Driving thru the Great Ocean Road

Trip Start Jan 05, 2008
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Trip End Jun 20, 2008


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Where I stayed
Begonia City Motel

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

3/11/08
    Today we started driving thru the Great Ocean Road.

    Our first stop was at the Bells Beach where the last scene of the movie Point Break was filmed (supposedly). It is a pretty beach full of cliffs all over. Really pretty. From there we kept driving thru the ocean road appreciating the scenery and stop often at different touristic spots, such as Erskin Falls (which took was 309 steps to get down there and 309 harder steps to go up all to see a pretty much dry waterfall) and Kenneth River where there is a caravan park full of wild Koalas. Those were the first wild Koalas we saw...really pretty! We kept driving to Apollo Bay where we spent the night.

3/12/08

    The first stop of the day was at the Cape Otway Lighthouse where we didnt go in as it was too expensive to, however it was a great drive to and from it as I spotted wild Koalas in the road... it was the best so far of all the Koalas I have seen (Alane) due to two reasons: first, I spotted them alone in a place where we didnt know there were Koalas, and second because we got to see two things: a young Koala and a sleepy Koala pooping...haha, that was funny! But we pratically made everyone driving thru the road stop and come check out the Koalas!!!

    Next stop was at a rock formation called "The Twelve Apostles", which is the main reason why we drove the Great Ocean Road. Originally the land extended out to emcompass the rosk formations, but over time the wind and the waves crashing in on the soft limestone has eroded the land creating "The Twelve Apostles". The scenery is breathtaking and a very peaceful place. You will like the pictures. These rock formation continue along the cost and we also saw the Loch and Gorge, The Blow Hole, The Thunder Cave, The Arch, The London Bridge and The Grotto. All these spots carry some history, such as the Blow Hole which is a hole where the water get such strong suction that if you are in it is really hard to get out. Years ago there was a shipwreck and 11 bodies of the ship crew were found later on in the hole floating in there, which is far from where the ship sank. The history on the London Bridge is not that old, as in 1990 the Bridge consisted of two archs and suddenly, in the middle of the day the first arch colapsed into the water, leaving two tourists in the remaining arch which was not connected to the land. They say that soon the remaining arch will also fall and that will be the end of the London Bridge in Australia... I am glad we got to see it before it vanishes.

Funny fact: Jarrett decided to stop at this one spot where we were able to go down the steps all the way to a river connecting to a beach. It was really nice except that we went to check out this part of the cliff and we played stupid thinking that the water was not reaching this side of the cliff. The beach showed no signs of high tide or at least there were no water marks high up on the beach so we figured we would be ok.  Jarrett was taking some pictures while I was filming and out of the corner of my eye I saw a wave heading towards us.  I turned off the camera to protect it, but withmy quick thinking I did not capture the amusement of the situation. I figured I could out run the wave if I ran towards Jarrett, who was standing behind a rock, which I thought would protect us from the wave. Well, it actually didnt. The wave simply floaded all around the rock, washing over one other rock, reaching us of course. Jarrett thought fast enough to stand up on one foot, while I got scared and got my both legs wet, and of course we were both wearing our tennis shoes.... Jarrett was actually ready to set his camera over the rock that got washed out...lucky him!

    Continuing the trip we planned to drive to Ballarat, which we did, but on the way we got a little worried. We needed fuel and we were certain that we would be able to get it in Cressy, a city on the way. Well, even though Cressy IS on the map, they DONT have a gas station... can you believe it? I couldnt, because the closest gas station was a 40 minute drive.  So we kept on driving and were glad when we saw that Rockewood had a gas station sign, but the only gas station in the city was closed and we still had over 20km to go and the fuel light was on. We asked some guys in the city about where the next gas station would be and they said it was only in Ballarat, and very supportive they also said: "you will make it. If not, it is early and there are plenty of people on the roads and you can maybe get some help"....for sure that made us feel a lot better!!! :(    So we kept on going and we were already making plans on what to do if the car simply stopped which was that Jarrett would push and I would steer it... I again started laughing histerically...but we made to Ballarat and after some hotel hunting we spent the night in a decent motel.

3/12/08
    Today we visited Sovereign Hill in Ballarat. For those who dont know, Ballarat is a gold mining town and Sovereign Hill is a tourist attraction where you learn about the history of the Golden Age of Australia. The park is centered in the Golden Age theme and it is quite impressive in its size and all it has to offer. Today, for the first time in our lives (and probably the last) Jarrett and I held a gold bar in our hands. Not a simply gold bar, but one that actually worth $100,000. The park offers a demonstration of how to melt gold and make it into the bar, what tool they use and so on, and once it was done, the host asked who would like to hold the bar. Well, I wasnt slow to lift my hands!!!! So I went in the stage in front of everyone and held the heavy bar, but Jarrett was not quick with the photo camera, as he was concentrated on filming it. So since I really wanted a pic of it, we waited until everyone left the room and I kindly asked the host to show us the bar again so we could take a good pic of it. So we went back in the room, he locked all the doors possible to assure we wouldnt run away and opened the glass safe where the bar was put after the presentation. He explained that that gold was donated to the park by a local family and it is really real but it was not the gold found in Ballarat... but hey the other tourists dont need to know that, right?! Great day.
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