Friday, May 9, 2014

Flinders to Apollo Bay, The Great Ocean Highway - Friday, May 9, 2014:

I mentioned in the previous blog how we visited a former exchange student who spent a year in Mt Pleasant. I knew he was from Melbourne, but that really is not specific.  I contacted the family who hosted him, as to where he was located, in or around Melbourne.  To our surprise he lives 30 minutes from our friends on the Mornington Peninsula.  To say the least, it was wonderful to reconnect after 20 years.  I had told him I would look him up when I get to Melbourne, not knowing it would really be this easy!  

After breakfast this morning we were off to the Budget car rental in Mornington.  We picked up a blue Nissan.  Our friends have been wonderful hosts, showing us the Mornington Peninsula, BUT now we are on our own!  The driver sits on the ‘wrong side’ of the car, driving on the ‘other side of the road’, and going around the round-a-bouts at what seems to be in the wrong directions.  We have done it before and we can do it again!!  You simply have to concentrate!     
We are off toward the ferry on the southwest tip of the Mornington Peninsula. It was a 45 minute crossing to where we picked up The Great Ocean Road - that is road along the southern coast of Australia.

Ferry from Portsea to Queens Cliff

Bells Beach
Bells Beach - Famous Surfing Beach

I have not said much about the temperature.  Overnight it is in the 40’s but by midday it is in the low to mid 60’s when the sun is out.  If it is a cloudy day, as would be expected, it does not warm up as much.  Thank goodness for all the layers we brought along.  The other night when we were watching the penguins we had hats, hoods, gloves, and coats, plus when we were seated in the viewing stands, we had a blanket over our legs like we do at football games. The wind was blowing directly off Antarctica!!
The Great Ocean Road – What breathe taking views of the coast line.  It reminds us of Hwy #1 in CA.  There are numerous pull outs where you can stop to take photos.   We stopped many times.  One of those stops was to see the lighthouse near Aireys Inlet.  We hiked up the hill to the Split Point Light House from where we could view the Split Point rock formation.  We took so many photos today of the coastline, but we will share only a few! 

Rock Formation at Anglesea

Cal at Rock Formation at Anglesea

Willy Wagtail distracting us from his nest
We continued on to Apollo Bay where we found a motel for the night.  This is winter, so not many tourists are around. 

Coastal View along The Great Ocean Highway

Light House at Aireys Inlet
Aireys Inlet Split Point Rock

Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo
Here are a few words that we understand, but are said differently! “No overtaking” – means ‘no passing’; ‘Give way’ – means ‘yield’; instead of seeing signs that say ‘keep right’, they say ‘keep left’!

Great Ocean Road Entrance

House along the Highway

Great Ocean Highway

Remember - Drive on the LEFT

Ocean View

We have not seen many tillable crops in this area of Australia.  If there are tillable crops, it is usually veggies for human consumption. So far we have seen mostly grazing land for cattle/cows of which we have seen a lot.  We have seen several horse farms, and today we saw more sheep grazing on the hillsides. We continued to see wineries and golf courses - you could either golf your way across the area or wine taste your way!

I have discovered there is a whole new set of birds in Australia!  If they sit/stand still long enough and if we are close enough, we take a photo of them.  Also there are plants that bloom during the winter, so we have taken a few pictures of blooming flowers.

Tomorrow we continue west on The Great Ocean Road – this is actually a Memorial Highway to those lost in WWI.   

No comments:

Post a Comment