Friday, January 15, 2010

Australiogue - Chapter Three (1/1/2010 - 2/1/2010)

A New Year has arrived & we're all set to explore the greatest, most picturesque ocean drive - Great Ocean Road! And also, from Fucking HOT to Freezing COLD!!! Yes, we woke up on 1st Jan at Naracoorte, all set for the sunny day only to be greeted by cool winds & low temperatures (it was abt 17 degrees to start out) & no sun!!! It was a shocker for us, after enduring days n days of hot weather & bright sun, to be faced with NO SUN & cold weather! Shivers...... & i was in my sphagetti top & shorts! LUckily, I had my handy jacket!

Another early start so that we have enuff time to take in whatever we can! Left at 8am to begin the journey. It was a rather nondescript drive for the 1st 2-3hrs, making our way down from Naracoorte to the start point of GOR (Great Ocean Road) at Port Fairy. The roads are easy to follow & the signs are visible almost at every important intersection. Still the weather was gloomy & cold.

After another hour or 2 of driving, we finally reached the real start point of the sightseeing along GOR! It started with Bay of Islands, Bay of Martrys, London Bridge & many many more!! With the roads & stops just along the coastline, u can imagine how bloody cold & windy it was! No matter, still have to stand there & marvel at the greatness of the sights! How soothing! If only it had not been that cold, or the sun was abit more hardworking... Gloomy skies do not make a good picture though...
1st stop Bays of Islands...

London Bridge has FALLEN down

Even with an early start, we only reached Port Campbell, middle stop along GOR & where we spend the night, after 4pm.

TIP OF THE TRIP #1: Always stop at Information Center. They are a great source of information & really helpful!

We got directions to our hostel (even though the town is damn small, still need to know which street & where to find!), tips on the sights to visit, & a small tip on bird watch at night! When the shearwaters (birds) all flew back at night! More on that later, it was a fantastic sight!

So, after checking in, we immediately set out to visit Lord Ach (not before changing into longer pants). It was already 5pm but still bright (slightly bright due to the gloomy weather). Lord Ach was magnificient! Lots of different rock formations, & great sights juz by looking out into the Ocean! Easily spent 1hr there, wandering around the area(it's actually a big area so devote more time there!). Had to rush back to hostel to cook dinner so that we have time for the sunset at 12 Apostles. This time, we really did buy the correct ingredient - Risotto! Nice!

Our dinner... Angeline cooked half of it! Bravo! It doesnt look much but it taste good!

TIP OF THE TRIP #2: Cook to save $$

Yea, u do save alot by buying ingredients to cook, helps to lower the cost. Eating out in Australia is rather expensive. A simple sandwich costs at least 7AUD! Imagine!

It took a long time to cook & by the time we finished our dinner, it was 8pm, and time to set out to 12 Apostles for sunset, scheduled at 8.55pm.

It was bloody cold!!! Winds extremely strong. Freezing & shivering out there! ANyway 12 apostles are no longer, i counted & it seems only 6 left! Bter hurry up b4 they become nothing. There, we shot countless films capturing 12 Apostles, left right center up down! Haha wonders of digital camera!
Finally! It was v v cold i tell u

Camera effect... Like very 'lomantic' hor

Very soon, the sun starts to set, & we now know why tons of pple wait there for the sunset! Whn the sun sets, the rays cast beautiful shadows over the 12 Apostles onto the cliffs, making it THE PHOTO of the moment! & u have to be quick to capture as it'll be gone in minutes!
& the sun sets....

It was also there that we started playing with 'Finger Art', using our fingers in the composition of photos. As Angeline said, it could be the start of sth new!

Finger Art! We took lotsa more...
I touched 12 Apostle!!

After sunset, we drove to Lord Ach again, for the nightly return of the shearwaters! Sitting in the freezing cold (i was trembling!) the birds started to circle ard in large numbers slightly after 9pm. The sight was fantastic!! Lots n lots of birds, flying at high speed, circling ard overhead of us! We braced teh cold & stayed for abt 20mins before retreating back to our cosy hostel to rest for the night.

It was another early day out for us the next morning, to complete the journey to the end of GOR - Geelong. The journey was rather uneventful (the highlights of GOR have already passed). We stoped by Gibsons Step, juz some steps that lead down to the beach. N the views were fantastic! WE were early (8am) so the beach was deserted, which is GREAT cos no unwanted shadows or pple stepping into the pictures & allow us to do crazy things. Finally i get to write my name down on the beach (sth i do almost everywhere i go with beaches - Sipadan, Manado Redang etc). Obviously, not to forget, jumping stances! I need to practice on the jumping.. Need to be more varied...
Gibson Steps.. The Beach... Nice!! So many clouds!

I left my name on the beach

Take 1 - Face kena covered.. Damn

Take 2 - Haven't take off yet (damn look like bird)


After that 1st stop, it was practically juz driving n driving. We stopped along the way for a small trek through the rainforest & some other small trek to a small trickling waterfall (it's summer, no rainfall = no waterfall) & this stretch of GOR (From Port campbell to Lorne) is the windiest stretch of road. As it's a coastal drive, the roads follow the bends of the mountains. It started with the stretch of road along the National Park with bends bends & more bends, followed by the coastal drive along Lorne where the bends were like 90 degree or smaller! Lucky i was not in the driver's seat! Haha but then again, I got a taste of bends later on during the trip! Angeline said that after the trip, she's damn good at S-curve! & she was deep in concentration during those times! While i was dozing off to sleep haha! & they say that passengers are likely to feel giddy & wana vomit....

I touched the bend! As u can see, it's really quite a curve!

The trickling waterfall...

Finally at abt 2pm, we reached Geelong to check into the fanciest hotel of the entire trip - 4 Points @ sheraton. Not rich, juz that I got it FOC cos i used my points to redeem. It was nice to have a cosy & nice room to sleep in after 1wk of travel.
Geelong - nth much actually, but the hotel is right by the pier, makes for good air & view! Shops were closing by the time we checked in & were ready for some R&R. Even the food court closed at like 4+pm, & we had to scramble to find a place to makan! Luckily a ramen store was stil open!

The hotel. We rounded at least 3 times, trying to find the hotel & the entrance! It's not conspicious!

Cute ice cream van! But expensive ice cream also

Lights out, sleep tight, & hold on for more the next day when we finally venture into Melbourne area, starting with Mornington Peninsula! If you're wondering if i took only these photos, u'r wrong! haha i posted more on FB


Angeline said...

Hey hey, thanks for penning down, captures the fond memories of a good holiday experience! Btw, the pictures look really good =)

DShan said...

Thanks! Have to record it down somewhere, cannot forget such great experience!