So I began two days ago to write what was going to be one post of my three day road trip, but as the memories and words flowed I realized if I posted my entire journey in one post that would take readers 30 minutes to read and no one wants that! So over the next 3 days I will split up this amazing journey I was blessed to go on!
This post could also be titled “That time Melanie went on a road trip with 3 Italians she had never met,” “The first time Melanie drove on the left side of the road in the right side driver’s seat,” “That time that Melanie saw over 10 koala bears, 6 emus, 50 kangaroos, and 4 wallabies in the wild,” or simply “That amazing, spontaneous road trip of Victoria.”
Are you wondering what the heck I’m talking about yet?
Let me tell you about a week ago Tuesday… You didn’t even know I was gone since I figured out the awesome “schedule post” tool on WordPress so you, my lovely followers, didn’t miss my weekly post! Okay enough of that.
Last Tuesday I left Queen’s at 7:40am to make my way down to a car rental company in the city. Upon arrival I met the 3 guys I would be spending the next 3 days with, Davide, Gabriele, and Kristian. Kristian reins from the north of Italy in a small town near the Alps and was on working holiday for a year here in Australia. Gabriele was in a similar situation, on working holiday here until July but he was from a town in the middle of Italy. Lastly, Davide, the person who had informed me about the trip, is from a small town in the south of Italy, studies in Milan and is at Uni Melb for a year for graduate studies and spent a semester in his undergrad abroad in California. I learned that only Davide was completely fluent in English and the other two had broken English mixed with a lot of Italian.
Here are the three guys:
We paid for the car, got the keys, and managed to go on our merry little way. As we were weaving in and out of Melbourne traffic, directions shouted in Italian from everyone, and a frantic Kristian trying to get the hang out driving on the left side of the road, I had to smile. This was going to be fun!
About 45 minutes out of the city, after much discussion (in Italian that I had to get translated by Davide for me) we found a small little town to get groceries in. After I stocked up on plenty of carrots, fruit PB&J, and bread we got back on the road. (I’d just like to mention here Italians do not have a fondness for peanut butter! It is quite sad!)
Then the plans came out, we were going to do two days on the Great Ocean Road and one day in the Grampian Mountains! Alright by me!
Our first stop was Bell’s Beach in Torquay. Driving only took about 30 minutes and once there we marveled at trees growing sideways from the wind, the rolling ocean, but most impressive, the kite surfers! The wind was killer all at Bell’s Beach! There were four kite surfers out on the water and it was marvelous watching them. They’d catch a wave and the wind and become aerial for over 30 seconds and then land about 15 meters away from where they got picked up from! After 15 minutes we decided we all needed to layer up and grab thicker coats for our next stop, between the wind and the overcast day it was cold!
Our next stop, once we arrived required a bit of a walk, Point Addis in Aglesea. We took the 10 minute trail out to more beautiful coastal views and naturally we climbed over the fence to get to the edge of the cliff. It was really cool to see the road we were about to take stretching off into the distance along with the rush of the waves against the cliffs.
At a scenic overlook between our next stop and the above, we found stunning views of the crystal water stretching beyond the point. It was the perfect place to stop and make our first of many sandwiches of the trip! Back in the car we went! And less than 2 minutes later we see a sign for a public beach, so naturally, we stop and go for a walk along the beach!
Naturally when we passed the Great Ocean Road sign we HAD to stop and take a picture!
Next up was Cinema Point in Lorne which ended up just being a house on a cliff with a view anyone would be jealous of!
Erskine Falls, however was quite a sight to see, as we began the short 15 minute descent to the bottom of the falls the green jungle creeped around us. Walking along we could hear the sound of water and rounding the bend we saw this beautiful waterfall cascading down the side of the rocks. We stood and marveled for a while before deciding to move on.
Teddy’s Lookout in Lorne was next and WOW! I thought I had begun to see my quota for beautiful views for a day but then we stumbled (quite literally, I tripped on the walk out) upon this stunning countryside, ocean view. You could see the rolling hills stretching on into the distance and the valley below that connected itself to the strip of beach and cliff road that stretched along the mountain and the ocean. The sun peaked out from the clouds and the waves rolled in. Stunning.
Apollo Bay was our last ocean stop for the day so instead of viewing it from the beach itself we drove up the hill, found a random trail through someone’s paddock of sheep and took in the views from that angle!
Cape Otway National Park, a lovely drive that lends itself to the Australian wildlife! Randomly animals began to reveal themselves! We saw black wallabies and fields and fields of kangaroos! We see kangaroos so of course we hopped out of the car, ran over to the paddock and began to try and get close to them! This process lasted about 30 minutes so by the time we made it back to the car and drove to the campsite in the Park it was pitch black.
However, there was a school trip of 10 year olds out with their teachers for the night and they were quite generous and let us borrow a lamp. Less than an hour later the tent was set up, we were bundled up in warmer clothes, and having sandwiches round 2! We chatted (Davide translating and getting the others to speak English for me), ate, and had a good time til getting ready for bed.
Before bed however, I looked up. The stars. Oh the stars. If I could pick anything to capture with a camera on this entire trip it would be this sky. The stars seemed to blanket the entire sky twinkling, shooting, dancing. I have never before seen that many stars in the sky. There was such pureness and beauty in the 360 degree stunning masterpiece of God I was taking in! That wasn’t all though! The Milky Way plastered itself right across the middle of the sky moving ever so slowly, as if it was moving with the beating of my heart. This night I saw 6 shooting stars in the space of 5 minutes. It was all I could do to tear my eyes away from the stars to head to bed.
Waking up at 3 am I determined I probably never should have! It was pouring rain and my feet were soaked, I was freezing and super uncomfortable.
And with that Cliffhanger I will leave it there for the night! Come back tomorrow for Day 2’s adventures! (My favorite day of the trip 🙂 )