It rains in Australia too....

Trip Start Sep 16, 2008
Trip End Sep 15, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day two began with a much appreciated lie in, though the fact that I now consider a 7am alarm a lie in is vaguely sad considering I’m supposed to be on holiday. It was a miserable day, yes that’s right, far from having 300 days of sunshine a year, as we established in Queensland during the floods, it rains a lot in Australia and the south feels about as cold as home so I’m freezing in my solitary pair of jeans and hoodie. I’ve now taken to wearing most of my tops at once in the hope that, although none of them have sleeves, the layering effect might warm me up a little. It’s as though the country is prematurely trying to help me acclimatise to the cold back home seeing as I return in less than a month. Had I been flying straight home that would have worked but I don’t think it’s going to help me next week to deal with the sauna that is Hong Kong in september!
Anyway our idiot guide (she’s lovely really but I have no idea what she was thinking today) decided it’d be a great idea to do a 4km hike in the mist and rain up to a lookout from which we could see absolutely nothing but cloud. I’ve now lost my patience with this tour, we’re rushed through the things like Kata Tjuta that are actually interesting and fun, and then we’re forced to waste time walking in the rain for hours. There’s a stop tomorrow at Torquay to see the first Rip Curl store, there’ll be hell to pay if we’re rushed through that so we can see another bloody mountain!!!
But once we’d finally made it back to the bus, soaked and freezing, I was excited about our lunch stop at Warrnambool, only because my favourite Aussie comedian Dave Hughes is from here. He talks about it all the time in his stand up so it’s fun to see what he’s talking about. I’m dying to go to Bendigo, which is just north of Melbourne, just to see if it’s as awful as his jokes say! Back on the road we came to a standstill while a thousand sheep (literally, we asked the farmer) were herded down the road to the sheering sheds.
Next up was what we’d all been waiting for since Adelaide; Great Ocean Road. By this point however my patience had been worn pretty thin, my feet were still soaked from this mornings pointless hike and it was still windy and raining. There were several stops to see each of the Apostles, aka beautiful large limestone rocks sticking out of the sea.
Though we’d wasted two hours walking in the rain this morning (yes I’m pretty bitter about that) each of these stops seemed very rushed, and far from Jen’s wonderful endless ramblings about all the little places we visited Roach’s commentary was frankly nonexistent, so I can’t tell you much history about anything I’ve seen over the last couple of days aside from one story. In the 1870’s a ship was wrecked in bad weather at Loch Ard Gorge and all except two passengers drowned. The first survivor, Tom, was a young boy who hung on to a piece of wreckage and was washed up on the beach. There he heard the screams of a young woman, Eve, who he rushed back into the freezing water to save. They took refuge overnight in a cave on the beach and the next day Tom climbed the cliff face to search for help, eventually they were both rescued and taken to a nearby town.
When we finally got to the section where you could get down to this beach and see the caves and a gorgeous view of the Apostles, I literally had to run back up the bus within minutes because everyone had already left. I apologise that this blog probably sounds much more negative than any of the others but I just can’t put a rose tint on this one, it’s been so frustrating and I wish I’d just driven from Adelaide myself. In fact I’m planning on renting a car for the weekend to catch a big surf competition at Bell’s beach, so hopefully I’ll get time to return to Great Ocean Road for a more relaxed exploration.
We got to a lookout where you can look back along the beach at all the Apostles and had planned to watch the sunset there but the weather was so bad there wasn’t much to see. One girl and I stuck it out for as long as we could stand the cold, just out of the sheer principal that this was the only chance we’d get to see it, rain or no rain. It’s a gorgeous view though, and even in bad weather the postcards don’t do the real thing justice. There aren’t 12 Apostles by the way, and there never were. There were nine until a couple fell into the water, and there are now eight again as one that was in the shape of an arch lost it’s center section and became two.
That was it for the second day, back to our acommodation to warm up and wait for dinner!
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