The Great Ocean Road

Yesterday I returned from a weekend trip to The Great Ocean Road and I am still in awe.  What has amazed me more than anything else is that I have spent the last 3 and a half months in the wonderful city of Melbourne and never realized there were such breath-taking sights so close to were I have been living.

We rented a car and took our own tour of the area and I would highly recommend this experience over a guided trip.  Out of all my friends who have done The Great Ocean Road it seems I had the most in-depth experience.

Inland Route

We drove all the down the road twice and then took an inland route once.  The inland route brought us to the top of a mountain that over looked the rolling mountains that flank the Great Ocean Road.  It was one of the most breath-taking sights I have ever seen.  Cows and farms dotted the sides of the mountains while the orange and yellow fall leaves blazed the mountains with brilliant colors.  While the crystal blue ocean water set a stark contrast to the flaming colors of the land.  The pictures I took do not even begin to show how beautiful the scenery actually was.  I was driving the car when we topped the mountain and I had to pull over just so that I didn’t crash the car- I couldn’t pull my eyes away.  For a few moments Megan and I just stood very quietly at the edge of the road looking over the mountains.  When we got in the car all I could say to her was “Wow,” she just nodded in agreement.

The Twelve Apostles

I have seen pictures of the Twelve Apostles since I have been in Australia so naturally I had to go check them out while we were on The Great Ocean Road.  First of all, they are far far far down the Great Ocean Road.  Most people just do the drive from Lorne to Apollo Bay but we were very keen to see the Twelve Apostles and, on the map at least, it seemed like a quick drive.  An hour and half later Rhonda, our aptly named GPS system, informed us we still had another thirty minutes to drive.  At that point we had been driving all day and since we were almost there we figured we should just continue driving.  It was well worth it. We didn’t plan to get there at sunset but out of all the times during the day I am glad we got there when we did.  As the sun set behind the massive orange rocks it made all the pictures I had seen incomparable.  What I found entertaining was that I spent half of the time looking at the rocks trying to count all twelve of them only to find out there are only eight and have ever only been eight.  Not exactly sure why they were named the Twelve Apostles, unless some one couldn’t count.

The Great Ocean Road

I guess since we were actually on and around The Great Ocean Road I should talk about the road itself.  It truly is beautiful but as a paranoid driver it caused havoc on my nerves.  The roads are super windy which is part of its appeal but the road signs and speed limits freaked me out.  Every couple of kilometers were signs that said something to the effect of “A lot of people have died or crashed here so drive carefully.”  That did nothing to ease my worry.  The speed limit signs also drove me crazy.  There would be a sign that said the speed limit was 80km/h and then directly after that there would be a series of sharp curves in which the speed limit was 40km/h.  Mind games on a curvy road that dropped off to the ocean on one side and had a mountain wall on the other side is not my idea of a particularly fun time.

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