Daily Archives: January 18, 2018

No turning back now

You can’t go wrong anywhere on the Great Ocean Road. We had a google map that we downloaded from a photographer’s blog post marking each favorite overlook or access point and we used that as a guideline. But early on I noticed a long lane out to a point that wasn’t marked and wondered if we ought to explore that promontory too. We turned off the main road onto an unsealed drive. “Four kilometers on this,” I told Jack, as I followed the track on the iPad.

But soon, the road deteriorated into a deeply rutted, corrugated two-track and we bounced and rumbled as Jack eased the Hyundai around the deeper bits and over the humps. I worried about doing damage to the car.

“Should we turn back?” I asked.

“Nonsense! We are the Schulzes!”

And I began to sing.

We are the Schulzes, my friends!

We’ll keep on driving to the end!

We are the Schulzes, we are the Schulzes!

No turning back now

‘Cause we are the Schulzes

On the road!

The track led to a sheltered path and out to a lonely viewpoint. We saw no one else the whole time and had the overlook to ourselves for the last time during the day.

We went back to following our photographer’s waypoints but honestly, you just can’t go wrong. It’s a beautiful coastline and we took the same snaps that thousands of travelers before us have in their vacation albums.

We were driving east to west and at each stop-and-hike point the car parks grew fuller and the trails and overlooks more crowded. The temperature was rising too, and by noon we had topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Our legs grew heavy and our pace slowed.

We always appreciate it when we see scoff-laws ignoring the warning signs.

The closer we got to the money shots the more tourist noise disturbed the tranquility of the wind and surf. It wasn’t just the incessant chatter of people, but the sightseeing helicopters and drones as well. Don’t get me wrong, nothing takes away from the sheer rugged beauty of the vistas, but it’s hard to ponder the forces of nature when there are busloads of day trippers wielding selfie sticks jockeying for position.

Wind and waves are bold sculptors, and you can almost imagine you are viewing in real time the erosion of solid rock.

The oppressive afternoon heat sent us to cool shelter and a quiet lunch. I mean, how much beauty can one take in a day?


Filed under Uncategorized

Where’s Waldo?

Our first full day on the Great Ocean Road was everything we’d hoped for, no crowds, fine weather, and the kind of land-sea interface that makes your heart sing.

The road was built by servicemen returning from World War I both to connect the isolated towns along the coast and as a memorial to the Australians who lost their lives in the war. It is the world’s longest war memorial and attracts millions of tourists from around the world.

We stopped every few miles to hike out to the promontories, ooh and ahh over the views and take dozens of photographs. When we hiked down to a beach we found where all the people were, taking advantage of the last few days of summer vacation before school starts again.

Several people recommended the Kafé Koala as a place where the iconic little bears could be spotted easily. We dutifully endured the less than appetizing food, then ventured deep into the nearby eucalyptus forest in search of the elusive buggers. We saw a couple of fuzzy balls way up in the treetops before finally hitting paydirt, six within fifty meters or so along the forest road, and a bonus fearless kookaburra, not laughing.

We could have watched for hours, especially since they weren’t sleeping but rather quite active, shimmying along the branches and nibbling leaves. Eventually our necks cried out in protest and we reluctantly tore ourselves away.

At the bottom of the forest road we stopped to watch a couple of tourists feeding beautiful parrots and cockatoos across from the Kafé. All in all, a pretty spectacular day. But have lunch somewhere else.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized