"" Writer's Wanderings: Australia - The Great Ocean Road

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Australia - The Great Ocean Road

Sadly we said goodbye to Kangaroo Island and took a small plane back to Adelaide where we picked up a rental car. It was the second Toyota we rented. Whenever we made a reference to gas pedals sticking, the Aussies said they hadn’t heard anything about it. Guess it was just us Americans that had the problems. We hooked up the lovely GPS lady with the British accent and she immediately calculated our route out of the airport to the highway we needed to reach our goal—the Great Ocean Road—all the while of course, she cautioned Bob to “mind your speed.” I loved it!

The drive between Adelaide and Mt. Gambier, our first stop on the way to Melbourne, was a long stretch but along the way we had some fun like finding a diner named Helgas for lunch where we had “jacketed potatoes” with enough fixings on top to sink a battleship. We got into Mt. Gambier early enough to catch up with laundry again at the Best Western where we stayed. The next morning we were on the road early to give ourselves plenty of time to enjoy the Great Ocean Road which really starts right around Port Campbell.

We made a few stops along the way to enjoy the views and arrived in Port Fairy just in time for lunch. Our stay in Australia would end in a few days and we had yet to eat one of our son’s favorite dishes from his stay in Australia—meat pie. We found a little bakery that looked popular and ordered two. One was steak and mushrooms and the other steak, mushrooms, and cheese. They are a little like potpies but you can pick them up and eat them like a sandwich.

A little farther down the road, we began to get into the more famous area of the Great Ocean Road where the huge rock formations are a must see. We stopped at the Grotto, the Arch, the London Bridge (which is no longer a bridge-like formation) and of course the most popular of all, the Twelve Apostles. The Twelve Apostles are twelve large pillar-like formations that mostly stand out in the water. While some Aussies told us there were only eight still standing, one of the interpretive signs at the park said that several of the pillars were hidden in crevices difficult to view from land. I turned down the idea of riding in a helicopter to see the rest. Eight were enough for me especially as it was beginning to drizzle rain on us.

We made it to Apollo Bay in the late afternoon and found our accommodations to be like a scene out of a 50s movie. Maybe because it was a motel rather than a hotel but whatever the reason, I would not have been surprised to see Henry Winkler on a motorcycle in the parking lot. The “sea view” at the Seaview Motel was only visible if you looked diagonally out toward the ocean and perhaps were very tall or stayed on the second floor. But it suited us well and we got a good night’s sleep.

Our trip along the Great Ocean Road the next day took us inland every so often and through some beautiful wine country and mountainous area. Once along the way, we found a serene beach with surf rolling in slowly and no one around. It was inviting—enough so that Bob asked teasingly if I wanted to wade in the water. I called his bluff and we stopped long enough for both of us to go walking in the surf. A huge beach and we were the only two walking on it. *Sigh* Even after 41 years of marriage there are still a few romantic times left.

Of course that little stroll was followed by spotting this SUV with a most appropriate cover on its spare tire. A motto we could agree with. "Adventure Before Dementia."

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