Sunday, April 21, 2013

Great Ocean Road, Great Victory

Official start to the Great Ocean Road

I am lucky enough to have some very wonderful friends i n Melbourne and it was thanks to them that I, without car, and my wife and we had a chance for a day trip down the Great Ocean Road. The Great Ocean  Road follows, logically enough, the ocean along to south coast of Victoria heading westwards towards Adelaide.
The scenery is what makes the Great Ocean Road worth the journey, and if you go far enough along it eventually you will reach the 'Twelve Apostles' and 'London Bridge'. The London Bridge was an arch formed out to a platform of earth, the twelve apostles are a collection of 'limestone stacks' not too far from the coast. There used to be twelve of them, now I think there is about eight, and the bridge collapsed. Back in my childhood we visited them as they were, so erosion has taken its toll in a short amount of time recently.

But this time we didn't make it quite so far. It is a long drive along the road to get them, more than two or three hours past Melbourne. So up and back in one day was going to be too much. But the cliffs and scenery were worth it as we journeyed as far as far as Apollo Bay, a popular spot during the summer. We stopped also at Lorne, a very popular place at different times of the year for festivals, sun, sand and a big New Year's Eve celebration too.
Beach at Lorne
The ride was long, windy at times, and the weather was around 20 degrees so not very warm, but a great day with friends. One of the highlights were the frequent signs on the road reminding people to drive on the left hand side of the road! Obviously a lot of foreign tourists take the road - there must have been some incidents! Australian freeways often have signs on the exit ramps telling cars 'WRONG WAY! GO BACK!' But I fear if you see that sign it may already be too late!

And there was lunch at Lorne. We stopped at a hamburger place which makes delicious, gourmet, organic hamburgers. If you thought hamburgers were just crap fast food, think again! And if you didn't change your mind, this wonderful Lorne eatery 'The Bottle of Milk' WILL change your mind. A walk on the beach followed. I have always lived on the eastern side of the city, so if I have been to Lorne before, I don't remember it.

The players line up for the national anthem.
A few days earlier I had taken my wife to her first game of Australian Rules football (Aussie Rules). My team is the somewhat maligned at times Western Bulldogs, formerly known as Footscray. One thing I miss living here in Japan is going to games live, although as the Bulldogs have been struggling over the last couple of years (we won only five games last year, losing our last eleven by an average margin of around ten goals. That's bad.) it's not so bad I guess. I get a live stream on the internet of most games which is nice. Well, we had a rousing 11 goal victory in this game - the opening game of the season, so my only game for the year was a good one!
One of the bulldog players kicks a goal.

Packing in as much as I could in Australia was a must, and there is still more to come. Next blog I get all nerdy again! Stay tuned!

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