Another travel day! Dick has been a little under the weather and skipped dinner last night but slept well and feels much better this morning. After settling our bill we are loaded and on our way to the airport by 8:30AM. Hobart uses counter flow lanes with no physical barriers to control the rush hour congestion and no one seems to have a problem. We return the car with only a half tank of gas as the only station we see is backed up and after circling around twice which is not so easy on Tazzie roads, we do not have time to wait anymore. Wonder what that is going to cost us?
We are afraid that we will have a carry-on luggage weight issue as they are weighing those ahead of us and we know our carry-ons are over the weight limit of 7.5kg. But, we are not asked or challenged on this issue. Maybe it is because we have paid in advance for two extra bags. Going through security is not a big deal in Australia, so far, and we only have to wait 30 minutes or so before they call our flight. We have to walk several hundred yards to the plane and board by stairs which is no fun for either of us with our carry-on luggage but we make it and get seated. The man next to Dick is an Australian Aborigine from Broome out on Australia’s Northwest coast. This is only his third flight ever...he was visiting his grown children in Hobart. He is very nice and soft spoken. His name is Linds M......and he is very interested in Dick’s Kindle Fire and the USA. The flight is short and passes quickly talking with him. Carolyn on the other hand "lucks out" sitting next to a lady who should have bought two seats as she takes up half of Carolyn's. So, she spends the 90 minutes hanging out in the isle.
We gather our luggage and head out to pick up our car, a Mitsubishi ASX, a nicer car than we had in Tasmania. Our drive to “The Boomerangs,” near Johanna by way of “The Great Ocean Road” is a 240km trip with the last part, from Geelong to our stop 40km west of Apollo Bay, filled with the most spectacular scenery we have seen so far! Our first stop is at Airey's Inlet to see the lighthouse and split rock which seems to have two groups of teenagers with their teacher learning about the area.
“The Great Ocean Road” is one of the world’s great drives and was started in the 1930's as a work project during the depression and was built mostly by WWI veterans as a memorial to the Australian “Diggers” who did not return from that conflagration. There is a memorial gate marking the beginning of the ocean edge drive portion of it and plaques setting our the history of the road.
Once we pick up the coastal road it is one beautiful scene after another. It is sad that we do not have the skills or the time to take photos that do the scenes we see justice. The water, when the sun is out, is a stunning blue/green and with the white sand bottom and beaches it is spectacular.
There is traffic but plenty of places to pull out and take photos and we move along at our own speed. We stop in Angelsea at a butcher shop and buy two small steaks and some lamb chops for our two nights at The Boomerangs. Further on, at Lorne, we find a decent grocery, well for this part of Australia anyway, and add some wine, lunch and breakfast food to our stash. It is late in the afternoon when we get to Apollo Bay, which is a nice little seaside town. We will come back tomorrow and explore a bit. The last bit is through a rain forest area, pleasant rolling farm land and around Cape Otway and its lighthouse.
We arrive at our destination about 5:40PM and are met by Mark, the owner. We have one of three cottages. Ours has two small bedrooms, a living room with a wood stove/fireplace, a nice kitchen/dining area, large bath with both tub and shower plus a washing machine and a deck with a gas grill. and a fabulous view of the forest, farmland and the Great Southern Ocean in the distance...but not too far as we can hear the pounding surf! Our cottage is in the foreground in the picture below.
We are both tired from our day of travel and enjoy some of our wine and cheese before grilling the two small steaks. They go quite well with some mashed potatoes and canned green beans; believe it or not!
We clean up the kitchen and get hot showers. Dick sits out on the deck with a final glass of wine and watches night come on. There is a ship way off the coast the keeps disappearing and reappearing into and out of the sea gloom. Soon it is gone for good and that signals the end of this day. Everybody is in bed and asleep by 9:30PM.