The Great Ocean Road
April 6-7, 2005
I was tickled when I was invited to go on a 2 day trip to the Great Ocean Road and the Grampions National Park with Anna and her Uncle Jim.
Last Wednesday morning after being delayed at Uncle Jim's house for nearly two hours, we headed off in Jim's luxury car. Not 20 minutes outside of town, Jim slammed on the brakes and did a U turn, after surveying the bushes on the side of the road, he did another U turn, turned off the car and declared that we had found blackberries, and that they were absolutely "SCRUM". He jumped out of the car, looked more closely at the berries and yelled to us that they were, in fact, poisonous and trotted across the two-lane highway. Cautiously, Anna and I climbed out of the car and followed. When we arrived at where Jim was standing, we found him loudly smacking his lips and inhaling blackberries insisting that they were the best berries he had EVER had! We joined him, and they were pretty good. After another moment, he hurried us back to the car so that we could move on to the next thing. And that, my friends was just the beginning to a very hilarious and whirlwind tour of southwestern Victoria.
Jim is eccentric, to say the least. He is always in hurry, and always thinking about something that he's forgotten to do. He is also incredibly generous, and has a way of absolutely enjoying everything. Any food he eats is the best that he's ever eaten, every flower is worth taking the time to smell and every sunset is more beautiful than the next.
We arrived at the Great Ocean Road (which is just as it sounds, a road along the ocean...and it's great) around midday, after many stops and U-turns to look at the map, a store that we passed, or to take a "SNAP" (photo). The coast was breathtaking. Upon arriving at the 12 Apostles, huge chunks of rock that have lined themselves up along one stretch of coast, Anna and I set off to do a little hike. Jim said that he'd pass on the hike and was going to see about getting a helicopter ride. As Anna and I returned from walking along the water, Jim came running up to us, saying that the ride he had just taken had been SPECTACULAR, and that we had to hurry so that we could go too...and, in fact, he was going to go again! So, all three of us hopped into a helicopter for a truly spectacular flight up and down the coast.
We spent the night out in the country at Jim's cousin, Gabrielleís farm (Anna's 1st cousin once-removed...I think), it was a hundred-year-old traditional farmhouse, beautiful! They prepared a huge country feast for us.
The next morning we woke early and climbed into the back of a truck for a tour of the farm. They mainly farm sheep for wool, and cattle. Gabriel showed us how they herd the sheep, using the truck and Australian herding dogs. She brought her 'best' sheep into a run, and we were able to see, and feel, the beautiful merino wool, most of which they export to China. We were given a traditional Aussie country good-bye, as the family banged spoons on pots and pans until our car was out of sight!
We drove through Grampion National Park, taking the dirt roads, we spotted a number of wallaby (a smaller cousin of the kangaroo) hopping away from us, and even came upon some EMUís hiding in the trees! The eucalyptus and tea-trees smelled amazing on that warm autumn day.
The 12 Apostles
Posted by Jim & Lisa
on April 15, 2005 11:09 PM