Thursday, August 11, 2011

They call it the Great Ocean Road for a reason...

The Great Ocean Road, unbeknownst to me at the time, was the beginning of a whole new adventure that would completely change the way I traveled. Anna, a friend I had made during my time in Tasmania picked me up in
Melbourne after I finished up at the Buddhist temple and we started our road trip along a portion of the South Coast of Australia. We had a bit of a late start to the trip and
had to cruise through Torquay, stopping briefly at Bells Beach, and hitting a few other pretty spots on the way. We saw semi wild kangaroos relaxing on the greens at the Anglesea Golf Course and got a beautiful sunset by the lighthouse at Split Point. We spent our first night at Lorne, a place that I'm sad to say we didn't really get to check out.

Lorne in the morning
The drive from Lorne to Apollo Bay the next morning was absolutely spectacular, we were blessed with perfect warm weather, the clear blue sky and shining sun made the transparent shades of blue and green ocean water sparkle.
Framed by towering cliffs and yellow sand, looking out to the endless ocean made me feel insignificant, yet empowered. We could no longer resist the call of the salty sea and stopped at Wye River to frolic in the waves. We saw wild koalas sleeping in tree branches overhead near Kennet River then made our way up to Marriner's Lookout which provided a lovely view of Apollo Bay sprawling beneath us.

Lunch above Apollo Bay!
After Apollo Bay, the Great Ocean Road curves inward, taking drivers and lucky passengers through the Great Otway National Park. There's just something about sub-temperate rain forests that energizes me better than five cups of espresso (not that I've ever actually had five cups of espresso...) Ferns, moss and vines, oh my!
Energizing at the Great Otway N.P.
After a bit of debate, we climbed our way down the steep Gibson Steps and trudged our way through the squishy sand to bask in the presence of some large and beautiful rock stacks. We even got to see a puffer fish! ... Mind you it was dead and had a maggot crawling out of it's face, but... puffer fish, yay!

The Twelve Apostals were definitely a let down. While they looked quite lovely the feeling of the sublime was destroyed by the hordes of tourists miling about and snapping photos, and snapping at you for accidentally being in them. If you want to see a bunch of rock stacks similar to the 12 Apostals check out Bay of Islands, similar view (I believe it's actually some of the same stacks as the 12 Apos, just from a different spot) and way less touristy. The London Bridge is also worth checking out, but knowing the story behind it just makes it that much better.

London Bridge came falling down...
The Great Ocean Road pretty much ends around Warnambool, and we continued our trip through to Adelaide fairly uneventfully, aside from a bit of a sketchy situation in Yambuk... My advice? ...Don't go to Yambuk.

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