March 16, 2004, 07:20: Melbourne, Australia - Lynn's House
I just got back from the Great Ocean Road. This is certainly one of the highlights of my trip. Lynette, Andrew, George, Danelle, Alessandro, and I went out for a couple of days, with 3 motorbikes and a car. This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been so privileged to see. It had a picturesque coastline with a road carved into the side of it, with a few towns peppered here and there. I can't even begin to convey the full grandeur this place exudes - even the pictures can't do it justice, as it's always changing with the waves. I saw some of the most vivid colours, and spectacular views.
I had hired (rented) a little Honda CBR250RR to ride around for a couple of days, figuring a sports bike would be best for the twisties I was about to be presented with. It held up quite admirably, and the bike just screamed - literally. The redline on this tops out at 20000 RPM - and the cylinders are just so small, it naturally has a very high pitch. At first, it felt like I was going way faster than I actually was - especially with the sound coming from this bike. The thing that really brought the experience down a bit was the seat on this bike. It was like sitting on a vibrating rock, often for a good hour or so at a time, multiple times throughout the day. This is something I'm happy to do without now.
On the first day, we started off to Geelong (pronounced "juh-long"). Within 5 minutes of picking up the bike, and 30 seconds after getting on the freeway, our group was pulled over by the police. Apparently a no-no move had been made by passing in the wrong lane, and the policeman let us be on our way after telling us this was not recommended. We made it to Smorgy's, and were treated to a buffet of deep fried food, and entertainment courtesy of Salty, the animatronic singing seal. I wish I could have taken a picture of this - maybe even a sound recording. After a bit more driving, we made it to the motel at Apollo Bay, where we were staying. We dropped off some bags, and headed off to the Twelve Apostles.
The Twelve Apostles are a set of formations of sandstone on the coastline that have been formed by many years of erosion. We first stopped at an Arch that had been formed, and I began my picture taking spree. I was amazed at how hypnotic the water was, and how the colours were just so amazing. After this, we headed to the thunder cave, the gorge, and the blowhole, all different formations. The blowhole and thunder cave were especially memorable - the blowhole has been carved out and goes inland about 350 feet, where it opens up, like a large sinkhole. We then saw the Twelve Apostles, and I understand why it's so famous. Since it was now getting dark, we decided to head back to the motel. I managed to see some more Australian wildlife this way - although it wasn't the ideal condition for this activity. I passed a wallaby (or a small kangaroo) that was just sitting in the other lane, a rabbit darted across the road in front of me and a large bird took off from the other lane.
Probably one of the most memorable things was on the way back, the bike ran out of gas. The car came back, dropped off Lyn and George for company, and they took off to get some petrol. We discussed wildlife in the dark for a while, and then when the fuel arrived, we headed back to town to get some much needed food.
Today, we headed back to Melbourne, and I managed to get the bike back on time, and full of gas. After a quick ride around the block, the rental company decided the bike was just fine, and refunded my deposit. We then headed to the grocery store to get some food, and cooked it up at Lyn's. We topped off the day with watching Finding Nemo. Tomorrow, I take off for New Zealand, and more biking. I'm going to miss Melbourne a lot, along with the people I've met.