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Chris Sayer’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 04 Oct 2011

MapMoving on to our next home-away-from-home, we hitched the caravan on-board and ventured west, on the same road as we had done the day before. Once beyond the Twelve Apostles, however, the coastline’s spectacular scenery did not abate. The same soft limestone cliffs provided weird and eerie shapes against the deep blue ocean, with even the occasional pillar or “apostle” standing proud in the water. The relentless pounding of the waves at its base gave a strong indication that it was not going to be standing proud for much longer.

Port Campbell is a peaceful seaside resort tucked away inside an alcove, as if seeking shelter from the ocean’s turbulent weather. As usual, a lookout has been conveniently built at the headland to give an impressive view of the coast, with helicopters flying their circuit overhead, while below surfers brave the rips, and reefs break the surface. London Bridge, a double span set of arches just west of Port Campbell, is testament to the rapid erosion of this coast, as the land bridge closest to the mainland collapsed in 1990, stranding two people on the newly formed island. They had to be rescued by helicopter.

Meeting people is a wonderful part of any journey. In Port Campbell we shared a picnic table with a couple from Queensland, making a holiday after marrying friends at Torquay. We must be attracting the clergy – we also shared a table with some Salvation Army ministers at Lorne the other day, as they cycled their way along the Great Ocean Road. The previous night we met a couple of Canadians, from Calgary, who were very impressed that I was wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater. In the carpark at London Bridge, we met a young Western Australian couple touring the country over a six-month period with their two sons aged six and four. Thinking how brave they were, we sensed the relief in their voices as they were in their final two weeks of their trip, heading for home via the Eyre Highway across the Nullabor Desert.

We said farewell to this remarkable coast as we left the Great Ocean Road and drove into Warrnambool, population thirty thousand and centre of a large diary industry, which was quite apparent given the lush green farmland providing food for thousands of cows as they turned grass into milk. We will stay a few days with Paul and Mel and their four delightful young children. Paul is an ex-work colleague who moved into the dairy industry earlier this year, and we are privileged to be their first non-family visitors since moving to Warnie. We also appreciate the few nights in a full-size bed and a convenient en-suite.