BELLARINE REPORT 

WANDERING AROUND BELLARINE

           

            The Probian Wanderers are back home again after quite an eventful week motoring around Marcus Hill (Geelong).  Event No. 38 (March 2020) saw us based at Big4 Bellarine Holiday Park, located quite conveniently between Geelong, Queenscliffe, Portarlington and Ocean Grove.

                Unfortunately, attendance was down to our normal at 44 members, partly due to concerns for the coronavirus, but also to the escalating cost of accommodation. Some bargaining with the hosts saw caravan sites reduced appreciably, not so the cabin prices. However, the caravan sites were huge, the cabins and facilities of top quality. Full marks to staff for service and friendliness.  A total of eleven Probus clubs were represented, and five first-time members welcomed, allowing indication that we will still be ‘Wandering’ around the State as we approach our 20th year of  operations as the dreaded virus subsides.

                Weather-wise, we were blessed with sunshine, a couple of very warm nights, some wind, perfect days when it most counted.

                Due to the location of the caravan park, it was considered the morning walks would be hazardous were we to take to the Bellarine Highway – with great forethought, the hosts provided a walkway circumnavigating the park, almost a kilometre per lap in total safety.          Tuesday was initially dedicated to exploring Geelong Central, but generally groups indulged in a do-it-yourself (D.I.Y) day. Some of the suggested venues were closed due to the virus; some wandered around Geelong Botanical Gardens, reporting ‘something to be seen.’  Others toured around the various shopping centres to inspect the empty shelves.

As is established practice, Tuesday was dine-out night, and a total turn-out enjoyed a meal at Collendina Hotel, Ocean Grove.  Staff correctly advised that a half-serve of mains would be quite adequate.

                To Wednesday, established picnic day, and again a full compliment attended Portarlington Foreshore Parkland on a perfect, sunny day. A number of the group raided the local bakery, renowned for producing delectable treats.  Back at camp, after dining, many of the group attended the Cinema Room to witness results of our photographic expert’s trek around the Cotswolds, England.  Beautiful, thanks, Peter B.  

                Thursday was devoted to exploring Queenscliffe and Point Lonsdale area. Yep, the ice cream shop was open and serving! Unfortunately, there were no big ships or cruise boats negotiating the ‘Heads’, again due to that d….  virus – and we missed the ‘tall ships’ exiting the bay by some weeks.   After dining back at ‘base’, some attended the Cinema Room for Trivia Night, always a good giggle., but we were robbed of other members who settled in the TV Room to watch the footy.

                That leads to Friday, and time to farewell some of the cabin-dwellers following ‘Champagne Brekky’ ((a.k.a. tea/coffee). Thereafter, others visited nearby Van Loon Nursery for a coffee/vanilla slice, and/or stock up on honey just down the road a bit, or the supermarkets to view the empty shelves.

                In all, another successful event, albeit with reduced numbers.

                Next events – Mansfield in October, Phillip Island in February, 2021 – details elsewhere in the “Probian”, and on the ProbVic website – www.probianvic.com.au

Ken Heaslip, “Wanderers” Coordinator