Australia: Day 23 – 04.12.18……….M&A drive The Great Ocean Road!
It took a while for us to get going today. Alarms were set for 6.30am but we didn’t actually get out of bed until 8am. That’s what happens when you have a ‘spa day’, it totally relaxes the mind and the body. We completed today’s yoga challenge, packed and checked-out at 9.30am. We were aiming to catch the 10 o’clock ferry from Sorrento over to Queensville and we had under twenty five minutes to get there. Luck wasn’t on our side unfortunately as there were lots of roadworks to hold us up and we arrived just as the ferry was leaving. Not to worry, we were first in the queue for the next ferry. We went off to the local coffee shop and ordered two cappuccinos and two croissants, a light and fast breakfast this morning.
Thankfully the weather today was a lot calmer than yesterday. The sun was out, although still cloudy in places, but at least the sea was calm. It’s only a forty minute crossing but we wouldn’t have enjoyed the experience if it was as wet and windy as it had been yesterday. Sorrento seems a nice place, obviously a ‘well-to-do’ town if the clientele in the coffee shop was anything to go by. There was a table of ten women opposite us who looked like the ‘Housewives of Sorrento’ and then dotted around on other tables were the elite retirees, all enjoying their morning coffee.
It was a calm, if not breezy ferry crossing and after disembarking in Queensville we headed off in the direction of the Great Ocean Road, a very iconic piece of Australian history with stunning scenery all along. SatNav Sheila and Maice continued their double act, telling me where to go and guiding me in the right direction. We were heading to the town of Lorne where we would be staying the night which is about 70km along the coast road. It looks a nice place with some nice walks so we’re hoping to check-in about 1pm and then go explore. As it was, we didn’t arrive until 2pm as we kept stopping along the route to take photos of the views. We weren’t even at the most scenic part of the ocean road, which is tomorrow, so I’m sure it will take us all day to arrive at tomorrow’s destination.
We pulled into the driveway of the Lorne Bay View Apartments, just off the coast road in Lorne at 2pm. The exterior of the hotel was grey and drab and didn’t look particularly inviting. Oh well, we’ve stayed in some lovely hotels the past few days, we knew it couldn’t last. The guy on reception told us he’s the new owner and although our booking was for one double bed and a roll-away bed, he actually gave us a room with two queen beds and weren’t we surprised when we opened our door to find a really lovely room inside. The room was so fresh and inviting and even has a jacuzzi bath. I must say, the exterior really doesn’t do the rooms justice. Shame we overlook the carpark!
We unpacked and set off to explore. First stop, Tourist Information. On the way we encountered a group of white Parakeets with yellow head feathers. At first we thought they were quite cute, although a bit on the large size, until they started attacking people for their food, in fact they’re no better than the seagulls in Weymouth. What vicious blighters these ‘bully birds’ are and the noise they make, their screeching is so loud. We decided to keep a safe distance from them and not look them in the eye when walking past them, a bit like we did with the kangaroos! At the TI office we picked up a few leaflets and then walked along the boardwalk to the edge of town, past the river, over the bridge and onto the beach. What a lovely beach, the sand was so soft and it stretched for miles, just the sort of beach we thought Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas was going to be like.
We strolled along the beach paddling in the sea, doing some yoga poses, and watching the gulls actually washing themselves in the water and then headed back into town where we found a lovely little Italian bistro where we enjoyed an al-fresco glass of wine. Delicious. Just next door was Foodworks, the local supermarket. We thought we’d buy some provisions for tomorrow’s journey and a few bottles of wine to see us though the next two evenings. It was much more expensive here than Aldi’s, more like your Waitrose equivalent, we were even overcharged $4.50 for a packet of rolls and returned to the store to get a refund, which they gave us without any fuss at all.
Feeling peckish, we decided to go for an early supper, it was only 5.30pm but we hadn’t eaten since our croissants this morning so went to Chopsticks, a Thai/Chinese street cafe and had the most wonderful noodle soup with seafood. It was delicious and really warmed us up. Today’s temperatures rose no higher than 19 degrees but at least there was no cold wind today. Having enjoyed our early supper we went back to the hotel, cracked open the wine and poured over our road maps and tomorrow’s itinerary. Can you believe, one of those pesky parakeets only sat on our balcony, staring at us and screeching it’s head off. Scared the life out of Maice it did......