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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Copperhead stopped us in our tracks

Now, about those tolls around Melbourne. Tolls are paid, not to a person in a booth, but directly to a toll operator by an electronic gizmo placed in your vehicle. Overhead gantry reads your gizmo  and promotes free flow tolling where traffic doesn't have to slow down.

photo taken from a news item

 Sydney and Melbourne all use an e-TAG or an account (tag-less)  Since July 2013 all toll roads in Australia adopted a cashless system. Two beebs are heard from within the car and money is taken from your account. So the problem for us is not my brothers car, having one of those gizmo already in it. No our problem is the caravan. Each vehicle has to be registered and unlike the British system where car and van number plates are the same, not so here in Australia. The caravan is hired and belongs to someone else. This means that every time we go under an electronic toll gantry, one payment is taken from my brothers account but the owner of the caravan, having not registered it, would get a penalty notice (number plate recognition). That is why we have to avoid any toll road while towing the van. Avoiding the tolls in Melbourne meant we will have to take a ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff, a shorter journey than through Melbourne but at a cost to us of nearly 90 dollars for a 45 minute crossing.

Finding another good tourist park near to the ferry terminal (we have a 9am crossing but need to be there by 8.30am) and wanting to see how long it would take, we drove toward Sorrento. 20 minutes later we had reached our destination.

This will be us tomorrow
Then we went for an explore to find out what was on offer around here and headed off for Portsea, the furthest point in which we could go by car. At the very end we found Point Napean national marine park and in this park, quite unexpectedly, Napean Fort. Here we explored tunnels and gun emplacements from which allied shots were fired for both WW1 and 11

toilets again!

Not a bad place to visit but we were under a bit of pressure. The only way down to it was by bus and catching the 3pm bus we were then told the last bus leaves Fort Nepean at 4pm. By the time we got there we only had 45 minutes. A whistle stop tour and we still didn't get to see it all. But we did have time to pause for a few minutes waiting for a Copperhead snake to move off the path!

 The Great Ocean road adventure starts tomorrow. Ian has found several free camp sites but we need to be early as they are very popular. Apparently as told by someone who has stayed in one of these sites, the night sky is spectacular!

 And the wildlife in the marine park

Pied Cormorant

Blue tongue lizard

Australasian Gannet

This butterfly looks like,

This. Pretty ain't it.


Tom and Jan said...

I spent a year at the former army Officer Training School, Portsea. Know Fort Nepean well!

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Wish we had longer to explore. Great place but not signposted. Seemed to be off the tourists beaten track.

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