Nearing Dunkeld, I saw Mount Abrupt for a moment, but then the clouds closed in, and the peak vanished amid the cottony grayness. I now headed for the coast, as the rain began in earnest.
I think my “short cut” across country ended up not saving any time, but I passed through a lot of very pretty farmland and still managed to reach Port Fairy by 4:30.
In Port Fairy, I headed down the main street, looking for accommodation. In short order, I hit upon the charming old (1855) Commercial Hotel. This place is a gem. Wooden veranda, heaps of antiques, leaded glass, and a bigger, nicer bedroom than at last night’s stop. This is a much smaller town (2,000 vs. Horsham’s 12,000), so I can only imagine that its location along the coast creates more income, making possible the better condition of the hotel. I was delighted with my gracious, antique-filled room.
Despite my love of the older objects in the room, I was pleased to see an electric blanket was provided. It has turned quite cold, and that combined with the dampness makes this bit of modern technology rather welcome.
Not particularly interested in wandering the streets in the still pouring rain, I opted for dinner at the hotel. That proved to be a good choice. Because I was in a seaside location, I naturally ordered the seafood platter: squid, bay scallops, prawns, and whiting, all fried but all astonishingly fresh. I was the only woman and only American (accent keeps giving me away) in the restaurant, and wanderers from other lands always interest Australians. They like to make sure you see the best of their parts of the country, and two men at the next table were no exception. So, by the end of my meal, I had considerably more information about tomorrow’s onward drive.
Upstairs in my room, as I settled in for the night, I could hear the wind picking up. It was wild enough to bring to mind that this area is known as the “shipwreck coast.” The sound varied between mournful and threatening. I can’t imagine navigating these waters in that kind of wind.