Crowds and bumpy roads and a snapped cable
ROLLING ALONG THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD
It is a photographic opportunity with not too many stops in between, but the 141 km stretch of the Great Ocean Road which links Torquay in Victoria to Allandale in South Australia, is not all it’s cracked up to be.
For one thing, there are stunning views of the ocean, especially at parking stops at The Bay of Islands, Twelve Apostles and London (?) Bridge with the densely forested National Park of Cape Otway – but driving conditions do leave a bit to be desired – we think!
It’s a single lane each way all the way and the surface is poor. There is always lots of traffic, mostly tourists in speeding cars, buses, and how can we ever forget the surging Motorhome contingents – who, dare I say, seem to be mostly from countries where speeding and overtaking are essential parts of the driving test. The number of tourists at The Twelve Apostles, for instance, was astounding, so much so that we had to wait our turn to take a photograph or 3.
A Luna Park roller coaster ride (that once was) is certainly comparable with the rolling and bouncing nature of the ‘levelness’ of the road. Here and there – and mostly up extremely steep roads – could be seen the occasional B & B, or guest house. Certainly they would have spectacular views from their guestroom – but their journey to the beach should they decide against a very steep walk up into the rainforest, would be hazardous to say the least.
Caravan parks are few and far between – some free stops too – and we even found a Top Tourist park that didn’t take dogs! Streuth – I had overlooked that bit of info! Warrnambool, Port Campbell and Apollo Bay were simply overflowing with tourists that we decided to head east and get to Lorne – especially as we discovered a snapped cable which meant we no longer had brakes to the caravan and the hairpin bends through the forest were quite tricky.
At the end of a disappointing day (our first one in our entire caravanning history) we drove into the megacity of Lorne on the banks of the river. Thankfully we found a dog friendly site – but again another disappointment. Crowded nose to tail as it were, no grass and $38 a night for a dirty and dusty site opposite the rubbish bins, then in the morning a cold shower from the hot tap, dirty sinks and sandy floors – we couldn’t wait to leave.
Fortunately, as I write this, we are being well taken care of by Lorne Automotive Services. Friendly smiling staff, coffee, toilets and a mended cable, we are glad to have found this chap even though he is right at the top of one of the steepest roads we have ever driven up – with van!!!
For those of you who have ever ventured up the steep sided streets of the village of Eumundi, north of Buderim – that’s nothing to the steepness of these streets.
I have to say, however, that the view from up here isn’t bad – at least I can see the sea.
Today, it’s our plan to drive north to the fascinating historic town of Ballarat – home of the Eureka Stockade. How long we’ll be there we’re not sure but from there we expect to reach Echuca on the River Murray, before heading for Mike and Jenny’s at the weekend – they live in the border town of Albury-Wodonga.
It’s an hour’s drive from there to Wagga/Ganmain and we’ll hopefully catch up with a few more friends – and little Gracie too. Her mum, Mel, actually got engaged last week, and we are thrilled about that one too.
Till the sun shines down on you all for another day … stay safe and smell the roses .. xxxx