The day dawned cool and dreary. The grass was still damp from the previous night’s rain as we shuffled over to the bathrooms to clean ourselves up to get ready for another day. We waved goodbye to our new friend Ian who was pulling out of the campsite on his lonely adventure towards the route that we had left the day before. We packed up our camper and headed back to the Twelve Apostles to retake pictures without the crowds and the blazing sun. We were successful on both accounts. The wind pulled at our jackets as we descended Gibson’s Steps toward the beach, which would give us a different view of the Apostles. Not wanting to get sand on our shoes we hurried back up the steps, without any new pictures, to the warmth of our camper. A little further up the road we stopped at a Wildlife Sanctuary for a cup of coffee and a visit with a few of the residents there. I fed (and was beat up by) a kangaroo, an emu (they’re nasty!), and a couple of alpacas (brown one was shy, white one not so much). We admired a couple of dingoes – beautiful creatures. The young lady that owns the sanctuary with her family told us that dingoes are actually loners and do not travel in packs as our wolves do. They are booted out of the litter once they are old enough to look after themselves, they find a mate for life and the two of them manage a little section of the wilderness. And the cycle repeats. The two that are at the sanctuary were born in captivity but I am not sure of how they arrived there.
From there we headed further up the Great Ocean Road. The landscape and the road, changed dramatically. We were now moving through the Otway National Forest. The scenery was magnificent as we wound our way through a series of switchbacks with forest on one side and valleys and sheep meadows on the other. We took a narrow, winding side road down to the Otway Cape to see the first established lighthouse on the coast. After 300 shipwrecks by 1878, it was decided that something had to be done to warn the captains of impending disaster. Though the purpose of the original lighthouse has been replaced by modern technology, it still stands as a testament to the people who went before. The life of a lighthouse keeper was harsh. A community had to be established and over time a telegraph office and a school. As this area was remote, the community had to become self sufficient with its own vegetable gardens and animals. Supplies had to be brought in by bullocks and wagon – a trip that would take 3 days to a week over land.
We wound our way back out to the main road and thought that the worst of the drive was behind us. How wrong we were!! This road hugged the coastline with hairpin turns, sheer rock faces on the left and dropoffs into the ocean on the right. Richard did the white knuckle driving and I hung on for dear life in the passenger seat. I drove the Hana Highway in Hawaii a few years back and that was a cakewalk compared to this! We were very happy to see Lorne, where we are spending the night. Tomorrow’s drive will probably be much the same as we have about another 100 kms of The Great Ocean Road ahead of us. Can’t wait!! I think there is a chocolate factory somewhere along the road so that should make it all worth while!!
The Twelve Apostles: As you can see they are not really that spectacular. Not sure what all the fuss is about.
The wildlife sanctuary.
The Light House:
The Crazy Ocean Road: Don’t forget I am driving Big Stupid Camper that my wife made us rent.
Last stop on the Great Ocean Road. The Chocolate Factory or someplace or other: