A long weekend is a nice break from work, but when it’s raining most of the time it does make it a little less fun. It’s still good to get out of Melbourne though. We hired a car and headed down the Great Ocean Road in Victoria's south west for a few days. There is some great scenery in the area and it was a nice way to relax. I usually carry all my gear even if I don’t have anything specific to record. I did keep an eye out for a good example of an Australia windmill (technically a wind pump) but its seemed that any that were close to the road were not moving. I didn’t really want to go wandering across someone’s property to record one, and I think I need one that doesn’t work properly anyway. I did get nice and close to one once but it was almost completely silent. I need to find a nice old rusty one that’s going to rattle and clank for me.
On Sunday we found ourselves in Portland which is one of the western most towns along Victoria’s coast and apparently the first town in Victoria established in 1839. Portland used to have a cable tram network, the cables are gone and I suspect the tracks that still exist are not the original route, but there is still a diesel operated tram for tourists. The engine car sounds pretty much like a small truck, but it was quiet enough to allow me to stand at the back of the passenger car and record the wheels on the track. I was very happy that I was able to record the tram without the motor being audible as this is pretty much how the original tram would have sounded. The cable pulley would have made some noise, but generally the tram would have only made the sound of its movement on the tracks. I’d love to record a working cable pulley system, but I suspect I might have to travel to San Francisco one day to achieve that. I don’t know how many other functioning cable cars there still are in the world.
Being a tourist tram there were lots of people on board and they were as noisy as most tourists. The advantage of a 60 minute round trip is that it gave me a lot of time to capture footage so I hope there is enough material without noisy tourists in the background. Funnily enough the children were all pretty quiet, it was the adults in this case that were noisy. I did have the microphone positioned almost underneath the tram for most of the journey so it should provide some clean samples. I also made sure to capture the sound of the brakes squeaking and the bell ringing.