March 18, 2010

Great Stormy Ocean Road

After 5 months constantly working in the city a roadtrip was way overdue. So, we flew to Adelaide to hit the Great Ocean Road back to Melbourne, via a little detour through the Grampians Nationalpark.

Heading out of Adelaide we had a short stop over in famous Hahndorf - an early German colonial settlement town gone fairly famous for its typical German looking township. It was a cute little town indeed, Old European style houses line the street and of course, the typical German restaurants aren‘ t missing. Looking at the menu we were wondering who would want to eat all this sausages, pork, sauerkraut, spaetzle and te lot in ONE meal!?!
After that we headed towards the Victorian border, beware the time changes 30 minutes between South Australia and Victoria - we almost missed that one. After 700k‘s on the road we arrived at the Grampians. We chose to stay at the eco YHA for that night, which turned out to be a hidden jewel. Great athmosphere, like at a hut in the Swiss mountains, in that awesome little hostel. After a night of red wine, skip-o card games and guitar music we hiked some of the shorter walks the next day. Unfortunately the weather wasn‘ t at its best, with overcast skies and a lite drizzle, so look out views weren‘ t that great at all. The hike up to the Pinnacles didn‘t look to great considering the rock/climbing wold turn into rock-sliding, so we turned around half way. Well, now we have another excuse to head back there for a long weekend later on. On our way out of the Grampians it was all bright blue skies and sunshine.... How stunning would the park have looked under that conditions. What a shame.

Warnambool - the starting point of the world famous Great Ocean Road - was our overnight destination. The hostel was reminding us of our old wokring hostel back up in Ayr, not so nice, but what can you do, hey?! That eve at twilight we headed to Tower Hill reserve, that‘ s a volcanic area and in there heaps of wildlife gets alive at dusk. Nature at its best! And it was. We drove in there to the car park and immediately were greeted by a kangaroo sitting on the roadside, watching us... They always just sit there and watch, as if they can‘ t care less - before they run into your headlights, that is! We walked up into the forrest with no other people around - a bit creepy alright and saw emus, kangaroos and koalas. Cheeky kangaroo from the beginning seemd to follow us around, since one time we crept closer to the black kangaroos in the hills, while we were watched from behind by kangaroo and its mate! I reckon they followed us around, we couldn‘ t help checking over our shoulders from time to time... they were quite often there! Creepy. One time I was already hearing the heavy, loud thonk-thonk of a kangaroo jumoing around, when cheeky-roo came running around the corner, literally stopping with a screeeeeetch (imaging cartoon here - seriously) like oh oh people here. Ok, let me come closer... stare at them....hmm, closer... Thonk-thonk... Oh oh too close! It almost run into me, that‘s when I got a bit scared and side stepped so the roo can pass, that scared the roo and off it was into the bushes. Kat swears that the kangaroo would have come up right beside me and would have just stared at me! Talking about a new profile pci, hey! ;-) Rather not! We were pretty pumped after that nature close up and personal....

The next day - our trip along the Great Occean Road - it was stormy. Hmpf, not what we expected for the stunning scenery, but it made it all the more interesting, I‘d say. Lucky us, up until the 12 Apostels we had sunshine to get really stunning views of this ragged coastline. What a stunning scenery!! We were blwon away... Literally almost, since it was sooo windy on the edge of the cliffs. Huge waves hit the cliffs and created an amazing atmosphere. Needless to say, the planned and highly anticipated helicopter flight over the GOR didn‘ t happen that day either.

Our last night we spent at another eco YHA - another jewel hostel - at Apollo Bay. I easily can image spending more days there just chillaxing and working a few hrs in the hostel (for accomodation, of course)... no probs at all. :-) The next day we planned on spending the day at the world famous surf beaches of Shell‘s Beach or in Torquay. Oh well, our prayers weren‘t heard, as it poured down rain all day until we arrived in Geelong that avro. At least we had a nice sunny eve in Melbourne. Spending the night at our friend‘s flat out in one creepy Melbournian suburb with delicious chicken satay.

Visualize it here.

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