Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Twelve Apostles

When we poked our noses over the top of our snugly duvet this morning we agreed to skip a shower. It was cold. From our cosy nest high on a hill overlooking the sea we had watched the rain sweep across the ocean and lash the tree tops below us. The pom pom of leaves at the end of slender branches shivered, shook and danced with the onslaught. At daybreak the rain stopped and under the leaden grey morning sky all was still, hushed, as if the earth were holding its breath waiting for the sun to take command once again. We contemplate rejoining the Great Ocean Road.

The good thing about the rain, apart from the drought ridden country being desperate for full rivers, creeks and watering holes, were the sparkling waterfalls that started to cascade down rocky outcrops before running off to join the sea. The trees in spite of dancing all night looked fresher, greener, than before; the rain had cleared a lot of debris from their branches and stripped loose ribbons of bark from their trunks to mulch the forest floor and spill onto the roads.

On our way to the Twelve Apostles we passed through National Parks where mountains meet the coast and the road winds through forests. It reminded us of Scotland and the Lake District in parts, but that was probably more to do with the grey sky than the landscape.

Then we came to Gibson Steps Lookout where we saw our first stack of limestone towering out of the swirling sea, being further eroded before our very eyes. Onwards to the Twelve Apostles, to find there are now only eight, the others lost, crumbled into the sea. To minimise cliff erosion walkways and lookouts have been constructed along the cliff tops at the relevant places such as Loch Ard Gorge, The Razorback, The Arch and London Bridge. We enjoyed the bracing walks and spectacular views in relative seclusion. We thought we must be ahead of the coach parties and day trippers from Melbourne as there were only a scattering of others viewing these magnificent, stately forms.

On the way back we detoured out to view yet another lighthouse, Cape Otway Lighthouse, one more to add to Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin both in Western Australia and Norah Head on Central Coast which is Eastern Australia Cape Otway is South Australia and makes for a sort of symmetry, we aren't going to be able to add a Northern lighthouse this trip, maybe next time. We didn't go up it, choosing instead to view it from afar, from a vantage point on the Great Ocean Walk route aptly names Otway Lighthouse Lookout.

Later, while driving back up Cape Otway, along the winding road through the gum trees, we came across a little Koala walking up the white line in the road, looking for all the world like a little old man trying to walk in a straight line while pissy eyed. We slowed to a stop and pondered what to do. By the time I had got out of the car he was investigating our tyres, mmmmm something smelt good to him. I didn't really want to touch him in case it bit me or had fleas, ticks, or whatever Koalas pick up in the wild, so I utilized a long piece of bark and gently ushered it to the side of the road while admiring its beady eyes, long black nose and amazing claw like feet at the end of larger than expected legs. It ambled off into the vegetation eventually. I do hope it didn't return to play in the traffic after we left.


PMM&L said...

Cute, but flat by now i suspect!!
Hey the skys not always grey in scotland - beautiful sunshine in St Andrews today - as opposed to last week when I couldn't get there for the snow!!

axx said...

Now we have left the coast we have hot sun, blue skies too. Off to find a pool now ....