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?