Cold, cold, windy, cold, rainy, cold, windy, rainy.. did I mention it was cold?
We spent the night in Coastal Motel in Apollo Bay of the Great Ocean Road. It was a nice room and the innkeeper was quite nice when we checked in. The only issue was the expense of the internet. They wanted to charge $25 per computer for unlimited access. We thought that was a bit steep; so we worked smarter and did a lot of our typing, etc., before we logged into the internet and only used 1 and 2 hour accesses which was cheaper.
It rained overnight and is cloudy this morning. Took a walk on the beach and chatted with a man that had on a USA shirt. He lives near Shari and was also vacationing down here – his shirt was from one of his visits to the states. He recommended a few travel points and was nice to chat with. He said there was a bad accident on the GOR last evening after we had passed thru and they had diverted them down these dirt treks; so we were very luck. The GOR is a very windy, hilly road and the driver must pay clear attention – they are not really able to sight see safely. We ate breakfast in our room and then left for the next excursion down the GOR.
The GOR at this juncture takes you inland up and down “hills” – curvy – Shari was having fun Zoom Zooming along the roads. It seems odd that the ocean road for significant portions takes you a distance away from the ocean. LOL. A lot of agricultural area during this part of our drive.
Our first stop took us to Castle Cove when we got back to the water portion of GOR. Yet another spectacular view of the Bass Strait and the cliffs along the water. We saw some bicyclists in the area that were riding the GOR. The weather was falling rapidly with more chill and dampness. The bikers said they just put on a rain coat and continue their journey. Biking looked like fun, but they are dealing with roads with no shoulders, windy roads, hilly terrain, etc.
We continued up GOR and then detoured past Lavers Hill to the Otway Fly Tree Top walk. This is a paid privately owned activity where you walk thru a rain forest and up on a walkway that puts you in the treetops. The weather unfortunately was getting colder and starting to spit rain. We did the walkway which was interesting; but unfortunately we did not see much wildlife. They were smart and staying in the dry and warm. This whole idea of building a stand / walkway up in the tree tops is quite novel; I wonder if something like this exists back in the states.
After Otway Fly we tried to go to see Triplet Falls; but it was over an hour hike to get to the falls and we really didn’t have that luxury.
We did the return trip back to Lavers Hill and continued down B100 Great Ocean Road (GOR) – again we are in the country area. Large sprawling agricultural areas with sheep and cattle. Feels very remote. One interesting feature I’ve noticed in the rural is the mail boxes. They are absolutely HUGE. Typically they are huge metal containers or empty metal milk containers hung to service as a depository for mail. I would love to know more about these mailboxes. Was only able to capture picture of one; please refer to the pics.
We stopped to enjoy the views in Princetown – again the Ocean.
The next stops include Gibson Steps and the infamous “The Twelve Apostles” located in the Port Campbell National Park. The weather was rapidly turning colder and windy. We parked at “The Twelve Apostles” visitor parking and walked under the GOR to the nicely built viewing areas. It was so cold and windy that it did distract from the beauty that surrounded us. The rain started as well which made things more miserable. We were tough and tolerated the elements to get some photos. Once you walk the opposite direction from the surf and “Twelve Apostles” there is farmland with cattle grazing; a totally different demographic view of the area just a 180 degree turn away. The vegetation on the walkway was very nice.
Next stop was the Loch Ard Gorge. The weather had lifted a bit here and was more tolerable. We walked down steps to the bottom of the Gorge. I thought it was the perfect place to get a pic with the Frederick Magazine so I started to run up the stairs to grab it out of the car. At that point the weather changed and the rain started to pour. So I had to abandon that idea – which bummed me out. It would have been the perfect pic for the Frederick Magazine.
Continuing down the road, the next stop was the Razorback view. There were structures in the Bass Strait named the Razorback, and salt and pepper, and the Three Sisters. As with all the other stops – it was very breath taking. We continued to battle the weather elements which was unfortunate.
Next was the London Bridge Arch view… Bay of Martyrs, Bay of Islands.. there are so many stops they start running into each other….. It is all gorgeous and spectacular even in the awful bad weather. You just have to experience it to understand.
The GOR is an absolute must I believe for folks wanting to know what they should include in a trip to Australia. This is especially true for the outdoorsy type people. We did the GOR in two days basically from start, but this can be extended easily if you take the time to do the bushwalks and extended touring.
We have ended our day by traveling all the way to the town of Warramboll, Victoria – the end of the GOR. We’re staying at a nice accommodation locally owned called Atwood Motor Inn. The Innkeeper recommended we dine at the Victoria Pub (hotel). We took her advice and we were not disappointed. A short walk from our room; we got to the pub before there was any crowd. They hand you a menu and ask you to order at the counter and then they deliver the food to your table. The menu was large and the decision difficult; I wanted soup after such a chilly day plus to try some of the other food including the “salad garnish” bar they were offering with entrees. I chose the soup chicken and vegetable and the small portion of blue grenadier, chips, and salad offering. I passed on the chips (French fries – I think I’ve had too many already on this trip). The soup bowl was absolutely HUGE. Shari had told me the food portions in Australia were small, but this soup bowl size was quite contradictory. It was a shallow bowl, but huge nonetheless. It was also absolutely delicious. My fish dish was delicious as well. The salad garnish bar had hot vegetables such as green beans, corn, sweet potatoes (mashed), scalloped potatoes, broccoli with some type of red sauce; as well as some cold pasta/potato salads. The meal was one of the best I’ve had here so far. I made sure to compliment the chef and I think he was pleased.
We went back to our rooms very happy to have unlimited internet service for the evening. How did we survive before the internet and cell phones??? I really don’t know! LOL! We’re watching a funny Aussie show called “newsweek” that reminds me a lot of “What’s your Line” with Drew Carey. There is still a lot of talk about that Hey Hey show and Harry Connick reaction. The next show on TV is called “Little Britain” – quite comical and spoofs Americans. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/littlebritain/)
My fingers feel swollen this evening; maybe from too much salt consuming or too much cold or too much inactivity even though we did walk trails today. Go figure. It’s all good. The trip really is going well I believe; I am sure Shari is exhausted by doing all the driving, but I really do appreciate. She really did enjoy driving the GOR with the hills and curves; it was challenging.
Tomorrow is a travel day as we work our way back up to Canberra to pick up the girls and then eventually make our way back to Blue Haven to Shari’s house.