The Melbourne weather was sunny and sky was bathed in blue.We started our drive from Melbourne around noon and picked up the M1 highway to Geelong for our onward drive on the Great Ocean Road.It was my maiden visit to Australia and i was looking everywhere from the window pane to have a glimpse of every bit of scenery that my eyes could grab.Slowly we crossed through the scenic Melbourne outback and the beautiful countryside enroute to Geelong within hours.
Ever since i saw and read about the Great Ocean Road,i was fascinated by the beauty and history of this road.The road was constructed by the soldiers returned from the world wars.Constructed through the tough mountainous terrains without the mechanized equipments,this Australian National Heritage is a living example of one of the finest feat of sheer human efforts. It was a dream for me to visit the scenic Australian National Heritage and it was on the top of my list of things to do in Australia.It was a long flight to Melbourne and the Jetlag was still there but my excitement of visiting the Great Ocean road has kept me on my toes.More over i was meeting my best friend after such a long long time.So i was in the seventh heaven.
We moved from Geelong to the Torquay crossing through the spectacular landscapes dotted with beautiful farm houses, blooming fields and lush verdant forests.With vast stretches of uninhabitated land and green pastures in either side,the countryside looked so familiar yet so different.I was enjoying every moment of the drive.Within no time we entered the Great Ocean Road,the a heritage look wooden gate with “Great Ocean Road” carved on it welcomed us and we entered the Great Ocean Road.The 150 mile Great Ocean Road starts from Torquay to Warnambool crosses through the mountains on one side and the mighty Pacific ocean on the other side.The scenic splendor of the landscapes on either side will make you fall in love with this land.The coastal towns settled on the small hilltops on the shores of the pacific ocean seem so beautiful as if the towns are from the fairy land.
Our first stop was Anglesea, a picturesque coastal town.By that time we were driving non stop for 4 hours and it was a well deserved break.And as soon as we stopped we rushed into the sea.It was my first encounter with the Pacific Ocean.The blue ocean,the raging waves and the silken sands,it was pacific all the way my eyes could see.As we walked on the rivulet that flowed into the ocean we could feel the rolling gravels and the moving sands under our feet.The children were playing in the sand and the surfers were riding the great waves.I was basking in joy with pacific winds splashing into my face and it was just the beginning of the Great Ocean Road.
We stopped at the lighthouse view point to enjoy the gorgeous view of the endless pacific.The blue sky and the blue sea were merged in the distant horizon.The ocean was looking strikingly beautiful.We were stopping on the road every now and then.The next we stopped at a point where the road touched the ocean.There we found a lot of pebble towers arranged on the shore.The pebble towers were so neatly arranged.The travelers like us could have arranged the pebble towers to build such a scenic array.It was a beautiful sight out there.The sun was slowly setting into the dusk and the pebble towers were standing as if they were trying to tell us something.Every pebble has a story to tell and it takes a only wandering soul to listen to their stories.We made some pebble towers and sat there for some time watching the white waves come crashing to our feet on the shore.
We were back on the road again.The sun has gone red and we drove fast.It was the longest stretch of drive on the Great Ocean Road crossing through the dense rain forest and my friend was negotiating the blind curves with ease.It seemed as if we were the only ones driving the empty road.The next stop was the famed and beautiful 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road.It was an absolutely out of the world view.Such spectacular views of the signature brown colored apostles with the white waves of the blue ocean kissing their base looked unreal and imaginary.I couldnt believe myself it was the same apostles i used to see in pictures.It was an unforgettable evening.
But the biggest adventure was yet to happen.The gippson steps,the steep steps on the edge of the rock wall down to the sea shore.As we reached the gippson steps,the caliginous darkness had already enveloped the evening.I didnt want to miss that chance.So i took the mobile and switched on the torch and ventured into the dark on to the Gippson steps.As i walked down the steps i could hear the wild roar of the ocean and the gushing wind splashing on to the rock walls.The intimidating sound was unnerving me but i walked on even though I didnt know where the steps were leading me.After sometime i landed on the wet sand and it was the shore.It was pitch dark and i walked some steps in the sand and listened to the sound of the ocean.The sound of the turbulent ocean frightened me and within no time i started climbing back to reach the top with a rushing breath much to the relief of my friend.It was a scary experience.
We came to Port Campbell for camping that night and by the time we reached the coastal town it was already 8.30pm.All the camping stations were closed by that time in that coastal town.We were left with the no option but to sleep on the car as the public places were off limits for camping.We went to the Port Campbell bay harbour and had dinner there and sat on the bollards watching the fisherman angling for their night catch.It was a starry night and the grasshoppers had encroached the serene silence with their shrillings.The temp dropped considerably in the night and we were back to the car.Again we went to a camping station requesting them to get us a camping place for the night (who had already denied us once) and managed to convince the owner to provide us a place for AUD 35.Fixing the tent we surrendered to our tiring bodies after the beautiful drive on one of the most spectacular roads in the world.
When i woke up from the sleep,it was drizzling and the raindrops were making tip-top-tip-top sound on the tents.It was like a perfect rainy morning from the pages on monsoon.The rain-clad lush green surrounding of the camping station had made the morning even more beautiful.Every one in the camping station were inside their tents but it was time for us to pack the tent and hit the Great Ocean Road on our way back to Melbourne.The Great Ocean Road sported a deserted look and ours was the only vehicle wading through the mists in that rainy and cold morning.I always love to drive through the rain on the scenic roads and it was one such drive.It was so much joy driving on one of the most scenic roads in the world in the rains with my best friend by my side.That was absolute bliss.
On the way we stopped at Loch Ard Gorge,one of the most scenic spots on the Great Ocean Road.The gorge has an inspiring story.Only two members from the ship Loch Ard(on its way from England to Melbourne) that was grounded near the Muttonbird island in the Pacific ocean were washed ashore to the gorge and survived.Looking at the unquiet ocean one can only comprehend that it must have been an incredible and inspiring saga of courage and determination to survive the fury of the ocean.We walked down the wooden steps to the gorge.The waves were pounding into the rocks through the narrow creek and the ocean was looking so ominous.It was beautiful a sight and frightening too.I was scared to step into the ocean to touch the water but any how managed to touch the water from a distance.My friend was lost in the beauty of the ocean looking at the white waves riding the vast expanse of the blue water.As the cold breeze started blowing moderately,we climbed the steps back to the car.It was still raining and the raindrops were lashing on to the glass panes of the window but we continued driving in that romantic morning wading through the rainforests and the beautiful coastal towns on our way back to Melnourne.It was a dream ride on the Great Ocean Road and with my friend by my side i lived that dream.