Week 31 - October 15, 2018 - October 21, 2018

There was no way a week could go wrong when you are spending most of it along a road called "The Great Ocean Road".  This spectacular section of the Victoria rolls seamlessly into South Australia and provides countless vistas of sapphire blue and teal green ocean, red and gold cliffs, emerald green hills and massive rock formations that seem to be chiseled from the hand of a giant artist.  It was a week of wonder and a few surprises.

We drove the B100, otherwise known as "The Great Ocean Road" turning off to various beaches and points along the way.  We immediately fell in awe-love with the landscape and likened it to our beloved Big Sur Highway along the central California coast. 

  Yellow flowers in Spring bloom                       Bells Beach - famous surf break   

   Even the cloudy weather could not dampen the beauty of this coastline  

It seemed that at every turn was something unique to see and admire and the day flew by with the kilometers driven. 

  One heck of a view to the beach and just love these old hotel/bars                  Cliff views along the Bass Strait
   You do not need sunshine to see the amazing blues and greens of the ocean


We stayed along the Kennett River with the anticipation of making it to the Twelve Apostles the next day.  What we did not expect, was to be joined for breakfast by many feathered locals and even a couple of them, helping us take selfies.

   Near the Kennett River outlet                                                King Parrots were quite friendly

  While taking this photo, a King Parrot landed right on the camera and clicked the picture    
  Photo bombed by a Sulpher Crested Cockatoo that landed on my arm right when I was taking a selfie with a King Parrot

  More spectacular views along the highway                On the way to Cape Otway - love the trees

As we come around Cape Otway, we started to see the coastline change and the cliffs and rock formations begin to grow in size.  Great clefts in the rock walls have been formed from the millions of years of ocean abuse and the admirer is left with breathtaking views from every angle.

   So many beautiful coves and bays                 Loch Ard Gorge area

   Loch Ard Gorge area                            Tom and Eva (teenage survivors of the shipwreck Loch Ard)

As the weather was being a bit unpredictable, we decided to stay in Port Campbell and make our way back to the Twelve Apostles the next day, wherein the weather gods promised sunshine with a side of scattered clouds. 

The Twelve Apostles are claimed to be the most photographed stretch of The Great Ocean Road and we could see why.  From every viewpoint and lookout, the what are now about nine 'Apostles' (as no one is sure if there really were twelve to begin with), jutted out of the ocean like sentries guarding their precious coastline.  We spent hours between the various walking tracks, viewpoints and road shoulders just admiring this long stretch of the coastline.

   The Twelve Apostles                    Arches and windows were plentiful

There were so many arches and windows and other evidence that the Apostles are ever-changing with their erosion and it was easy to see that new Apostles will emerge (in hundreds of years) as the arches (or connections to the mainland) will collapse.

  12 Apostle views along the way                                             Razorback Rock and Mutton Bird Island

   Rock formation looks like Rapa Nui (Easter Island)        Just another awe-inspiring cove and arch near Razorback Rock

   Spectacular coastline

   Wind and waves make for some beautiful pictures                          Sherbrook River area

   Gerson was dwarfed by the magnificent ocean                            Broken Head area

You would think we tired of the cliffs and rock formations but alas, we felt just the opposite.  As we drew away from the Twelve Apostles, the coastline continued to have wondrous formations dabbled in the sapphire waters.


  Port Campbell                                  The Arch                                   The Great Ocean Road               
   Every turn, more fantastic views - Bay of Islands and Bay of Martyrs

We visited the London Bridge, now infamous due to its collapse in 1990 and subsequently stranding two tourists on the now-formed island.  As they had to be rescued via helicopter, I can only imagine what they were thinking when they turned around and saw their 'bridge' disappeared.

   London 'Bridge' went from the mainland to that arched 'island' and the nearby beach area

We managed a short side trip through the Tower Hill Reserve and enjoyed the change of scenery and found some interesting locals wandering about.  We finally saw an echidna on the move along the roadside and taking a tip from Michelle and John (way back on Diary Page 6) we moved the echidna by use of Gerson's thongs (flip flops).  The echidna curled up into a little ball and let us see its amazing underside (feet).  We set it away from the road and let it dig itself into the soil, exposing only its menacing quills.

   Interesting rock formation, Emu and Superb Fairy Wren                                Just love the echidnas

And, before we knew it, we were crossing into the seventh and final State (or Territory), South Australia.  We officially have traveled to every State in Australia! 

We stopped by a lake aptly named "Blue Lake" for its translucent blue color that reaches its peak azul in February.  Even though this was October, the lake was quite blue enough for us to appreciate its beauty.  We also popped into the Naracoorte Caves National Park and due to being late in the day, we just walked around the reception area and passed on a last tour of the caves. 

   South Australia baby!                                                                   Again, loving the old hotels/bars       
   Blue Lake was well, quite blue                                           Just another odd Australian animal long extinct - the size of a leopard!

And, as we had been enjoying all along this drive, we found a few more places to stop off and admire the majesty of the Southern Ocean and its 'Cinderoo Blue' color.

   Gorgeous coastline near Robe                                  Cinderoo's new Blue was a match for the ocean

  Not the livestock we anticipated (but then, there are over 1,000,000 camels loose in Australia)       South Australia countryside

  Of course, we had to stop at this most magnificent bay - Wright's Bay       Gerson being attacked by the giant Lobster (Kingston)


Our camp for the night was a great example of making lemonade out of lemons.  We had hoped to cross over a lagoon to camp around sand dunes that lay between the ocean and lagoons in Coorong National Park.  As we were driving into the sand road, we were warned with a very large sign that the lagoon crossing was 'closed'.  Not easily deterred, we proceeded down the narrow, twisting 'road' and came to the shallow lagoon's shore. 

We did feel that the message on the sign was a warning we should heed; however, noticing a little alcove that Cinderoo could easily tuck into, we took advantage of a shorefront camp with a stunning view of the lagoon and the coming sunset.  Having an hour or so before we lost our sunshine, we actually walked on water and crossed the entire lagoon to reach the sand dunes and a view of the ocean.  It was the coolest thing to see a 'herd' of Emus (parent and kids) crossing the lagoon as well right alongside of us.

   Emus helped us judge the depth of the lagoon                   Walking on water crossing the lagoon

  Pelicans keeping an eye on us and Cinderoo                       Sand dunes and view back to Cinderoo (white dot)

   Cinderoo at moonrise and sunset - what an awesome spot


The next day we were off with our compass set on Adelaide, where we planned to stay several days and find some old friends.


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