Sunday, February 1, 2009

On to The Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Impossibles

It might be hard being a Jew at Christmas (or in Venezuela currently), but how hard is it being an Aussie when the cricket's on at the moment? I'm currently watching the first dig against the Kiwi's after what really should have been a 5-0 defeat to the Saffers. Torrid stuff but the Kiwi's are struggling to make our paltry 181 so hopefully all is not lost.

I made it back from Melbourne. It was the second of a three day run of 43 degree days, it was their hottest since 1939 and the longest 40+ day run on record. I normally enjoy my visits to Melbourne, but then I'm normally on an air conditioned plane rather than the slow non air conditioned train from Geelong. It was great nevertheless to catch up with Michael and Calida from Challenger, and then attend a very high brow session on how APRA plan to deal with the excesses in executive remuneration in the financial system (which I've been doing my best to contribute to over the last three years or so). It was edge of your seat stuff let me tell you and I only just managed to make it past security in my best travelling attire, beard and increasingly wild hair.

Things luckily have cooled off a bit since. 38 degrees felt like a cool change but the fire bans have continued. We've had 9 in the last 12 days. Fire bans mean we can't use our gas burner, which means no cooked food and no hot water (for coffee or washing).

We headed on down the Great Ocean Road the day after my trip to Melbourne and made a short stop at the world famous surf spot at Bells Beach. It wasn't hard to see why this is such a challenging spot to catch a wave.

We also spotted our favourite Wicked Camper design since the Dirty Sanchez one in Seal Rocks (we assumed the middle aged people driving that one had no idea what it meant).

For anyone who has not seen it, go to YouTube and 'Beeched Is Bro' should get you to a fine Kiwi piss-take.

At our first camp spot we had some more top wildlife action. Our first Koala sighting in the wild, and also a baby kookaburra who hadn't learned how to laugh yet - it was hilarious.

We've since seen plenty more koalas, including three in the Portland caravan park we're currently in.

The Great Ocean Road has not disappointed. It was built following the first world war in memorial to the Victorians how had fought. The first bit, really from just south of Torquay to Apollo Bay was the most dramatic, road-wise. It was cut by hand from the cliff and provides some awesome twists and turns with great views up and down the dramatic coast.

By the time you get past Cape Otway to the most famous draw card - the Twelve Apostles - the driving gets a bit boring but there are more stops and walks to view points than my thongs were up to.

After our second day on the road we stopped at Johanna Bay, a huge free campsite set behind the sand dunes protecting a wild beach. No good for swimming unfortunately as we were both a bit ripe after two hot days in the car but not to worry.

We were a robbed of a good sunset by a stiff onshore breeze bringing in some moisture, but at least it cooled things down a bit and things cleared up overnight to give us a wonderful experience as we pressed on for the Twelve Apostles.

They say a picture says a thousand words, so I'll leave you with seven of them and get back to the cricket ...

Hope all are well and a reminder that any questions about the wedding can wait until we get back in September!

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