|Ok, so it has taken a while to get the last holiday post up, but it's been a busy couple of weeks... enjoy it though now that it's done!|
|Wind farms on the coast of Victoria.|
The time comes in all trips, whether they be a weekend getaway or a one year round the world extravaganza, to start heading home. Usually it is too soon, and you're not ready to leave your holiday fun and sun yet, and face the real world of work. For others it's the final end to a great time, and they need the routine that a 9 till 5 offers... phaw to that! GIve me eternal holidays!
|The 12 Apostles at sunset on the Great Ocean Road.|
I left Adelaide and aimed to get to, and see, the Great Ocean Road on the same day. This is no mean feat - a good 700kms and about 9 hours of driving. Not the longest I've ever done (this would be the 1600kms from Adelaide to Sydney I did in one go back in 2002), but still a tough old drive. I left at 6am, bright (sort of) and early with high hopes. I did make it, my right foot slightly stiff and sore, but just in time to catch the sunset, and the multitude of tourists with iPhones and iPads trying to photograph the sunset.
|The 12 Apostles.|
|Some of the remaining Apostles.|
The Great Ocean Road is the most famous road in Australia, apart from maybe Ramsay Street. It's home to the 12 Apostles and a beautiful winding coastline that really does just represent Australia. The 12 Apostles are limestone stacks on the coast, and were originally part of the cliff face, but have become separate due to wind and water erosion. The Southern Ocean is a harsh neighbour, and there are now only 8 remaining Apostles - the last collapse was in 2005. Eventually new 'stacks' will be formed from the coastline as these one disappear all together.
|The harsh wind and waves of the Southern Ocean on the Great Ocean Road.|
Loch Ard Gorge is a 3 minute drive from the Apostles, and apart from being beautiful, it has a horrible tale. In 1878, The Clipper "Loch Ard" was just about to complete it's 3 month journey from England to Melbourne. Sadly, not far from it's destination, it ran aground - and all but 2 of it's 54 passengers drowned. The two survivors were a 17 year old Irish woman, Eva Carmichael, and 15 year old Ship's Apprentice Tom Pearce. Tom actually saved Eva from drowning, and was hailed a hero. It really is a beautiful but deadly strip of coast.
|The Great Ocean Road - absolutely stunning!|
|A real risk...|
After the Great Ocean Road, I hit Melbourne in the morning. I've been to Melbourne a few times, and enjoy it every time! It's clean, lovely to look at, and there is always something happening. I must mention a few things about Melbourne that I don't think I will ever get used to. Firstly, there are the trams - cool to look at and ride, a novelty almost I think, but they are fairly silent, and sneak up on you if you're not careful - death on tracks... maybe I do have a slightly irrational fear of them for some reason. Apart from this risk (in my head), the trams force drivers to do very bizarre "hook" turns. Nowhere else in the world does this happen - and the Melbournians love to be the only ones that have something that no one else does. To turn right, you must go in the far left lane, wait in the middle of intersection until your "hook turn" light says it's OK to go, then you swing around in front of everyone from the far left, and pray you don't hit a tram! I will never get used to it!
|Banksy-esk street art in Melbourne that could very well be Banksy!|
I have 2 friends that I would like to mention - my friend Syd and Mel. Now, both of these ladies are beautiful, intelligent, and love a party at night, but do they get along? Unfortunately they don't - they are always trying to be in the spotlight, down-playing each other at every turn. In my opinion, Syd is naturally more beautiful, yet slightly older, but Mel, not to be outdone, has gone a little over the top with glitz and glamour, and never fails to talk herself up and gatherings - no one likes too much make up or a big mouth! She believes she makes better coffee, has more style, and also looks European, as well as just being cooler. I like both of them to be honest, even though I was friends with Syd first. I also can't tell one that I like the other - that is just asking for trouble!
|Cafe in Melboune.|
|Old-School Barber's - note the foot marks.|
|The Sky's the limit in Melbourne.|
|The great Phar Lap.|
|National Gallery of Victoria.|
|The Thinker - Ancient and Modern.|
|Instant Monet! The National Gallery of Victoria.|
|A sunset farewell from the city of Melbourne - Love ya Mel!|