Thursday, 13 December 2007

Surfing, Kangaroos, and Koalas

Bit late this one, too busy having fun :-)

We decided to stop trawling around the delightful shops and splendid little urban er... districts/bits - what do you call those mini towns within cities? - in Melbourne, hired a camper van and did a little road trip, on the Great Ocean Road.

The Great Ocean Road runs from Torquay to Portland. We only went as far as Warranambool, then cut back to Melbourne on the Princes Hightway, which was a comfortable 4 day drive, all in all. First stop on the way from Melbourne was Geelong, where we met these wooden lifeguards:

Then it was on down the road to Torquay for our Australian triple whammy: Surfing! Kangaroos! Koalas! We dodged sharks and rode the world famous breaks on Torquay Beach, although I'm not sure we did the waves justice on our 9 foot soft top beginner's boards:

Then we stopped in Anglesea to check out the colony of roos that lives on a golf course. Why? I don't know, but our photos were swiftly picked up by the Flickr "Golf Wildlife" group.

By the way, kangaroos look great when they bounce, but weird and crippled when they walk.

After that we were lucky enough to encounter a couple of dozen koalas over the last day or two of travel along the way. There was a stretch of the road near Apollo Bay where they were just chilling in trees by the roadside, then we stayed in Bimbi Camp, which had its own little tribe of the fat-bummed little eucalyptus munchers hanging around in the trees. We love them, and would have liked to give them a hug, but they never came to see us. Also, they have very sharp claws.

That's pretty much all the good bits. Oh, except the 12 Apostles. They looked awesome. A bit like this, in fact:

One negative was the Backpacker Breezer camper van: cheap, but not brilliant, especially compared to our experience with Spaceships in New Zealand. They started badly by keeping us waiting for 40 minutes before we even got close to seeing our van. When we did get our hands on it, we then discovered that it had no iPod adapter (Debs' quote of the day "What backpacker doesn't have an iPod - that's shit!") - and we couldn't fit our backpacks in the luggage space under the beds). That said, it did get much better once we were on the open road, listening to the latest hits on the radio, and sleeping on the comfortable bed.

Debs and Ben.

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