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Friday, April 8, 2011

March 29 – April 1, 2011 – The Great Ocean Road (part 2)

The Victorian coastline is known for many icons of beauty; however, a certain stretch of it beginning from Cape Otway heading toward Port Fairy is known as The Shipwreck Coast. During about a 40-year period in the late 1800's – early 1900's, it is said that more than 80 vessels have met their doom along this 120 km (approx 75 miles) of notoriously dangerous coastline. All along this stretch of Victoria are little museums filled with relics and tales of the old ships. Being sailors ourselves we somehow feel drawn to these horror stories and their spoils.

We could imagine that peril as we stopped along the way to hike out to the famous sites. Most of these sort of clustered around Port Campbell and stretched to Warrnambool. The first of these famous landmarks that we came to is called The Twelve Apostles, majestic columns of rock that rise up out of the Southern Ocean. Standing at the lookout vantage point we could hear the roar and see the crash of the mighty ocean that must have carved out these incredible stacks of beautifully colored rock. In 2005, The Great Southern Ocean began reclaiming these structures, as they are slowly eroding away and collapsing into the sea. We stayed for an indeterminable amount of time just staring in awe. I've said this many times in my blogs; I felt the wonder and presence of God standing there at this site and some others down the way. It was a powerful and humbling feeling. We took lots of pictures but cannot possibly capture the experience on film.

We were losing our sunlight and had so many more stops to make that we reluctantly left the area of the Twelve Apostles and ventured down to the Loch Ard Gorge, which until just less than two years ago formed a natural and quite beautiful arch. Unfortunately the arch collapsed in 2009, leaving two freestanding rock towers much resembling the Twelve Apostles. What is left is still lovely but nothing compared to images of its former self.

Now that our picnic lunch, all of our beverages and junk food supplies were depleted, daylight fading and storm clouds rolling in, we called it a day and pointed our rental car in the direction of Warrnambool where we had a beautiful suite awaiting us at the Sebel Deep Blue Resort. We got checked in and set out on foot to explore the town. We found the sidewalks rolled up and the streets very quiet. Not much open after 5 PM here. We wandered around until we found an inviting Chinese restaurant open.  The food was so good that we ordered enough for probably 4! We thought about getting doggie bags but ended up eating it all before the check came. I guess all that sightseeing gave us quite an appetite. We retired to our beautiful hotel to rest up for tomorrow's big adventure.

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