On the Road (again)

Wakey wakey, rise and shine! Time to head back out along Great Ocean Road, but this time in reverse. Not literally in reverse, of course – I doubt I would be alive to write this if we’d tried that. In fact, after getting a bit more confident driving the crazy coastal route, Tracy might argue that even going the right way down the road we’re lucky to be alive. What can I say? I like to drive fast! (Mum, please tell me there are no speeding tickets landing on the doormat at home. I wasn’t THAT excitable with the gas pedal, I promise.)

The idea was to head back towards Lorne and spend most of the day there… but we got a bit sidetracked by the sales in Apollo Bay’s surf shops (my head will always be turned by a rack filled with Roxy clothing) and didn’t manage to escape until after lunch. To be honest, the rest of the day was fairly uneventful – we went for a walk on a beach, drew messages in the sand, kicked sea water and threw MASSIVE chunks of seaweed at each other, meandered along a river to climb to a (sadly uninspiring) waterfall, and then rocked up in Lorne late afternoon and decided to look for a place to stay. Lorne’s like an upmarket version of Apollo Bay; they’re both small seaside towns that look ridiculously similar, but one has a nicer beach and restaurants (and surf shops) than the other! Guess which one we preferred?

The Great Ocean Road Trip - On the Road (Again) - Alannafreestyle

Make your mark – child's play that never grows old

After deciding we’d happily crash here for the night, we dusted off the trusty Lonely Planet to find ourselves a hostel. And boy was our luck in – at the hippy-chic and incredibly chilled Erskine River Backpackers we got a whole 8-bed dorm to ourselves, and almost fell over ourselves in excitement when the guy showing us around went to open a door saying, ‘The bathroom’s just through here’. ‘An en-SUITE?!’ we pretty much yelled. The dude looked at us, bemused, turned the handle, and then broke our very-slightly-princessy hearts with a shake of his head. ‘No, not en suite. But your dorm is the closest one to the bathrooms. That’s almost the same, right?’ Wrong. But still, at $25 a night (and this is a BARGAIN in Oz), we really couldn’t complain. And it really didn’t matter. Because having our own room was more than enough of a treat. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but backpacking really does make you appreciate the smaller things in life – a good shower, an uninterrupted night’s sleep, a proper home-cooked meal… aaaaah, the list goes on…

Anyway, after drinking a beer on the street outside a cafe, like a couple of hobos, and eating this amazingly tasty meal from teeny-tiny pizzeria, Pizza Pizza, we were too full to even contemplate moving – not that there was really anywhere to go. The single recommended local bar was shut for a private function, and we’d pretty much trashed our budget for the day in any case. A night in then.

Next day = another lazy one. We didn’t have to be back in Melbourne until 6 so we just ambled along towards Torquay, where the strange sands of Bells Beach proved the perfect daydreaming/ surf-watching spot. (The kids out here are amazingly fearless – I don’t think I’ll ever be able to surf like they do. We couldn’t help but compare them to the kids in the UK, and the Brits did not come out favorably. Sorry guys!). After this, and a brief pause at a local fair in Torquay with a distinctly commune-like vibe, we made our way towards Geelong again. And yes, we couldn’t resist finishing off the photographic set for the bollard trail – a little faster this time, as there were a LOT of people around enjoying the sunshine, and while we may happily make fools of ourselves in public, a massive audience for that foolishness isn’t always recommended.

Geelong Bollard Trail silliness - On The Road (Again) - Alannafreestyle

Rally Driver Freeman is a speed demon... even in imaginary cars!

That done, it was onto the freeway and heading back towards our new friends – and lovely hosts – in Melbourne for a couple of nights. Well, that is after we got totally and utterly lost, stuck in a ridiculous traffic jam, and my travel buddy got in a mood after she realised she’d lost the gift she’d been working on for her new goddaughter since being in China, and it wasn’t at the hostel we’d stayed at before we left the city. So, yeah, Melbourne. A second lovely welcome! It did get better, though – an evening with lots of wine, a take-away, and a ridiculous encounter pumping up an air bed in a compact space sorted that. Onwards and upwards (to Sydney, again)…

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About Alanna

...is all about seizing the day, Free Style!
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