Great Ocean Road Part 1

We picked up the car from some friendly Adelaidians and got to grips with automatic transmission. No need to check it’s in neutral or to change gears!! It’s amazing what 9 years of driving a manual conditions you into! We’ve got a Mitsubishi 380. It’s red. It has cruise control, aircon and a CD player! Finally I got to listen to Mrakus’ Cds. Very cool. Particularly like Gorky Zygotic Mynki – Yep that’s their name (not sure of the spelling) – welsh – explains it doesn’t it? Lol. Didn’t make me feel homesick though. (that was his evil plan) How could it with the view that I’ve been looking at as we drive along!

We’ve been going for 2 days and have covered around 650 K (400 miles)

We’ve shared the driving don’t worry. You don’t really notice the distance for some reason! Kangaroos, echidnas (sp?) and birds (like emus) keep you entertained, along with the fab views.

We spent the first night in Mount Gambier where we stayed in a motel. (I like these – you get your own little flat with a front door!) Here we discovered the sink hole. An awesome volcanically created hole in the ground that had been turned into a Victorian English Garden and now houses loads of possums! We got to feed then bread and fruit as the sun went down (they’re nocturnal) One even let me stroke him (Felt just like S+H) Check them out – aren’t they cute….

Next day we kept driving. Driving past Cape Bridgewater by accident and having to turn back. There were seals, the petrified forest (a weird rock formation) and blow holes – spectacular coastal views. The beach was beautiful and we stopped here for lunch.

We then drove to Warrnambool. This is a sea-side town. I get the impression it’s a summer holiday destination for the local (Aber style) The beach is beautiful but what is even more exciting is Tower Hill – Which we’d driven past – The tourist information lady told us about it so we went back to have a look.

Tower Hill is another volcanically formed island in the middle of a lake. (which is now dry in this heat!) You can drive onto the island where 2 emus looked at us suspiciously and go for walks.

We opted for one of the shorter walks which took us over the lake on a boardwalk and into Koala country. (or as LOF and I like to to call them Quarley bears) We were happy enough until we read a sign which said “ Yes! Don’t be alarmed we live here too” with a picture of a snake. GULP! “ If you see me just stand still and then back away slowly – I’ll usually run for cover” ARGhhh!!

This meant that I was very much looking at where I was treading rather than in the tree canopy for Quarley bears! Half way along, surrounded by big, tall reeds and twittering birds, watching the un-painted wooden boardwalk beneath my feet and wondering if a snake could fit between the gaps, pop up and bite me an almighty growl began. Both LOF and I froze.. Was it a bear? An Emu? A Hog? Who Knows! We were frozen to the spot. Just the two of us with no outback Dave to allay our fears! ARGHH

It started like a quiet grunt and eventually turned into a threatening sounding snarl! We couldn’t see anything in the towering reeds which made it worse and I was instructed not to stand directly behind LOF in case he turned to run, bumped into me pushing me over and turning us into angry giant animal food!

It did stop after a while so, rather than having to go back through snake country we carried on into the woodlands. The grunting/snarling was replaced with the sounds of snapping twigs… We still couldn’t see anything…

Then we looked up to discover that the twig snapping sound was being created by quarly bears eating and dropping leaves and twigs.

They were high up but we could still see how cute they are, clinging to various trees. God knows what the grunty thing was but it didn’t growl again!

We did see the S.E.S – Alf Stuart , Summer Bay Crisis Style- in their orange jump suits. A 20 year old Autistic man had gone missing. I’m pretty sure they found him, thank fully….

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