Apollo Bay [ or Polla Bay as the locals like to call it ] is a tiny hamlet on the southern coast, a holiday and retirement colony accessible only by one of two equally tortuous and dangerous roads and my destination for the weekend.
Once a year I make the 300 km/ 4 hour trip down to the coast to stay with my friend Judy and teach something to her patchwork group.
Of course the prospect of spending that long in the car with the broken backside wasn’t thrilling but you’ve made a committment so that’s what you do, right? …and anyway if Judy could contemplate a visitor for the weekend and a 2 day class when she was getting back from CHINA about 2 hours ahead of my arrival … well, nuff said, eh?
Okay. So the house was cleaned, provisions laid in for David and the live-in Carer, notes copied and bags packed.
First stop after one hour … purely in the interests of taking the weight off my coccyx you understand … was at Sebastapol near Ballarat and the best quilt shop in Victoria IMHO : Gail’s Patchwork Emporium. I know some people rave about Quilter’s Barn down at Loch and I know that the owner there is a great entrepreneur but it’s never really been my cup of tea. For my money, it’s always been Gail’s, dating back to the days when it was called The Silver Thimble and operated out of her rumpus room. Back then, a carload of us would make pilgrimmage up from Melbourne a couple of times a year because she was the only one selling bali batiks, Hoffmans and hand dyes. Hard to believe now I know, but in the late 80s no one else was game to take the risk and carry fabric that was ‘different’. These days, even though I only live an hour drive away, I mainly catch up with Gail at Symposiums and the like except for the annual jaunt to the coast.
After the obligatory free cuppa and bikkie and trip to the loo, the plastic was bent thusly: [ surprise! it’s all japanese … apart from the super cute santa pattern which was an astounding $18 for 2 pieces of paper and a photo, so I’d better make sure I use it, eh? ]
Back in the car, chugging across interminable stretches of farming country through Rokewood and Cressy until another hour or so later, I turned for the coast near Colac.
This last hour of the trip is up and over the spine of the Otway Ranges along hairpin curve after hairpin curve with vertiginous drops, and breathtaking views that I couldn’t see because my eyes were glued to the road. I swear the sheep around there must have legs six inches shorter on one side because they’d fall over otherwise.
It wasn’t too bad Friday because the rain had stopped but I have to tell you that this is NOT a road you want to travel in the rain [ like last year ] or after dark. The curves are so tight, and the road so narrow, that you can’t see oncoming traffic until it’s about 10 metres in front of you so no matter how vigilant a driver you are it’s hairy to say the least, and there’s about 40 km like that.
Note to the driver of the 4-wheel drive with boat trailer and cabin cruiser attached who rounded a curve on my side of the road : thanks for prooving just how good my tyres and breaks are fella!
Pleasant evening catching up with Judy’s China news, good tucker, later to bed than was probably prudent … didn’t much matter. I had a pretty disturbed night’s sleep anyway but that’s normal … and up bright and early for the day’s activities: a Mystery Quilt class again. This time it was one I’d designed in probably the early 90s that fitted the brief the girls had given me: smallish and able to be manifestly completed in the 2 days.
That’s probably enough photos for now so I’ll show you the actual class stuff tomorrow.