14 December 2009

The GREAT (Awesome, Fantastic, Gorgeous) Ocean Road!!!

1 September 2009

I remember very little about our flight from Perth to Melbourne, so I must have gotten some sleep!  I know I was tired enough that I should have!!  We landed in Melbourne at about 5:30 AM, and lo and behold, there to meet us at baggage was Janice!!  She had no problem finding us (Rex tends to stand out in a crowd) and the airport crowds at 5:30 AM are not dense.  So off we went!  I have to admit that I snoozed a bit on the ride from the airport to Kerrianne's house in Geelong, which is about 50 miles southwest of Melbourne.  Geelong is the second largest city in Victoria, and it's also a port city.  I think something like 90% of Australia's population lives on the coast, so it's no surprise that almost all of the women I've met live near the ocean.  It was fitting, then, that today's adventure was a drive along the Great Ocean Road!  We picked up Kerrianne and Shelley, who had flown in from Sydney to play with us, and we all squeezed into Janice's car.  It was so fun to be reunited with three such fun girls, and of course, it was Rex's first time to meet Janice and Kerrianne.  Off we went!

The Great Ocean Road begins in Torquay, which is only about 10 miles south of Geelong.  It won't surprise you that almost all of today's photos will be of the magnificent Pacific Ocean, but what may surprise you is how different it can look!  The weather in this part of Victoria is constantly changing - although the overall climate is temperate, the winds and weather coming north from Antarctica can cool things off in a flash!  Janice and Kerrianne had been warning me that the weather was cold and rainy, and I'd been promising them I'd bring the good weather with me, so I was glad that the day was mostly sunny and just a bit chilly.  Janice had gathered up some warm jackets for us, even finding one that would fit Rex, and there were times we were glad we had them!

The Great Ocean Road was built by 3000 returning servicemen (called Diggers) as a memorial to their fallen comrades who were killed in World War One.  It was begun in 1918 and finished in 1932, but it was proposed as far back as 1864!

Here are some of our first glimpses of the ocean:

You can already see how different it looks - from deep blue crashing waves to light teal gentle waves lapping the beach.  Our first stop along the Road was the Split Point Lighthouse.  Amazingly, the paparazzi found us here!

The four of us girls posed for a picture and Rex got the shot for us.  I was intrigued by a couple of things - the 90 km Surf Walk that follows the Great Ocean Road and this simple gate that was outside a house next to the lighthouse.

Can you tell how quickly the weather was changing?

Our next stop was Lorne, and this is its new rebuilt pier.  I loved the ladders that went down to the water, and the color of the water in this shot was brilliant!   After a bit, we decided to have a bite of lunch at a little cafe.  Well, we girls had lunch, and I'm not sure whether Rex had breakfast or dessert, but it sure looked good!  He wasn't sharing... 
....but he did make sure we had plenty of chips - he ordered two orders of them, not realizing that we all got some with our steak sandwiches! 
And of course, this was all after Janice had broken out one of her Australian treats for us...  I was glad we had this handy signpost to let us know where we were - isn't it fun?  And again, look at the changing weather!

Back on the road, it was a bit of a struggle to stay awake, between our overnight flight, our early morning, my full tummy, and being in a moving vehicle!  But the scenery was awesome and Janice made sure to stop at all of the places where there was something good to see, like this rainforest!  We went for a bit of a hike in a futile effort to work off our chips!

 Here's a good shot of the road - Janice did a fantastic job keeping us on it and playing the tour guide.  She and Kerrianne both were wonderful ambassadors for their breath-takingly beautiful state!  One of the things I remembered most from some of the pages they had posted on facebook was the Twelve Apostles, an incredible group of rock formations created by the pounding surf.  We were about to see them in person!

There was no way I could leave out any of these photos, so just sit back and enjoy.  Pay attention to the light and sky - rain and sunshine, serenity and savagery, colors and greys - all mixed together!

It was time to head back to Kerrianne's house for dinner, so Janice steered us over to the regular highway for a faster drive back.  I'm not gonna lie - I slept through most of that ride, and I have a feeling I wasn't the only one...at least Janice stayed awake!  But I did stay up long enough to get a chuckle over this sign!

At Kerrianne's house, we were in for another treat - a bit of a barbie!  Darren had things well under control, and Janice had brought some of her yummy chocolate slice, and soon there was quite the spread in front of us - prawns, burgers, sausages, potato salad, green salad, and more! Yum!!

Kerriane's men were so cute - Liam was a snuggler, Riley is the true tweener, and Darren was a love - even washed the dishes!  Which reminds me, so did Bob up in Geraldton - a nice trait these Aussie men have!

It was another full day of new experiences and stunning scenery, to say nothing of good times spent with new friends.  This has got to be the BEST vacation EVER!!

After dinner, Kerrianne, Shelley, and I stayed up and played on facebook and with our iphones - we had such a giggle over our newly acquired (well, I'm not sure Shelley got it, but Kerrianne and I did!) Atomic Fart apps that I thought we would wake up Janice and the boys!  But we eventually gave it up and got some sleep for another big day tomorrow!

Rocking and rolling with the waves,


1 comment:

Shelley Alexander said...

I got it!! But I must admit I was laughing AT you, not WITH you!!