And so this travelogue comes to a close.
Day Eight, which was Thursday January 3rd was the highlight for me. A trip to see the iconic sandstone monoliths, ‘The 12 Apostles’ just out of Port Campbell at the most eastern end of the Great Ocean Road.
Of course, we didn’t go straight there. There’s no point being in a new part of the country (IMHO) unless you’re prepared to do a bit of exploring… So, we.did.
We actually left fairly late in the afternoon with a hope of catching pretty views of the Apostles with a sunset feel about them… or behind them. But as I wasn’t keen to waste the whole day away waiting for sunset we left a little earlier in anticipation of finding other things to see on the way.
The most notable diversionwas the Cape Otway Lightstation (actually this links to a quite comprehensive website all about it so I won’t bore you too much…)
Apart from the fact we had another close koala encounter on the way down to Cape Otway there was at the end of the road quite a delightful attraction which is focused around the Lightstation and the Radar Station based there in WW2. Cape Otway actually marks the point where Bass Straight (the body of water between the Australian mainland and Tasmania) meet and which was significant in the development of communication between Tassie and the mainland in the early years of the telegraph. It was a great spot to spend an hour or so, and would have only been improved by the café being open and serving lattes…
You may not be surprised to learn that this is the Cape Otway Lighthouse…
The view looking West. You can’t tell from here just how extraordinarily strong the winds were up here… definitely ‘take your hat off and stow it somewhere safe’, and ‘hold the hands of small children’ strength winds!
After finding a pub to serve us dinner and a good solid dose of steak the next stop took us much closer to the 12 apostles and was another recommended site from Mal, the photographer I mentioned in earlier despatches. The Gibson Steps.
The name refers to the zig zag staircase that treks descends the face of these massive cliffs down to the sand and while the view from the top is gorgeous one should definitely not be put off by the prospect of walking down them to feel their imposing nature from below. It was awesome.
The walk up? Not so much…
Finally, as the sun was just starting to lower enough to make some interesting light we arrived at the 12 Apostles.
They were impressive, as was the height of the cliffs, the colour of the sea, the sun setting in the distance… all gorgeous.
The site was also overrun with tourists doing the same thing as us. I think if I go again I’ll be a lot more prepared to go and be a patient photographer. Staking out my place, setting up the gear and waiting for the perfect shot, I didn’t have that luxury this time around, but you live and learn. Maybe I’d stay at Port Campbell for a night and get out there really early in the morning… because the sun was setting behind the rocks the light on them would be better in the morning…
Even pics I judge most critically still convey what we saw!!! I’d definitely go again.. and next time, I also think I’d get a helicopter view as well… now THAT would give you scope for some cool pix… the coastline is impressive already but from above? You’d really see it…
Day Nine was a totally lazy day. Computer games, reading, generally laying low as getting home from the 12 Apostles excursion meant a late night (yeah, a nana…what can I say?). But we took ourselves off to the movies, to that ever so controversial flick ‘The Golden Compass’. And yes, as a Christian immersed in artistic pursuits the imagery and the sentiment of the film was definitely anti establisment (in the guise of the church) and only on that basis did it lose appeal for me. It’s hard to judge just how influential that kind of story is in the world view of someone watching. I am widely read… and have never been restricted by my parents in terms of what I may or may not read, and have never restricted myself as an adult and my faith remains firm so the backlash against the film makes for interesting discussion.
I’m inclined now to read the books too… just so should I be called on to do so I can make an intelligent point about them in the light of my faith not just a blind criticism based on hearsay… I know… not the approach most people expect from us ‘Bible Belters’…
Anyway, the movie done and dusted and the last night slept away we got up and packed up the next morning and got on the road to Lorne where we were meeting Coldie to drop in on their annual family pilgrimage to one of the campgrounds there.
It happened that the day we showed up was the day that half the country had arrived there to take part in the ‘Pier to Pub’. The largest Ocean swim in the world.
I know, it makes no sense to me either.
The swim is only 1.2km in distance… the size is relative to the number of participants annually.
They’re all crazy…
Lorne Pier to Pub Swim
I left Shoe in Lorne for some quality time with Coldie as I had to be back at work on Monday and wanted a day at home to reacclimatise. I caught the local coach (TOTAL bargain to get from Lorne to Geelong – less than 10 bucks) to Geelong station and a shuttle from there to the Avalon airport to catch a flight back up to Sydney. Ironically even though I was flying home if we’d driven from the time we got on the road in the morning and kept going instead of all the stops and starts I’d probably have got back to Sydney around the same time in the evening. As it was I spent rather a lot of time sitting around waiting for the next transport to arrive… Still, on the heels of a great week nothing mattered… it’s all a part of the adventure!
Anyway, thanks for indulging me with this travelogue and my shameless flogging of my pix to you…
For now, I’m still in NZ on holiday. I’m anticipating that normal transmission will resume next week.
Oh, and a belated Happy Australia Day to all the folks back ‘home’!