Melbourne to Port Campbell

Trip Start Aug 20, 2007
Trip End Jul 04, 2008

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

 Torquay-Melbourne now in the rearview and Torquay two hours down the road Kelly and I have managed to leave Melbourne with only 5 or 6 U turns and one heroic hook turn. The open road road ahead and several long black coffees in the belly I was amped to be moving again. Chit chatting about the road ahead and feeling the crave to do more coffee we decided to spend the night at the first campsite we found near Bells Beach. A place quickly secured we went to check out the world class break called Bells Beach. The view platform was empty except for a couple dressed in formal gear. The dude was looking nervous and our intereruption only fueled his awkwardness. Inappropriate comments whispered in Kelly's ear had her spewing from laughter only to add to the romance of the situation. After ruining the suits moment I decided to pay attention to the surf. Sadly to say the waves were small and the wind was onshore, but the view was still great because the waves and conditions could improve for tomorrow.

Bells and the Great Ocean Road- The night was chilling. Autumn has come to the southlands of Australia. The tent was too cold to handle at about 3 a.m., so K Ching and I ended up crashing out on living room couches in the hostel. Up bright and early to check the surf I was disappointed on the lack of swell but was looking forward to the trip on the Great Ocean Road to the 12 Apostles. Its a gorgeous stretch of asphalt built by Victorian veterans after WWI. It has been called the largest war memorial in the world. It skirts along the southern coast of Victory taking drivers along winding roads through wooded groves with the clinging koalas and along steep cliffs with breathtaking seascapes. The 300 took us 240 kilometers to waterfalls, lookouts, rainforests in gulleys, beaches, and finally the jewel of the the Great Ocean Road, the 12 Apostles. They are the massive remains of limestone headlands that are constantly being eroded by the powerful churning seas eating away at their foundations. The Apostles were once named the "Sow and the Piglets". I kind of prefer the first name but the powers that be decided the 12 Apostles to be more noble. So long story short the some of the Apostles have recently fallen, but being an Australian icon the name must remain the 12 Apostles not the 9 and half Apostles. However, even with a few fallen brothers in piles of rubble at their feet the Apostles are still awe inspiring. The sunset only highlighted their splendor. Another day was well spent on the road in the 300.

More of Port Campbell National Park-  Clouds rolled in for an overcast day of exploring the limestone headlands and eroded caves in Port Campbell National Park. A few beaches were visited and many pics were taken of the dramatic scenery. A highlight was the Loch Ard Gorge. It was made infamous by the ship which named the gorge after running aground on shallow reef during heavy seas in 1878. The wreck claimed 52 lives and spared only two. The survivors were both 18 years old. The story goes that the young man who dragged himself to the shore heard the damsel in distress moaning unconcious as she was drifting on floatsome from the wreck.With no regard for his own life he charged back into the churning seas rescueing the lady from certain death. He then using his 18 year old savy revived the unconcious girl with.... brandy. What a champion!! Lesson learned; Brandy saves lives. Moved by the heroics of the story I decided to change the dangerously bald front left tire of the 300. Feeling sexy with the new tire the 300 was ready to test out the new shoe. Onward HOOOOOOOOOEEE!!!!!!!! But first a picnic of tuna sandwiches and crackers and some shopping for pink and brown flipflops. Now seriously ready for action the 300 took us on the scenic route to the Grampion National Park. We arrived after dark excited for more adventures that await tomorrow.
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