Another quick Wayward Bus trip and another 1200Km to be covered between Adelaide and Melbourne in 3.5 days. But this time along the beautiful and spectacular Great Ocean Road.
First stop = Coorong Wilderness Lodge, where local Ngurundari (the most respected of all Aboriginal nations), Jordon took us on a quick walk showing us plants and talking us through what medicines or foods they are and allowing tasting. This was conducted reasonably quickly as it was sooooo scorching in the high 30's. We ate lunch there which consisted of some local delicacies including some more kangaroo, and watched a video of the Ngurundari "creation story". As there is no trace of European blood in the people, they believe they have been in Australia since day1, and are 50,000 years old. This nation has 18 clans. In the creation story we learnt that they believe the granite rocks at Long Beach to represent the 2 wives of the leader, who ran away from him and he tracked down because he could smell them cooking a forbidden fish and he chased them into the water where they turned into stone. Anyway, we headed to Long Beach to see the (3) granites and enjoyed a lovely late afternoon swim in the sea.
An early stroll the next morning along the Canunda National Park coast was very pleasant and a visit to Umpherston sinkhole. This sinkhole was created over many, many years of rainwater dissolving into cracks in the limestone and eventually the rock above giving way creating a big hole. James Umpherston settled in the Gambier region in 1860 and farmed until he retired. At this point his hobby was to develop the sinkhole into a "pleasant resort for the heat of summer". He inserted stairs, terraces, rock walkways and many plant species. The cave is now frequently used for wedding receptions.
The Blue Lake, a big hole created 5000 years ago by a volcanic eruption is 7Km long and 70m deep. The water provides all the town's drinking water and is supposed to be the bluest, but on the overcast day we saw it it was blue, but think it would have been more dramatic with a bit of sun! Blue because of the calcium particles it contains which reflect the blue of the light spectrum aided by the phosphorous somehow. Past through a town called Milisent where 40% of 14 year olds are pregnant or have a baby.....think there's an education issue problem??
Bridgewater Bay was hosting a surfing competition when we arrived amidst the chaos. I took a zippy zodiac boat ride to a seal colonies under the Cape, where there were loads of friendly Australian and New Zealand seals. The difference being something to do with their colour and fury necks!
That evening we stayed in Port Fairy, which just happened to coincide with the Port Fairy Folk Festival! (been very lucky with all the coincidences) . Unfortunately arrived quite late and it was pouring with rain, so the street playing had stopped, but looking on the program, Sharon Shannon and La Bottine Souriante who I watched in WOMADelaide were also playing here. That evening we ate in the local pub where a local band of half-soaked blokes sang and played for us! The 17 year old shark's jaw was brought in for our viewing and enjoyment.
Day 3 was the BIG day, stopping about 14 time en-route...but saw: a closed cheese factory (!!! A public holiday which he forgot about), Bay of Islands, Bay of Martyres, London Bridge, Port Campbell, Lock ark Gorge and 12 Apostles to name most of them....