Great Ocean Road


Bonjour, my beautiful people.

How's everyone? How is life? October is here - yay. That means I am now 8 months into my exchange adventure and so far it's been u-n-r-e-a-l. I only have 2 weeks of school left, how crazy is that? It really feels like I just got here. Even though I love my dorm mates to death I am really looking forward to traveling throughout December and heading back to Europe for New Year's at this stage. 

I just got back from a trip along the Great Ocean Road and Mornington Peninsula and took about a gazillion pictures. It was nice to get away from Bundoora for a little bit. It's really not the place to be, let's be honest. There's not much around here and the long trip to the city is somewhat annoying. 

Jess picked me up Monday afternoon and we made our way down to Port Campbell, about 285km SW of Melbourne. Port Campbell is mainly famous for its proximity to the 12 apostles and the Port Campbell National Park. It took us a few hours to get there so we only went for a quick stroll through town and then stuffed our faces with homemade tacos while watching TV! 

Tuesday was a bit more exciting! Jess showed me the 12 apostles and we went on a little food gourmet tour through a bunch of towns around Port Campbell. Ice cream, wine, cheese, chocolate... we had a busy day #diabetes
The lovely lady owning the winery on top of a hill overlooking the beautiful nature of Victoria definitely knew how to tell a good story and we also got to meet a new 4-legged friend! 

After almost buying a pony at the chocolate factory (don't ask...) we headed back to Port Campbell National Park for a quick walk before watching the sunset at the 12 apostles. 

On day three and on the way to Lorne we stopped by the Otway National Park tree top walk - great for someone like me who doesn't really enjoy heights but I like to face my fears and it turned out to be totally worth it after all.
Later in the afternoon, we made a couple of little stops for some beautiful views on the way to Apollo Bay where we stopped for lunch and to stretch our legs. Unfortunately, the weather had been a bit of a mess down in Victoria before we started our trip so parts of the Great Ocean Road were closed and we had to take a massive detour through the hilly forest. We arrived in Lorne just in time for dinner and basically passed out right after - lots of salt-breeze and incredible sceneries all day long makes one tired German.

Jess took me to Teddy's Outlook (named after Teddy Roosevelt who came to visit Lorne in the early 1900s) on Thursday morning where you get an amazing view over Lorne and the actual Great Ocean Road. Afterwards we headed down to Erskine falls, where the water plunges 30 metres into the Erskine River.
Even though the road was blocked for general traffic the Vic roads staff let us drive along the empty road after we'd played the "my friend came all the way from Germany"-card. We had to turn around after some time but at least I got to see the most beautiful part of the road and really got to experience why everyone is so crazy about it. I kept jumping out of the car to take more and more pictures of the sea - I am definitely a sucker for a good view, that's for sure.
After our little closed-road-adventure, Jess took me to Aireys Inlet and the Split Point Lighthouse.

Friday was my big, big day: my first surfing lesson in Anglsea. Surfing has always been on my Australia bucket list - what a cliché, am I right? I was super excited and a bit terrified at the same time. Victoria had 3 shark attacks within the last 2 weeks but I was honestly more concerned about completely embarrassing myself rather than being eaten by a huge-ass fish. Anyways, I put on that wetsuit and after 10mins of instructions on land I was already in the water trying to catch my first wave. While one of the lady instructors was in a terrible mood and a bit of a grumpy one to be around, French sweet heart and instructor-to-be Kevin really tried his best to keep me from drowning and embarrassing myself. Eventually I even managed to get up for a nano-second - SUCCESS! Surfing is so hard but I absolutely get why people get hooked - catching my first wave felt... indescribable? Like... it's so hard to explain but you're just so connected with the ocean when you're out there. I'll be back on the board in no time, that's for sure.
Saturday was the last day of our little adventure. We took the ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento and even got to see some dolphins on the way to the peninsula! We stopped in Sorrento for their infamous vanilla slice and had lunch in sleepy Flinders. On the way home back to Jess's house we visited Arthur's seat from where you can get a beautiful view over the whole peninsula. The hill was named after Acting Lieutenant John Murray for an apparent resemblance to the hill of Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland which was his home city. Back at Jess's house we had a typical Aussie BBQ with her parents, her sisters Rachel and Carly and their partners Dave and Andrew. 

Unfortunately, Jess managed to catch a cold and was too sick to surf with me but she picked me up from my lesson and showed me Bells Beach which is famous within the surf community for big competitions held throughout summer. We had lunch in Torquay and then stayed the night in Queenscliff, a sleepy little town with literally NOTHING to do for people below the age of retirement status. Also Jess didn't feel well at all so we just took advantage of our beautiful apartment that we had booked for the night and stayed in watching TV!

Before dropping me back off in Bundoora Jess, Dave and I spend the afternoon at the Moonlit Sanctuary in Pearcedale where I got to feed a wallaby and its joey and later had a few beers and pizzas at the Mornington Brewery.  

All in all, I had one hell of a midterm break - that's for sure! 

The next three to four weeks will mainly consist of handing in essays and working at the café. I'm going to Tasmania  for a few days with one of my housemates next month and when I get back from that it's already time to say goodbye to Melbourne. Time flies, people!

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