane hue of blue whereas during winter, when we visited, it was more of a steely grey. However, if you looked closely at the shoreline, you could see shimmers of bright blue water reflected in the sunlight. Perplexed scientists think that the colour of the lake water has to do with the calcite crystals suspended in the water, which form at a faster rate during the warmer months. Whatever the reason, it was beautiful and peaceful as we wandered around to various viewpoints around the lake, stopping at one to have some breakfast before getting back into the car.  As we left the town, we saw the sign for the local sinkhole garden. A 50 metre deep sinkhole that forms one of the many caves that worm their way through the limestone beneath the town. The sinkhole has been planted as a garden as was great to be able to descend to the bottom of it, looking up at all the layers of limestone. As we walked around the top of the sinkhole, a grown man came towards us looking at his phone with a perplexed look on  his face. Jayne asked him if he was okay to which he replied ‘yep – just trying to find a Pokémon’… Our first insight into this next craze! Fast forward a few hours of driving through the Limestone coast along flatlands of endless green fields, trees and dead kangaroos. Suddenly, the landscape began to rise up from the western plains and we got outstanding view of the Grampians. A beautiful and unique set of rock features, we didn’t say a word to each other as the impressive natural features grew closer and bigger. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to stop and explore any of the many walking trails in the area but we will definitely head that way when we come back to Australia in the future. Another two hours of driving, including an argument that I was driving too slowly (I was driving at the sped limit!!) and a traffic jam coming into the city, we were back in Melbourne, returning the pink monstrosity to Thrifty, pulling into the parking bay just as he was closing for the day! Perfect timing as we had no idea what to do with the keys had he already left! Put our luggage in a locker at the bus station and went to the Greyhound booking office to buy our bus tickets for central Australia. Decided to go to watch the new Ghostbusters film as we both were keen to see it and had some time to kill before our coach to Canberra. It was actually surprisingly good for a remake – it was almost as good as the original film! Who knew Chris Hemsworth could be so funny! The female cast made a formidable comic team in their own right although Kate McKinnon stole the show as the oddball physics geek. Back at the bus station with some food for dinner, we waited for our night bus to Canberra, watching people pass through the station and being fascinated by the security guards opening up all the lockers, checking the contents and re-locking them once they knew they were safe! Boarded the bus at 22.00 and settled down into our seats, slightly uncomfortable as you have to wear seat belts on coaches in Australia and they kept cutting into my neck as I tried to sleep…

Saturday 16th July 2016

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