Vick and I are currently chuckling because it turns out that last post I wrote had actually saved itself when the computer decided to go Korean on me. I don't get on well with technology...
Anyway, so a very early start after an 'early night' (the films lasted till gone 1.30am) wasn't too bad because we had a rather long coach journey to sleep on. One of our Base family, John, had joined us and we were on a coach load of Brits, Germans, Finnish, Dutch and American. It was a whole variety of ages which was actually pretty nice to be honest. If it were just a coach load of youngens it would have just been a booze filled weekend where you are so hungover during the day you don't really appreciate what you are seeing (see I think all mature now). I think the eldest on the tour were mid fifties, so they acted as mum and dad whilst Vick and I were the bubbas on the trip.
The first day took us along the Great Ocean Road; our first stop was at a sleepy surfing town called Lorne where we ate some much needed biccys (they tasted like proper english biccys this time) and some tea. Next stop was Apollo Bay where we had our lunch. I made the mistake of opting for a veggie lunch - beef sausages didn't quite tickle my fancy. Taught me a lesson and that's the last time I ever opt for being a vegetarian..soggy falafels are slightly, erm, yucky. Apollo Bay is located next to the shipwreck coast where there were 638 shipwrecks in 80 years! Vick and i headed up the lighthouse where boy we could tell why there had been so many shipwrecks....I nearly got swept off the lighthouse if it weren't for Vick hanging onto me - I daren't open an umbrella that's for sure!
Next stop was the 12 apostles, possibly why the great ocean road is as famous as it is. I'm sure if you google image it these big rocks are what would come up. Because the coast is constantly moving due to errosion and whatnot we all learned in geography GCSE there weren't actually 12 apostles when we saw them. These giant rocks standing up against the waves were pretty spectacular in the afternoon sun and the sheer force of the waves below gave me the shivers. Not the type of water I would want to fall into.
Loch Ard Gorge was the next stop where there is a shipwreck love story. I won't recite it all but basically Tom and Eva met somehow after a shipwreck and fell in love...I've never really been one for love stories. We got our daily exercise at our next place called the Gibson Steps, where large (too large for my stumpy legs) steps had been carved into the cliff face by people long ago (I've never really been a one for history stories either). Playing about in the sand and rocks in the afternoon sunshine on this deserted beach will stay in my memory for a long time. I even made a sandcastle. Well I made a moat with a mound in the middle but that still counts!
That evening we stayed in Princetown. When you think of old aussie movies with the outback little town with the few locals that know everything about everyone - that's where we stayed the night. After a stingy amount of pizza we settled down under our duvets for films when we realised that out of the 100's of dvd's only about 2 films worked. So we watched Ghosts of Girlfriend's past (Matthew Mcchonaughy is possibly one of the fittest men to walk the planet) and Invictus and as soon as our heads were on our pillows we slept like babies.
A huge brekky awaited us in the morning and we filled up on cereals, porridge, toast etc to set us up for another long day. Sea breeze certainly does wake you up as the parents of the trip had their morning coffes on a sunny beach at Port Campbell. We visited a rock formation called London Bridge (it did have a bridge before it collapsed leaving a dad and daughter stranded on the other side and they had to be air lifted to safety!). Bay of Martyrs was next (another pretty beach) followed by Wharranabool which is the end of the great ocean road!
After this we headed to the Grampians, a huge national park in south australia. Here we tested out our boomerang throwing (still room for improvement) and we saw lots of kangaroos. Oh and by now we had seen hundreds of Koala bears (my new favourite animal). About 5 seconds after proclaiming he wanted to see a snake, John spotted a brown snake, which is one of the most deadly snakes in Australia! We didn't spot any spiders but I am sure they were there if we went and looked. Seeming as I'm on the topic of animals Vick and I have also come too close for comfort with leaches. After one dropped on Vikkis head in the bus (don't ask how it got their we still don't know), I felt something clod and slimy on my foot...only to look down and see the black thing about to take a bite, or suck as I should say.
The amount of scenery and places we stopped at kinda becomes a blur after a while. We saw some pretty incredible views, but just like NZ they are all special in their own way that you can only really appreciate if you have seen them yourself. So I won't bore you by explaining all the views we saw and skip onto our evening in the bush. We stayed on a farm called the Asses Ears (it's named after a mountain) and here we had necessary cold beers in the evening sunset and tasted kangaroo before settling down to a proper steak. We were meant to have pumpkin with it but we had actually lost the pumpkin out the back of the trailer on the way up there! Even so, we didn't go hungry as Vick and I had bought digestive biccys and marshmallows so we could make smores on the campfire later. For those of you who don't know, smores are melted toasted marshmallows stuck inbetween two chocolate digestive biscuits. Yum in a mouthful.
Watching shooting stars, singeing our eyebrows on a campfire, and stuffing our faces like boy scouts our trip had yet another memorable day and night to add to the list. Bootiful.
Our final day on our tour we saw yet more views, climbed down to a waterfall where one of the guys went for a morning dip - took him a while to warm up Vick and I had learnt that lesson in Franz Josef! Then before we knew it we had to part from our great ocean road family and head onto Adelaide. 7 hours on the coach from the Grampians to Adelaide wasn't too bad. I played guess the truck game with an 11 year old boy who wouldn't stop talking for the last 2 hours of it so that passed the time slowly but surely. And before we knew it Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road was done, and all we had between us and our camper now was Adelaide and a very long bus journey to the middle of Australia.