Melbourne and the Great Ocean Rd….
15 April 2012
Tonight we are at Port Campbell, Victoria and we have just had a nice meal of pasta and a glass of wine and thought it was time for a catch up.
We left Tasmania a week ago today, thats gone quickly. We were lucky enough to have somewhere to stay in Melbourne, with an ex colleague of mine which was a great help in a city. We had four days in Melbourne and enjoyed getting to know it better. Melbourne is a great city and different from Sydney in that its attractions are not in your face obvious beauty but a bit more subtle and take some time getting to know. We spent most of our our time in the city centre area exploring the lane ways and looking at the National Gallery of Vic. We went to see an exhibition of Fred Williams, an Australian landscape artist that we heard about through a mate – the paintings were compelling and uniquely Australian, it was great to see. Really amazing.
Melbourne is known in Aus for its food, art, sport and brilliant little lane ways that dot the city with so much character. We enjoyed most of those, minus the sport. We had a brilliant tapas meal in a place with fab food that was oozing with atmosphere, and tucked away- very Melbourne. We read the other day that in Sydney a ‘cool’ place has a sign out the front saying so and in Melbourne you lean against a brick wall to tie your shoe and a secret door opens to a brilliant hidden place. The longer we were there the more we saw this to be true!
One of the main things we wanted to do in Melbourne was the Street Art Tour. I had heard about it some how and we knew Melbourne has a strong street art scene, tolerated by the city in some areas. The tour was a real eye opener and was a great way to discover parts of Melbourne that we would not have found ourselves. There is truly world class modern art on the streets. It was interesting to be able to ask some of those things I have thought about before like is there an etiquette about covering someone else’s art? Is there an agreed upon definition for art vs graffiti among people who do it?
We left Melbourne Thursday evening and didnt think that trhough very well as its hard to find somewhere free/cheap close to a city and the caravan parks close around 6 so we were not sure where we would end up staying. We didnt want to go to far as we were tired and wanted to see the drive during the day. We ended up staying in an en-suite site (!) at caravan park about an hour south of Melboure.
Now…….. The Great Ocean Road. Brilliant. It was carved in the cliffs along the coast just after the first World War. The name is pretty much spot on. For the past few days we have been enjoying summer like weather and a spectacular coast line. We had a great beach day yesterday, although the sea was as flat as a lake so no surf for us. A local guy told us the water is 18 degrees at the moment (he said that as if its balmy) but we thought it felt less than that! We spent the last 2 nights just on the edge of Lorne in a great spot overlooking the sea.
Today we have pottered along the coast some more and came across about 30 koalas, which were so good to watch. They are funny and perhaps the laziest creature on earth. They are perched in the trees and wake up with a dopey look every so often, yawn, have a scratch eat a leaf or two then go back to sleep in the most unlikely parcarious positions.
Tomorrow we have a big day of driving to get to see a friend of mine in South Australia. At some stage we have to drive more than 10 km a day if we are to drive most of the coast of Aus and eastern Africa by this time next year. So we will drive alllll day.