From Adelaide to Melbourne-Part II

I have arrived in Melbourne. I am blogging from a hostel in the St. Kida district known as “The Base”. It is a hostel designed for college age types who are from all over the world. Fortunately, the language of choice is English.

This morning we left Princetown at 7:30 am and made our way over to “The Gibson Steps”.  Sometime in the 19th century a boat carrying immigrants crashed into the Loch and Gorge area of Port Campbell National Park, causing every member except for two of the trip to perish. When the survivors made it to shore, a man by the name of Gibson came to their aide. So these steps are named after this man for his rescue. The steps hug the side of a cliff and go several hundred feet down to the beach below the Great Ocean Road. As soon as we made it to the beach it started to rain so we ran back to the bus.

After visiting Gibson’s steps we drove west on the Great Ocean Road until we reached Otway National Park. The Otway National Park is known for a tree walking path called The Otway Fly. This 600 meter metal walking path is suspended between various trees and allows  you to take a walk through the rain forrest, but at tree level. The highest point of the tree walk is a 45 meter lookout at the end of a spiral stairway. This was one of the coolest things on the trip I have seen. Yes, the Great Ocean Road was amazing at times. But when was the last time you walked through a rain forrest at 25 meters?

Following our tree walking experience we continued west and got some spectacular views of the most beautiful portion of the Ocean Road. In my life I have been able to travel through Maui, drive the Pacific Coast Highway in Southern California, and swim in various beaches in Brazil. Those coastal sites are amazing, but what makes The Great Ocean Road distinct is the sheer force of the waves, combined with how close the waves come up to the constantly curvey road. It is really beautiful.

We continued along until we reached Apollo Bay, where we stopped for lunch. Apollo Bay is a small coastal town that survives as a holiday spot for tourists. It has picturesque views of the Great Ocean Road. I can see why people would want to come here for vacation. After an hour at Apollo Bay we contined on until we reached Lorne, a larger, and more dramatic version of Apollo Bay. Once again, I can understand the draw to vacation in a place like this. After Lorne we stopped at Bells Beach, known for it’s yearly surfing competition. This is one of the primo spots for surfing in all of Australia. Even though it was raining, several of us got out of the bus to get a closer look at some surferes from an overlook. The waves weren’t huge, but it was defanately the place to bring your board.

The Great Ocean Road finally came to an end in Torquay. We stopped here and spent over an hour shopping at various surf stores, Rip Curl, Quicksilver, Billabong, etc. One more hour of travel put us in Geelong, and then we were in Melbourne. We stopped at the bus station and various hostels, and everyone went there own way. Kind of sad really. Our group had a lot of fun together. And then wham…everyone scatters to the wind. But with the advent of email and Facebook we’ll be able to stay in touch.

However, several people from the group have a few more days in Melbourne, so I joined Matt, Fay, and Davon for dinner. I had Kangaroo for the first time. Not bad. But man I’m tired. It’s almost midnight. I think Davon and I are going to try to check out Melbourne together this weekend. Nice to have a friend to pal around with.

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One Response to “From Adelaide to Melbourne-Part II”

  1. edward bunnell Says:

    Brian, I really enjoyed your ‘travel talk’; my visit to Australia. My ‘mind’s eye’ is very sharp; could even feel the salt spray!/pop

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