The Arch

We left Adelaide Saturday morning and set course for Geelong. I had decided to take the advice of several people and follow the Princes Highway to Port Fairy and then The Great Ocean Highway.

The journey was uneventful and, not wanting to drive too far on the first day after Bridget’s repairs, I stopped for the night at Mt Gambier.

The following day we left around 9:00am and continued towards Port Fairy. The countryside around is far more cultivated than any I had seen before and the animals to be avoided on the road now included Koala bears. So far I had seen very few animals of any type although there is plenty of evidence at the side of the roads of kangaroos being killed by traffic, mainly at night I am told.

Bridget was driving well with no signs of any of her previous troubles and she was cruising quite happily at 70mph. I kept an eye out on all of the trees at the roadside hoping to see a koala and also had half an eye on the road in case of anything else. Rounding a bend I thought I saw something in a tree on the right and turned my head to get a better look and of course when I turned back there in the middle of the road was a koala! Bridget’s brakes are functioning well. We stopped just short of the bear that just sat staring at us. With what can only be described as a look of distain the bear got up and meandered off towards the bushes. I was panicking trying to get my camera out of its bag and haul myself out of the car, so by that time it was climbing quite high up a tree and choosing which leafs would taste best. However I managed to get a couple of shots.

The Great Ocean Highway is a marvellous experience. It is not just the beautiful seascapes but also the surrounding countryside, some of which could easily be confused with Sussex, some of it is Australian bush and a there is a lot of rain forest.

We stopped at several ‘look-out’ points with special rocky outcrops carved by the sea, such as London Bridge, the Razorback and the Arch. The blue of the sea all along this stretch of coast is almost luminous, and the waves make for great surfing off the beaches. Over the years there have been many sea tragedies and locally it has become known as The Shipwreck Coast.

I had met a ‘bloke’ called Rob whilst I was in Adelaide and he told me of a number of places to go near here if I liked walking. He also drew a ‘mud map’ for me and I decided to stop at Lorne and go off on one of these excursions. If you see this report Rob, thank you, your recommendation was excellent. I visited the Erskine Falls which is a delightful spot and then walked through some of the rainforest.

We arrived in Geelong at around 5:00pm. My intention is to stay for a week and explore nearby places including, of course, Melbourne.

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