Nurofen, pizza, litres and litres of water and an all-day telly session only JUST cut through the hang that descended on us after mumsy`s birthday bash in Melbourne. It ranks as one of the Top 3 in history, along with Oliver Reed´s after his Wogan appearance and that bloke´s from Val D´Isere who was found naked in a -20 degree coalshed save for a small shovel over his fella.
Anyhoo, loads of the south coast to catch up on so let´s backtrack a bit. Picked ma up and stayed in a cool little hostel in Glenelg, just outside of Adelaide. Suburbia mixed with a bit of Blackpool really, so the 3 of us spent a couple of nights celebrating a fear of flying all but smashed by being halfway round the planet and still in one piece, and watching tarts with fat knees prey upon tables of unsuspecting but thankful chavs. Just love those different indigenous cultures you find whilst travelling eh?
Next day was awesome – swimming with bottlenose dolphins. After you´re taken out to sea a bit, you don Australia´s Oldest Wetsuit, mask and snorkel combo, jump in and grab hold of this rope as the catamaran chugs along slowly. The talk from the crew included the advice “Stay away from the shark pod at the end of the rope.” Oh ok, point taken, and there was me planning on letting go of the rope, merrily swimming up to the nearest razor-toothed member of the pod and calling its pint a minger. But wires were crossed, or at least they were in my mind. Pod refers to a bunch of fish, normally big ones. And it also refers to the small electronic device which gets dragged behind our boat, which emits electronic pulses which monkey around with the sensitive electrical impulse detection system of a shark. You still can´t go near it, or apparently it´ll give you a cattle-prod type jolt. The dolphins were amazing – a pod (I can´t stop using the word now) of about 13 swam to within a couple of feet of us, twisting and turning underneath us and generally just having a nosey at what we were up to. One of the kid dolphins was mucking about, swimming upside down and showing off to us gawking hoomans, and his mum gave him a slap with her flipper as if to say “Stephen, stop it, you´ll encourage them.”
Dolphins – tick. So off we rolled down the coast, and stayed in a campsite in the rainforest. Wild koalas everywhere. Now, koalas are pretty cute and cuddly and sweet and all, BUT THEY DO NOT DO ANYTHING. Ever. They sleep for between 18 and 22 hours per day, waking only to eat, defecate or procreate in private. Pretty dull really. But that night we heard Big Nick, big cheese of the area, on the prowl, attracting da laydeez with a low, loud feral grunting which sounded like a warthog on heat. Ma wasn´t overly impressed with sleeping in a derelict caravan in amongst raw nature anyway, think the Big N´s wooing topped it off.
Great Ocean Road was next. This stretch is praised as being one of the top 3 drives in the world, even though it´s falling into the sea. 12 Apostles, London Bridge, The Arch, Loch Ard gorge – seriously dramatic coastline, huge rock stacks which are the remainder of land which jutted out a bit more than it does now. It´s also called the Shipwreck Coast, as 80 ships ran aground in the space of 40 years. Which does indeed lead me to question the usefulness of Cape Otway Lighthouse, which was built in the 1800s to stop this potential threat. Well it didn´t, did it people? Maybe put a new bulb in that works? Or turn it round so it faces the sea? Numpties.
And so to Melbourne. Met up with dude Fuzz, who´s lording it up in this cool city by the sea, and got utterly wasted after having top notch scran and rubbing shoulders with Melbourne´s elite in a posh restaurant by the water. Good bars, not sure about the club as can´t remember much but suffice it to say, top night all round. The Great Ocean Road really is picture postcard stuff, crashing surf at Bell´s Beach and Jan Juc (Abs and me decided that our pathetic attempts at riding waves really wouldn´t cut it here and we might actually die should we venture anywhere near the water. The deal from Quiksilver is gonna have to wait), huge cliffs and secluded coves and bays, beautiful stuff.
Next up we´re off to Canberra via a bit more coast - catch you later you perpetual readers you. Love and kisses C x