I woke up at 5 am today so that I had plenty of time to get to Base backpackers in St Kilda for 6.55. I went to get a coffee, and then by the time I got back the bus was there. The driver, Rayl, seemed a bit grumpy and rude, and I think the girl who he left behind because she was late to be picked up would have learnt her lesson. Because he took us to the office in Flinders' Street, I probably would have been better off (with more of a lie-in) by making my own way there, as I was at the first pick up point, and so we were driving all around St. Kilda, and it is easier for me to get to town than St. Kilda. After paying and using the toilet, it was time to hit the road.
We picked up a girl outside Geelong station, and then our first official tour point was a coffee/tea/ biscuits stop at Apollo Bay (which didn't have much going for it; it was just a pit stop I think). The first part of the Great Ocean Road is the surf part, and so he was telling us about the history of surfing. Apparently people used to surf in to the coast after they had been fishing, and that's how it started off. We drove past the 'Round the Twist' lighthouse, which I would have preferred to look round instead of the one we stopped at for lunch (Cape Otway Lighthouse, which is mainland Australia's oldest surviving lighthouse). I didn't even look round the Cape Otway one in the end anyway, as after eating my falafel sandwich and salad, and queuing in the cafe for ages for a ginger beer, I didn't have enough time.
We stopped at a few lookouts for picture opportunities, and at one he played the didgeridoo for us. Apparently they are only a northern Aboriginal thing, because the termites only live in those regions, and so anywhere you see didgeridoo's further down south, they are just exploiting for tourism. The original name for it was Yakuri (or something like that) because that was the name of the elder in the tribe, who didn't like women, and women didn't like him. When he died, they believed his soul lived in the didgeridoo and so his voice would come out when the men played it at ceremonies. If a woman played it, the elder would punish her by splitting a bit of his soul, and making it go inside her so that she would no longer be able to have children. One of the lookouts was named after a prisoner who ran away, and tried to survive on berries and things he foraged in the forest, whilst trying to get to Sydney, which he hadn't realised, was so far away. He was really weak and ill, and came across a tribe elder's grave, with his spear he had used during his lifetime stuck into it, which the prisoner took hold of. The tribe's people found him and thought he was the reincarnation of the elder, who had forgotten the ways of life of their tribes, and so he lived with them and later on became a spokesperson for aboriginal people. I think I liked going on a tour to have all this information, which I wouldn't know about if I went in a campervan, and I think it was good for me to go just for a day, as it's not the sort of thing I would really enjoy, but I would feel like I was missing out if I didn't go.
After lunch, we stopped off to take pictures of wild koalas. There are so many along that stretch of road, so you are guaranteed to see some! That was quite good to see some not in a sanctuary. The word 'kangaroo' in aboriginal means 'I don't know' because the aboriginals didn't know what the white men were saying when they asked him what the animal was.
The last 2 stops were seeing the 12 apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. Loch Ard Gorge was where 2 survivors from a shipwreck managed to stay alive in the cold by drinking rum and cuddling together to save body heat. The 15 year old boy managed to climb up the cliff, and get help from some nearby farmers to make a ladder for the 17 year old lady to climb up, but the lady felt really sick and went back to England and got married to someone else (the English people had heard the story and it had got blown out of proportion that they were in love).
Me and Lucas watched a film called 'Now You See Me' which was about 4 magicians, and was very good.