Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Koalas fighting penguins -who would win? Plus Triplet falls!!

Triplet falls

Yesterday, we headed off out along the Great Ocean Road, from our little Hovel in Apollo bay!

The weather wasn’t brilliant, but at our first stop, the sun came out and we had a lovely little walk through a rainforest path. There were massive old trees al around and the canopy of them stopped the sunlight shining through, so it was a little chilly as we walked, but it didn’t matter as we were mesmerised by the plants and trees. There were a lot of massive trees that were hollow inside and big enough for us all to climb into. There were also a lot of other people about, who when they saw Liv and her camera, assumed she was some kind of photographic expert and kept asking her to take photos for them.

Our next stop was a lighthouse on the cliffs overlooking the ocean – at least that was the plan!! On the road towards the lighthouse, we spotted a car parked by the side of the road an then a Koala up a tree – we pulled over and took photos, before heading on – but then were stopped again and again by other people and more Koalas! At one point the traffic in both directions stopped as a massive Koala bear, stood right on the roads edge eating. It was incredibly tame and allowed us all to get within a couple of feet, before he nonchalantly wandered off across the road and through a crowd of tourists. We finally made it to the lighthouse after more and more stops for bloody Koalas! They are like buses – don’t see any for ages and then loads all come along at once!

The lighthouse was a disappointment – We found a viewpoint, which was so overgrown all we could see was the top of the building. We did have a nice walk along the cliffs and to a little cemetery, before a little argument about which way was quickest on the way back and still didn’t find out as I’m sure the girls cheated by running the longer route, while me and Andrea walked the shorter one.

Back into the car we headed along the spectacular great ocean road, where the views change every minute from the ocean, to forests, to open fields. We stopped at various points to look at the scenery – The 12 apostles were fantastic, but the weather was atrocious – the rain was horizontal and the wind very very strong, so after wandering down to the cliff-top and taking a few photos.

We continued up the coast road taking in the sights – London Bridge, The Arch and The Grotto are all beautiful and different spots that take the breath away and each one is completely different from the others. We finally made it as far west as Peterborough, where we planned to stop and grab some food – but the town was absolutely tiny, without anything there to see or do, so we actually turned around and headed back towards the town of Port Campbell, where we knew there were a few restaurants and caf├ęs Once parked up and re-fuelled we found a nice takeaway that did fish and chips as well as burgers and the 'Falafel', that Andrea craved on Saturday night. I had never had a Falafel, so decided to try one as well and was pleasantly surprised!

It was getting towards dusk and so after eating we headed back towards the 12 Apostles and did our final walk of the day, down into a gorge that was stunning. The gorge was named after a ship that was wrecked there in the late 1800's after bringing over immigrants from the UK. The only two survivors had been washed up into the gorge where they were found by locals. It was absolutely massive and the perfect way to end the day, watching the powerful waves crash into the gorgeous beach, surrounded by high steep cliff faces.

Our absolutely final stop of the day was to see sunset over the 12 Apostles and so Andrea drove us the 5 minutes back up the road and we wandered back down to the viewing point. The weather was still very windy, but the rain had stopped, so we enjoyed it as it got darker, even though there was not much sun to see. A few minutes after the sun had gone, we had expected a large amount of penguins to start marching up the beach – but we only saw about 10 of them. We waited 10 or 15 more minutes and were just about to leave when Lisa spotted a lot of black spots in the sea below us. About 50 penguins then marched out of the surf and across the beach heading to wards the sand dunes. It was dark and hard to see, but to end the day it was a great sight – penguins in the wild!!

We climbed back into the car with big smiles and I drove the girls back to Apollo bay along the now dark and windy roads. It was a great drive and I loved every minute – making the 80 kilometres in just under an hour!

It was then a case of having a beer and a glass of wine before heading to bed.

This morning we got a bit lazy and had a lie in past 9am. We all vegged out for most of the morning as we sorted out admin, checked our email and took turns to have showers. About lunchtime, me and Andrea were ready to get off out and see something of the surrounding area, but Liv, Donna and Lisa decided that they would have a lazy day in town, so we dropped them off and me and Andrea headed off out of town and up the back roads towards some waterfalls in and around the rainforest that surround the hills and valleys behind Apollo Bay.

When we arrived at the first waterfall car park, there were a few cars parked by the side of the track and two ladies were attempting to get their peugeot out of a big patch of mud. They weren’t having much luck and so me and Andrea gave them a hand to try and push it out. It was a nightmare though, so I eventually got behind the wheel of their car and rocked it back and forth until it started to move. We got a big thank you of them and then the two of us headed down the short track to the first waterfall. It was a lovely walk and after clambering down a lot of steps we were greeted by the waterfall cascading in front of us. We worked out that if you watch the water drop from the top and follow it down it looks like it is falling in slow motion!! Cool!

After wandering back up the track it was a short drive and another walk to the second falls. These were just as good as the first but there was a photographer on the viewing sight with a tripod and so we didn’t hang around half as long as we did at the first.

A 20minute drive and a 20 minute walk later we made it to the third and most spectacular falls of the day. The Triplet falls do exactly what it says on the tin – Three waterfalls side by side cascading over a steep ravine and onto rocks below. The falls are surrounded by beautiful rainforest and the three viewing sights all give a different vistas of the falls and are all equally spectacular. We hung around a little longer here, taking in the views and the cool air.

After heading back up the hill to the car park, we clambered aboard and took the hour long drive back to the lodge. It has been a really great afternoon – The falls were really good and the walks just about the right length. I wish the rest of the girls had come along to see them with us, but the afternoon with Andrea really nice. We hardly stopped and were knackered from the walking up and down hills, but we were really satisfied that it had been well worth it and was much better than staying in town.

When we finally got back to the lodge the rest of the girls had had a really pleasant afternoon wandering around town and generally vegging out. They had done some laundry too and when they went into town to drop it at the launderette I gave them a bit of cash so that they could pick me some food up at the chippy! I realised I hadn’t eaten all day except for Mentos!!!

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