NEXT TRIP: PLANNING THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD
Thus far 2016 has been a fun year for travel. Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Scotland, the first part of the year in Paris, a few days in London, a few weeks in the Philippines and a bunch of time in Sydney. Throw in a few trips over the Tasman to New Zealand and one can hardly blame my manager for diving under his desk when I ask perfectly innocent questions, such as “is there anything important happening in September?”
Even with this, I have been suffering from The Blues. I wrote about it. I know; first world problems, right? In a concerted effort to relieve it, I did what a lot of people do. I went out on a few all night benders, suffered through some wicked hangovers, and then went on a shopping spree. I didn’t buy the usual garbage; new clothes, a new TV or a bunch of random shit on the internet. Instead I bought flights, organised trips and booked my PADI, trying to stuff as much into the rest of the year as my weekends and annual leave would allow.
To fill in the weeks before my next overseas trip, I figured I should see some more of this barren, red island they call Australia to see if it is really as barren and red as they say.
I could go north, following the remnants of summer to test my newly acquired dive skills, walk along sandy beaches and stare at beautiful women enjoying the warm sun in the least wintry part of the country. Or I could go South, into the bitter, biting cold to freeze my unacclimated, lonesome ass off for several days and nights.
I was drunk at the time, so south it is. Drunk Kaine is an asshole.
Along the Great Ocean Road the picturesque, sun-drenched bays displayed on all the websites will likely be cold and stormy with windswept seaspray, which is exactly the way I like my beaches to look, unless I’m planning on going into the water. Stormy beaches have character; the kind of character that will keep the clamouring, selfie-stick toting assholes to a minimum.
Technically, the Great Ocean Road is a 243 kilometre highway running between Allansford and Torquay in Victoria. If you stretch it out to the major cities of Adelaide and Melbourne, you have a 1000 kilometre journey along a pretty amazing coastline. None of which seems barren, or red.
I fly to Adelaide, more colloquially known as Rad-elaide, on Tuesday morning, despite still having one of those chesty coughs reminiscent of a pack-a-day smoker, and nowhere to sleep until Friday night. However, I have armed myself with my awesome sleeping bag, and as much merino gear as I can stuff into my duffel. It will be great! I shall remind myself of that at 2AM, crammed into the backseat of my rented Toyota Infinitesimal in a few days time.
While I might not have planned where I will be sleeping yet, I have planned a lot of things I want to see. I’ve plotted them all out in Google maps, tagged and named. I may even stop at a number of them along the way. I like to leave a lot of room for letting the road take me wherever it does, which may be into the warmest looking pub I can find for the closest thing they have to beef stew and mashed potatoes.
There is also an assortment of friends and acquaintances heading to Apollo Bay for the following weekend, so I shall meet them and go exploring. There are a lot of walks to do and sights to see. I hear there is a fireplace in our accommodation though, so I may spend two days lounging, cat-like on the hearth, enjoying the warmth.
As much fun as I will be having, I must remember I have a flight to Sydney on Sunday afternoon. No doubt there is a storm already brewing in the Tasman, preparing for my departure, as there was last week while I visiting Melbourne for work.
So next week I will have articles to write and photos to edit of my journey along the Great Ocean Road. I’m really looking forward to it. One more day of work and then I will be off!!
Hope you’re having a great time, wherever you are!