Poppy and I and the open road.

a yearning for something spicy — July 1, 2022

a yearning for something spicy

I’m mostly vegetarian these days however, sometimes I get a craving for some hot, spicy salami.

It is then that I reminded of the stories my daughters liked to tell when they both worked in deli’s. About the older folk who came to the store and requested $2 worth of deli meats.

I have become this person.

Beautiful Yattalunga — June 8, 2022
Bird with a Can — June 3, 2022
Poppy On Adventure —
Just Before The Rain —
— April 17, 2022
The Ticonderoga — March 17, 2022

The Ticonderoga

I just love the feel of the word Ticonderoga. It just rolls off the tongue like the best yellow box honey.

I was researching post-colonial history in Victoria and came across the word as the name of a ship which changed the way the Victorian authorities dealt with quarantine in the booming city of Melbourne in the 1850’s.

I looked up the history of the word and discovered it was an Indigenous word from North America and it referred to a region, a very beautiful and historically important region in the state of New York. It was important strategically in the Revolutionary Wars. But it was an important part of the country to the local Indigenous peoples as homelands and trade routes long before Europeans arrived. It sits on Lake George where it meets Lake Campion, which means it was highly likely to have been a place of great gatherings and prosperity during those thousands of years before Europeans landed.

But Ticonderoga the ship was likely taken from Fort Ticonderoga which was hugely important in the war against the English in the middle of the eighteenth century.

When the Ticonderoga sailed into Port Phillip Bay on the 3rd of November 1852, flying the yellow flag to indicate death on board, it became the first ship to be sent to new quarantine facilities at Port Nepean.

Health authorities had been calling for a move away from the quarantine facilities in metropolitan Melbourne. Overcrowding and absconding were rampant.

The Ticonderoga was overcrowded. The urgency of the authorities to remove the population from the highlands of Scotland had overtaken humanitarian concerns like overcrowding and numbers of children per family allowed to travel.

It had already been badly retrofitted to take the extra passengers and it was poorly done and horribly overcrowded. The Voyage

So the health authorities got their way and the Ticonderoga was diverted to Port Nepean. But there were no facilities there. The passengers many with sick children were required to make their own accommodation – tents from the ship sails.

Food had to be hastily sourced from local suppliers. It was a good thing it was November although the highlanders would have been used to the wild blustery winds that blew off the ocean.

The Ticonderoga was quickly followed by more ships each one with its passenger lists of impoverished and dispossessed Scottish Highlanders. In the end 182 people mostly children died of Typhus on board the Ticonderoga.

Each ship one adding to the little cemetery that was built at Port Nepean. The fourth ship The Allison carried the Campbells which is my family. Five children and my 4 time great grand parents. All survived and they made a home for themselves in central Victoria.

In the end, there was such an uproar about the deaths and overcrowding the British authorities had to tighten their immigration laws to prevent this happening again. They had only been relaxed to accommodate the Scottish highlanders.

For those that survived they became part of a vibrant cultural experiment. They could send their children to schools they built, pray in churches they built and be part of a society they built. Things not available to them in the place they had come from.


Hell Ship : The true story of the plague ship Ticonderoga, one of the most calamitous voyages in Australian history - Michael Veitch

Elliston/Waterloo Bay — March 5, 2022
Tumby Bay —

Tumby Bay

It was getting late and I had not booked anywhere to stay. So I getting a bit desperate for somewhere to stay the night when I found the beautiful little town of Tumby Bay. The caravan park was right on the ocean. From there you could walk into town along a coastal path pointing out the important flora and fauna of the area.

It was a really great place to stay. The caravan park was wonderful. The park kitchen was right on the beach. I stayed an extra night and regret I didn’t stay longer. Get in touch with the caravan park at


Point Labatt — February 25, 2022

Point Labatt

The sea lions at Point Labatt are the only known colony of sea lions on the Australian mainland. The road there is a pretty decent gravel road through some great scenery.

As you standing on a platform 50 metres above the sea lions they look pretty small but it was great to see one Mum and baby exit the water and climb up on the beach.

Before getting to Point Labatt I had driven for ages without seeing another living soul. On my way I stopped at this beach which the pictures do not do it justice. The beach went on forever and the crystal clear waters lapped the white, white sand. It was amazing.

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