September 2nd, 2008 – by: Rubbertoe
At the beginning of the Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is a fantastic drive, even better when you have no brakes!! Oh yes, my darling Bella started showing sings of brake wear back in Kangaroo Valley, 4 or 5 weeks ago. I was hoping they would last until I reached Adelaide, where I plan to flog the car to another backpacker as dumb as me (any takers?), but unfortunately it was clear that I had to replace them much sooner. Basically the brakes were down to metal-on-metal and every time I stepped on them, a piercing sound as bad as nails scratching a black board would go with it, making us grimace in agony.
Anyway, we left Johanna River Farm Cottages on Tuesday morning and drove along the best stretch of the Great Ocean Road planning to reach Penshurst by three pm, where our next wwoofing farm was located.
Like I said the road is a fun drive and there are lots of stops to make.
The Twelve Apostles
First up is Gibson steps, where you get a first view of the huge rock stacks eroded from the limestone headlands over the years by strong waves. Unfortunately I missed the sign (perhaps staring at the beautiful sky!) so we didn’t stop here, sorry Carola :-) The second site is the very famous lookout of the rock forms known as The Twelve Apostles. This is the highlight of the GOR and you can’t miss it, thankfully. There are two large viewing platforms and many opportunities to ruin an otherwise great photo with a portrait of your self and a cheesy grin! We got lucky with the weather, but it was pretty windy and cold. Further along the GOR we made three more stops, at the Arch, the London Bridge and the Grotto, then it started to rain and we decided to carry on straight to Penshurst.
The London Bridge was interesting, apparently the first section collapsed in 1990 leaving two tourists stranded and were rescued later with a helicopter, that would have made a great blog entry!!
We made one final stop just before reaching Warrnambool, at Logans Beach. Apparently between June and September massive whales swim from the Antarctic to give birth just off this coast. We observed patiently the agitated waters but we didn’t see a thing, so we left feeling a little annoyed. To make things worse, just outside Warrnambool old Bella packed in, the engine cut out unexpectedly for no reason and I had to pull up on the hard shoulder. She wouldn’t start again so I called the road side recovery and we waited half hour. The yellow van showed up, the mechanic jump in my car, turned the key and Bella started up straight away… You Cow!! How embarrassing, I’m starting to wonder whether she might after all have a soul and maybe she’s feeling a little jealous of Carola… Women!!