Date: 12th February 2021
Travelled: 125 kms from Hill End to Portland in NSW
Visited: Sofala and Portland.
Stayed: Portland RV Stop, free with service point S33.35420, W149.97664
It feels like a cool start to the day in Hill End. I can tell because a doona has appeared on the bed this morning. There is no internet this morning. Optus has been working fine until last night, but neither Optus nor Telstra show a signal this morning. After coffee Pam heads off for a walk and I read my book.
With Pam’s return we have breakfast and prepare the Jayco for the road. It’s only 35 kms to Sofala, but the road continues with the up and down, left then right so it takes 50 minutes.
Map of Sofala showing the bus car-park.
We arrive in Sofala and do a quick drive through, then cross the river to the free camp. It’s nice enough down by the river but a long (plastic boot rating difficult) walk back in the village. So we return and park at the parking area close to the centre.
So we head off to explore Sofala. Gold was discovered by Edward Hargraves in nearby Summerhill Creek in 1851. Later the same year the Royal Hotel and general store were established and Sofala came into being.
Even with my plastic boot it only takes around 30 minutes to walk Sofala, take some photos and read the few information panels. The village feels like it has been feeling the effects of the Covid restrictions on tourism.
So we decide to move on and see some more of the countryside following Sofala Road south.
After a quick IGA stop for some milk we continue on to Portland to check out the silo art.
The village of Portland was gazetted in 1894, but the area was mined and limestone kilns constructed in 1861. The once famous Portland Cement Works commenced production in 1902. Cement making in Portland has now ceased a victim of the rising cost of production.
But in its place the old works have been re-invented as gardens and public space. The highlight being the old silos.
There is a free stop and service point here in Portland, so we find ourselves a spot and relax till dinner time.
We wake to a rain in Portland this morning and given the forecast is rain all day we will continue our travels toward Sydney as best we can. I expect this will be our last blog on this short get to know the Jayco trip.
Michael + Pam