Relatives of mine live in one of the world’s magical spots. I may be exaggerating but that’s how it affects me. Aireys Inlet is on Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road, about 120 kms north-west of Melbourne. I’ve been dumping myself on them periodically for years, to clear out the cobwebs of the city and take advantage of the cliffs, the beach, the trees and birds and the quietness of nature, not to mention the free accommodation and some very nice cooking.
Having braved Sorrento in the rain, I returned the next weekend in the sunshine. This time I passed straight through and stopped a short distance along at the Portsea Pier, in Weeroona Bay, for my morning coffee.
Sorrento is at the far end of the Mornington Peninsula, one of the two arms that almost enclose Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay.
They were having one of their street markets and, though the weather looked ominous, I decided to risk it and go down for a look.
On my first morning in Chichester, I was up before breakfast. I wanted to walk the old city wall, running directly behind my hotel and encircling the heart of the city.
The Romans invaded Britain in 43AD. In around 44AD, they built a fort on the site of Chichester, as being a good source of water from River Lavant and close to a harbour for the bringing of supplies from France.
A few days ago, mild temperatures and sunshine were forecast. I took the opportunity to head into the Royal Botanic Gardens for some much needed exercise and sun. I had never properly explored them before, sticking mainly to the edges along St. Kilda Road, or climbing the hill to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, an outdoor entertainment venue that’s hosted hundreds of performers over the years. The Bowl sits in a valley surrounded by hills.
I had decided that after my week in Cornwall I would head back to London via Canterbury. Penzance to Canterbury by train is a seven hour trip so I wanted to break it up somewhere along the way. I chose Chichester, mainly because of its famous theatre.
It was my fault, even after all the trains and buses I’d used in the last fortnight, that I still thought I would get on a train at Penzance and get off, relaxed and rested, at Chichester. Actually it took over six hours and three different trains.
I was told by all the brochures that a lovely spot to go just out of Penzance was a village called Mousehole. So I decided to catch the bus there, rather than a train to St. Ives, an unfortunate decision because, though Mousehole was cute, I’d just spent three days in Port Isaac, so a fishing village wasn’t new to me. I ended up running out of time to see St. Ives, which I’m now devastated about.