Great Ocean Road and Grampians National Park
Life Lesson #8191: Don’t throw away your backup alarm clock, even if you’ve never used it and it’s a prime candidate for something to toss.
Life Lesson #8192: If you need to wake up at 5:30am and you don’t have an alarm clock, staying up all night is not as good of an idea as you might think.
Life Lesson #8193: Tour bus sleep is some of the worst sleep you will ever get. Plus you get to wake up every hour to take pictures of things you’d normally be keen on, but find horribly uninteresting in your exhausted zombie fugue state.
Life Lesson #8194: Don’t buy extra alcohol at the rest stop, thinking that you’ll just share it with the people who forgot to buy any of their own. Screw those jerks, they probably don’t want any, that’s why they “forgot”.
Life Lesson #8195: If you’ve been up for around 36 hours straight and someone gives you the option to (a) have 0 drinks and sleep for 6 hours, or (b) drink 2 litres of wine and pass out for 4 hours, resist the idea that some Pinot Gris would go lovely with this chicken.
Life Lesson #8196: Hungover tour bus sleep is even worse than non-hungover tour bus sleep.
It’s been a few days since I finished my 3-day/2-night adventure with Groovy Grape. It picked us up in Melbourne and dropped us off in Adelaide.
So, yeah. I may have made some errors in judgement leading up to this trip. I was exhausted for Day One, plus hungover for Day Two, and feeling generally icky for Day Three. Oops.
However… the Great Ocean Road is amazing! It’s like the Pacific Coast Highway on steroids. There’s a low, beachy section close to Melbourne which features some famous surf spots like Bell’s Beach. As you get further out, you encounter rocky cliffs and amazing arches/pillars/etc that were created from millions of years of slow, boring erosion.
There were around 20 people on the tour, making for a rather full bus. As usual, I was the only American. We had the usual blend of English/German/French/Swiss/Korean/Canadian which seems to be about par for the course on these kinds of things. People skewed a bit older, especially the four Canadians who were all 60+.
I was scared by having old folks around, until I realized that these people got a strange sense of satisfaction out of proving that they’re still cool enough to hang with the young kids. Some semi-reverse psychology came in handy: “You’re probably too old to do these dishes. That’s a shame… I’ll just have to use my young, limber body to do them myself.”. OK, I made that up, but these people did almost all of the chores and wouldn’t let us help… and I’m OK with that!
Our tour guide Fleur was energetic and knowledgeable. I’d been warned about her ahead of time — that she’s happy to let the passengers choose the music, but she is not a huge fan of any songs with swearing in them. Sure enough, on Day Two I made a mix on my iPod and she played it… any song containing “fuck” would be skipped immediately after the f-bomb dropped, but it took a few “bitches” to merit a track change. I got the feeling that she was losing faith in my mix, until her track skipping landed her on Walk Like An Egyptian… YES, THIS IS ON MY iPOD. This was a deliberate plant in the playlist — people with her personality type can not resist its charms. Hell, you probably can’t resist its charms. You are probably holding your arms out like a fool right now.
We hiked around the Grampians, saw some waterfalls, climbed Mt. Hollow and ate a lot of kangaroo-based food. This portion of the trip was fun, but I am a City Mouse and was sick of visiting my friend Country Mouse by this point.
Kangaroos are EVERYWHERE out in the country. To the point where you become completely desensitized to them.
This albino kangaroo reminded me of the Cryptkeeper.
My mountains, let me show you them.
On Flickr: Full Photoset