The Great Ocean Road – Port Campbell-Warrnambool

Day Three:

We saw the Twelve Apostles yesterday but we just wanted to see them again and go quite early to spend a bit longer and enjoy the sunrise peeking over the rock formations. We were so tired that we just missed sunrise but we still got a beautiful view of the Sun pointing west towards the Apostles which saw shadows of the cliffs loom over them and made for some nice photographs.

We had decided the night before we would have to back track towards Cape Otway to check out the Otway Fly Treetop Adventures as it was too late to go when originally planned – no thanks to Jucy. We drove towards the park looking forward to doing some zip line activities as well as the treetops walk and since we had Merlin annual passes it would cost us nothing….wrongo!! We got there and found out it was free for us to do the treetop walk & nature trail but it was around $100 to do the zip line although maybe 25% off, still very pricey so we gave that a miss. The nature trail was ok, a lot of ferns and trees but a few dinosaurs in between, all very old and in need of repair (the raptors had legs missing). We joined the treetops walk which wasn’t amazing but I liked making it move – the older generation did not. Overall we are glad we didn’t have to pay but it we enjoyed being outdoors taking in the natural beauty.

We found a national park close to Otway Fly Treetop Adventures which has a waterfall – Triplet Falls, named apply for its gradient fall. We had a slight incline to walk but we had fun, especially being rewarded with a picturesque view of the waterfall. Some people had took an unofficial detour to get the bottom of the water to have a swim maybe, Sean tried but felt it was a bit steep for me to be comfortable with. However we had some great views from the three levels, it took us about an hour return and was not too strenuous.

We headed forward on the Great Ocean Road, stopping off at a few more monuments near the Twelve Apostles. The coastline between Cape Otway and Port Fairy is a notoriously dangerous stretch of water. In the days of sailing ships more than 80 vessels came to grief on this 120km stretch in just 40 years. The most famous wreck was that of Loch Ard, hence the lookout name; Loch Ard Gorge. This was our favourite lookout on the GOR, it had a beautiful but small beach which was like a cove surrounded by two huge cliffs. These cliffs created some monstrous waves and you could see why people are not allowed to swim these waters, It did not stop some silly women frolicking around like a beached whale though – a local however pulled her out un-amused. I could have stayed here all day but as the tide came in and started washing people’s belongings out to sea (someone lost there iPhone here) we decide to make hast and drive onwards to some more lookout points.

We saw many more along the way, Including Thunder Cave – a name referred to by the noise made by the waves crashing inside the cave, London Bridge – a famous rock formation named recently due to two tourists in the 90s being stranded when rocks collapsed separating the stack to the mainland.  Bay of Islands and Bay of Martyrs were pretty amazing too with a vast sight into the distance of yet more rock stacks. We realised that in years to come the very spot we were standing would one day be another apostle, this was a crazy thought.

As the sun started to decent beyond sight we got back in our van and drove to Warrnambool, the last destination on the Great Ocean Road. We found a campsite to stay overnight which was quite small and Sean thought, very Bogeny (Aussie term for redneck). We cooked some camel burgers, which just tasted like beef, and enjoyed the starry skies.

We loved the GOR and would miss the beauty of the coastal drive especially the fun windy roads and the lookout after lookout, but we were only a quarter of the way into our roadtrip as we had plenty more to see towards Port Lincoln and then inland towards Sydney. For now though we had to catch some zzz’s after a long adventure filled day. Night John boy.

The Great Ocean Road – Melbourne – Anglesea

Day one:

Our destination: Port Lincoln Shark Diving!!
Vehicle of choice: Jucy Rentals
Booked through Peterpans Travel
Duration: Booked for 13 days
Cost: $57 + $25 (insurance) a day

Ever since we started talking about travelling Australia we have always had two things on our bucket lists, dive the Great Barrier Reef and Cage Shark diving. It’s something we would never get the chance to do again and we just love marine life especially the mysterious Great White Shark (white shark). We went straight to Peterpans in Melbourne and knew exactly what we wanted and booked! So we decided to do the Great Ocean Road along the way and check out Adelaide, yes it would be cheaper to just fly over but we would miss out on all the glorious views, locations and memories of doing this journey.

Our day started…..no wait….3 hours later our day started. We woke early aiming to get our car around collection time at 10am and arrived not long after to find a bit of a queue but not much, about 5 people. An hour of waiting on the queue we start getting annoyed as we really should be on the road heading straight for The Twelve Apostles not in some stark collection office. We realise that a few of the people haven’t even com  to collect cars but enquire about booking one so the people waiting to collect can’t because Jucy haven’t got a proper queuing system and not only that the only 2 Jucy staff that seem to be working then take each person outside to see the vehicle, which take another 20 minutes and at this point we’re tapping our feet, shaking our heads and watching the clock. The staff were slow, to busy having conversations about “how sweet your trips going to be” and less time organising and handling the customers that want to be on that sweet trip!

We finally get to the front of the queue and its been 3 hours and our plans for going straight to the apostles is not happening, it would be after sunset by the time we got there and we did not want to miss out on seeing places on the way. The assistant smiles and says “sorry about the wait is everything ok?” We remind her how long we have waited and how we are a day behind now which we are paying for as we speak only to then be told ” sorry about that, it does work out that most out that most of the time people do loose a day but that’s just what happens” she wrote it in the notes for us to mention to HR but that was it. Thanks Jucy for your amazing customer service. NOT.

So day one finally starts after getting supplies for the van. The plan today is to aim for Anglesea where we would find accommodation before starting the Great Ocean Road in the morning. We decide to stop off in Torquay home of Rip Curl and Bells beach where surf competitions take place annually. There wasn’t much in terms of surf for us to watch as it was getting late and the weather quite cold and I’m guessing the sea is even colder. The area was beautiful though and coastline amazing to see, I always find staring out in to the ocean very hypnotic and calming.

We moved on towards Anglesea where we found a camp site for the night, it was quite dark at this point but it was a nice, quiet location and there was loads of space. We parked our van and took a little look around. We were close to all facilities and we had privacy with help of the trees surrounding our space and we were right by the beach too.
The walk to and from the toilets was fun, my feet were black and I creeped myself out walking back in the dark but the showers were great, clean and the cost of $– a night per van was good.

We headed 5 minutes away from reception to grab some food as we weren’t allowed to use our stove on the camp site. We found a pub that served food and went with the kangaroo roast dinner which was delicious although the cook thought he only had to make one dish, I waited and asked the waitress who had to tell him to make mine but it meant Sean had to eat without me. After the meal we called it a night and walked back to the van to plan day two when we heard something in the shadows. We freaked when we saw a massive kangaroo a few meters away from us, it bounced off eventually into the darkness and we were left aware but delighted. After a bad start to the day it ended pleasant and we hoped nothing else would get in our way that would change this.

Ash’s little burp of nothingness

I started to get back in to my reading since I came here, mainly when I am commuting to work mainly, I have to admit my commute to work is much more picturesque then in Stoke-on-Trent. I get a great view of Swan River whilst crossing the bridge via train and seeing the sun just peeking over the silhouette of Perth’s cityscape, stunning.

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I have recently finished reading a travel book called Twitchiker, by Paul Smith, which my sister brought me to inspire me with the blog (has it helped? you tell me). It’s about the travels of a radio presenter from Newcastle who’s fed up of the mundane and decides to travel the world using social networking site Twitter to help him do it. He gets his Twitter followers to either buy him travel and/or accommodation until he reaches his destination, two of the main rules being; he can only accept help through Twitter and he has to get an offer within 3 days of arrivals or face failure. It’s a good read and made me want to try it out for myself for fun, a negative though was he does spend most of his time drinking and then complaining about said drinking, however the fact he was helping raise money for safe drinking water in Africa did cancel this out. Worth a read.

My next read is currently On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Set in the 1950s in America, about a guy called Sal, who travels the open road and meets upon his long-time beatnik friends, falling in and out of love with them. I’m enjoying it so far, although at first it was hard to get in to due to the way the writer “talks” in the book but I think that’s where the charm lies with this novel.

Work is going well, earned my first bonus this week. Woop. Working as a telemarketer isn’t the most thrilling jobs and you do end up leaving on a bit of a low, I do have to remind myself ‘you’re on holiday Ash!!’.

A typical phone conversation at work me me is:
Mrs Ling: “hello?”
Me: “hello there, is this Mrs Ling?”
Mrs Ling: “yes, who is calling?”
Me: “it’s Ash calling from pest control, how are you today?”
Mrs Ling: Silence
Me: “hello, Mrs Ling?”
Mrs Ling: “Im sorry I don’t speak English” (said perfectly)
Me: “you don’t speak English?” (Interesting)
Mrs Ling: “no….I go now. Bye” hangs up brilliant

If it’s not that then it’s “p**s off! Which is always my favourite. But there funding my diving and shark cage activities so :-p!

So whilst I’m annoying people on the phone I like to doodle, 1: for the entertainment it offers me and 2: because you never know when your going to get that ‘lightbulb’ moment. I have kept all my little doodle papers with me so I can look back at them and cringe over what terrible drawing skills I had & how silly I was to ever think that idea would work in real life haha.

Check out these artists from WA! http://www.artistswa.com/
www.outregallery.com/

A day in the life of Sean 12/07/13

“Brrrrr, brrrrr! Brrrrr, brrrrr!” It was 8:30am and someone had kindly decided to call my mobile to wake me from my slumber. It was the recruitment agency telling me they have sorted an interview for me at 11am today. I was still in bed, with the pillow stuck to my face and they expected me to make a 2 hour and 40 minute journey to Pinjarra. After some debate we decided on 13:30. Time for a shower and a shave.
This is the first actual interview I’ve had since being in Australia. The company was looking for a CNC setter and operator to help with the running of their machines. I was fairly hopeful due to my previous experience in working with such machines.
To get there I had to board two different trains and catch a bus. I got there with 10 minutes to spare in which time I had a chat with the receptionist who was a fellow Pom. The interview was very laid back after a brief chat about past experience I was shown around the factory. Whereas I’m used to operating machines the size of a Fiat 500 these things were big enough to park a Jeep in with enough room left to swing a cat. It was bigger than my bedroom!
As a whole the interview was positive and he hinted towards a possible trial day. The only negatives were the fact that it was night shifts working 4 days on, 4 days off 6pm-6am is something I’d have to think about.
Leaving the interview I had just missed a bus and was sure the bus was full of people waving at me laughing as if they knew something I didn’t. I had no idea when the next bus was so I called Marie, a relative who informed me that I’d have to wait an hour for the next bus.
So there I was, waiting on the side of a dual carriageway with no sign of anything in either direction apart from the cars passing by, with their passengers looking smug. iPod equipped, I waited.
Eventually the bus arrived and boy was I in for a ride. The dude at the wheel was driving like Mad Max on heat, it didn’t help the fact that Iron Maiden “Run to the hills” began to blast its way out of my earphones. Every traffic light we stopped at I really thought he was about to run a red, but he’d firmly hit the brakes with the might of Thor. Every time the bus came to a halt I could feel my insides trying to squeeze between the gaps of my rib-cage. He nearly missed picking up one passenger, travelling 100m after the stop leaving flat spots on the tyres. It was as if he thought the poor kid needed some exercise in the form of a short jog.
Finally I arrived at the train station and Marie kindly offered to pick me up from one of the stops.

Mandurah & Supanova Expo

Mandurah
Another weekend, another adventure. We got two trains down to Mandurah took us around 2 hours from just outside Perth. We walked along the boardwalk at Manjar Bay with an ice-cream in hand enjoying the scenery. We made a friend in the form of a pelican, never seen one up close before, it was massive. Beautiful bird though and very friendly, I think he wanted my ice-cream.

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We decided to splash out on a 1 hour cruise aboard a ferry around the estuary. Sadly we didn’t spot any dolphin’s but saw some amazing houses each with their own yacht outside. There was plenty of birds around too: black swans, pelicans and cormorants.
As hunger called we headed to dolphin quay a large harbour with bars and restaurants dotted around. After browsing the menus we decided to eat at catch 22. We had a sharing platter for 2 consisting of octopus, crab, prawn, squid, mussels, oysters and salmon. It cost us $65 and was very tasty.

Supanova
Sunday we went to the annual pop culture exhibition at Claremont showgrounds, $25 each. It was a little disappointing. To see most of the famous stars such as Carrie Fischer, David Hasselhoff you had to pay extra for an autograph or photo ranging from $30 – $80. Me and Ash didn’t dress up but we expected to see loads of people dressed up impersonating their favourite characters but there was only a small handful that put effort into their costumes. Nonetheless we had a good day looking at all the memorabilia we couldn’t afford and I did manage to sneak a peek of The Hoff. There was a cool comic strip artist, who offered to put us in his next zombie comic as zombies. Very tempting but $100 each that could be better spent.
Ash was over the moon to see a couple dressed up as Louise and Bob from American tv animation ‘Bob’s Burger’s’ nice job guys!