Monday, July 20, 2009

Welcome To Australia, Pt. IV: The Great Ocean Road

Before heading to Australia, I definitely had my eye on the Great Ocean Road, a 200 km road along the ocean in Southern Victoria. What photos I had seen looked spectacular, and my Melbournian friend Martyn had highly recommended it as well. I was still a bit on the fence given the two day chunk it would take out of my stay in Melbourne, not to mention the transport issue. To travel the road my options were a) rent a car and drive on the wrong side road, b) borrow Martyn’s car and contend not only with the wrong side of the road, but also with a manual shift on the wrong side of my body or c) get on a tour bus with a bunch of tourists. Ultimately I chose not to deal with humans or risk wrecking Martyn’s auto. I rented a car and went on down the road. Hands down the GOR was the highlight of my Australian trip. Absolutely breathtaking. Though it’s winter down here, I was accompanied by blue skies, white billowy clouds, giant rainbows, and the golden glow of a sparkling, sunny day. The day was crisp and spring-like, the evening offered an autumnal chill descending into winter. The road offered up beautiful vista after beautiful vista. Sandy beaches, rugged, rough hewn orangey cliffs, rolling green pasturelands dotted with cows and sheep, rain forests, and the postcard perfect 12 Apostles—a series of 12 monolithic rock structures off the coast near Port Campbell. Truly stunning. If you’re ever in Australia, you’ve got to do this drive. And the wrong side of the road thing…kind of fun.

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