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25 and Under...and 23...and 22 I'm trekking southern Australia in the World Nomads Ambassador van with my little brother & his girlfriend. This should be interesting.

Sunshiny Goodness

AUSTRALIA | Saturday, 12 January 2008 | Views [1038]

Day 2

I woke up to my brother’s face peering through the locked van door.

I still get surprised, after traveling on my own for so long, that I’m now with someone who has known me essentially my entire life. There’s a level of comfort that comes with that — but you can be sure it makes fighting all the easier as well. But really, it’s been good.

So my brother’s face. I groggily opened the van door and croaked out a week, “What time is it?” “8:30.” “Oh.” So we got up, had a delicious breakfast of cereal, yogurt and fruit (I’ve been on a low-carb diet for the past 3 weeks so this is pretty much heaven) and were on our way.

Day 2.

We snaked our way down the Allenvale Road to Lorne, where we picked up some brochures for Great Otway National Park, our destination of the day. Clouds blanketed the sky above, giving the water that blue-grey color. I didn’t mind — the ocean was moody. And who isn’t in January? For a second I felt the winter creep in, then had to remind myself it’s summer down here, and within the hour, I knew it.

Driving the Great Ocean Road, one gets a sense a true sense of mother nature’s might. Before long we stumbled upon the Godfrey Shipwreck, which crashed way back when in 1851. Amazingly, no one died in the wreck, but three, count ‘em, three salvage missions killed more than a few sailors. Grey waves crashed over the tip of the boat, which was just barely visible in the low-tide. She seemed to beckon, still holding whatever she was trying to bring over in 1851.

As we wound around the Great Ocean Road, passing stunning cliffs, towering trees and miles of green-blue ocean, the temperature crept up. By 1:30 p.m. it was a ridiculously perfect 27.

We reached Apollo Bay just in time for lunch, and what better way to wash down lunch than with a winetasting? I stumbled into the Bay of Apostles store and sampled a few of their Koonara wines. All relatively local, all exceptional, especially the Sauvingnon Blanc. Wow, I cannot wait to do some serious wine-tasting in this van.

Sidenote: *Thank you Nautigals for your awesome lattes and free wireless.

Next stop: Cape Otway Lighthouse drive. We expected a lighthouse — what we got were KOALAS.

There’s just something about koalas, isn’t there? All they do is sit there sleeping and eating, and yet we could have stood there on the side of the road gaping at the little guys all day. We spent a good hour on the side of the road snapping away. This reminded me again of the weird Nickelodeon show I grew up watching as a kid. There was an alternate koala universe and it was always in danger, but the koala who was supposed to be saving it never wanted to leave his Eucalyptus tree in the little girl’s backyard. I miss that show.

Eventually we made it to Triplet Falls in Great Otway National Park, then to Johanna’s Beach, our camp for the night. And what a camp it was. A three-minute walk to the beach provided one of the most stunning sunsets I’ve ever seen. We walked back to camp to find a group of Aussies cooking up some sausages, and they were kind of enough to offer us our first of the trip. Thanks guys! Now that is the way to end a night. Goon on the beach, then to bed under the stars.


Mobius Band
Modest Mouse
Tegan & Sara
Against Me! Etc.

Now I’m laying here in our Nomalita, listening to Christmas Music and wondering what it is about January that makes me wish it was March. Probably winter — glad I’m not dealing with that this year!

Tags: ambassador van, beaches & sunshine


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