In the morning those who wanted to see the sunrise at the 12 Apostles got up early and headed off to see them. I chose to sleep on and then get up for a breakfast of fried eggs on toast and more toast. Having helped clear up and/or wash up for the previous two days I felt comfortable getting up and leaving the clearing up and washing-up to others.This did not include the two German princesses, who mainained their record of doing nothing to help with either meal preperation or clearing up.
We packed up the bus and headed off to our first visit of the day, a piece of ancient, temperate, rain-forrest at Melba Gully; the owner of the land had named it after the singer, Dame Nelly Melba. Thus the day began as it was to continue with the bus heading along windy and, comparitivly narrow, roads; which are not too bad if you are sitting at the front but are not good if you have ever had any motion sickness. I do not suffer from motion sickness but I was glad of the frequent stops which gave a break and a chance for the stomach to settle.
Walking through the rain-forrest you were immediately struck by how much colder it was than it had been. I also quickly noticed the giant ferns which grew so tall you were walking underneath them, something which added to the gloom and cold of the area. We walked up to a massive tree and some people had their picture taken with it. If we had gone the other way we would have come to a cascade, which I was more interested in seeing. The rain-forrest is also notable as the habitat of a carnivorous snail. We saw one and it just looked like a snail. I do not think it will be joining the collection of dangerous animals in Australia anytime soon.
We left the forrest and went to Yatzies cafe in Lavers Hill, which we were warned had nice pies but they were very expensive. I did not try the pies, but a fellow tour member who did said they were very nice. I had a coffee and something called a hedgehog, a slice a chocoalte containing broken biscuits. My mother used to make something similar but we called tiffin cake but, unlike hedgehog, it was not topped with dessicated coconut. I have never understood why the British version includes dried fruit as I do not think it adds anything.
We visited Apollo Bay and then Skenes Creek although I do not remember anything special about them.
I do remember our next port of call, Kennet River, as here we saw the Koalas and fed the birds which you can see pictured. For the Koalas life is good with them sleeping three-quarters of the time and eating the rest. Our guides had some bird feed which meant our group attracted the birds.
Then, after a very quick visit to Cape Pattern where I took the picture of the Great Ocean Road showing the twists and turns of the road, we then went to Carsbrook Falls, which you can also see, before we headed for Lorne and lunch.
We arrived in brilliant sunshime and in the time it took to park the bus it had started spitting and by the time we had got close to the beach the heavens had opened so we had our lunch in the cafe they were bought from. This allowed me to have a piece of Humingbird cake, which thankfully did not include the bird of the same name, and a coffe as well. Whilst I was having this some others from the group had a swim, but I did not have time to do so. Back in the bus in time for it to start raining again.
We headed along the coast to the Great Ocean Road Arch, pictured, which commemorated the ex-sericemen who had built the road, often with just a pick and a shovel, on their return from the First World War as a way of giving them meaningful employment. I hadn’t realised, or remembered, that the road had not always been funded by the State or National government, with large parts funded by public subscription. This surprised me in vew of the benefits it has brought to the communities along it.
We made a stop at Bells Beach, made famous by the film Point Break, where one of the Germans; who is on a round the World tour showed the problems of such a thing when she refused to get off the bus because, “it is just another beach and I’ve seen loads of beaches.” We then headed to Torquay, which was the place Rip Curl and Billabong, started out, and is part of what is called the ‘Surf Coast’. We had some time to look at the outlets selling the different surfing gear but I bought none of it. Then it was a straight road back to Melbourne whch after the twisty and turny coast road was most welcome.
On the bus before Melbourne the competition, which had been taking place throughout the trip, came to a climax and thanks to sterling efforts from two members of my team in bus basketball, which is probaby illegal – but I didn’t tell you we played it, meant we were the champions.
We entered the more urban environment of Melbourne which meant the bus got held up much more before we reached Flinders Street which was our drop off. With the good-byes the third phase of the holiday ended and the fourth – Melbourne began.
We took our cases to the hostel and checked-in before heading out for something to eat. Just around the corner the street had been closed and tables and chairs placed out in it from different restaurants. We chose an Italian from which you could smell good cooking. I had the pasa meal of the day which was OK apart from the pork being chewy. There was also a mix up over the wine when they did not have the wine we wanted, gave us another similar but only charged for a cheaper one (good) but then charged us for another bottle we did not have (bad); undoing all the good work of the waitress before. We returned to our room and it was not long before sleep overtook us.