We spent the whole of today driving the 40kms scenic loop that is the Great Ocean Drive, stopping all the way along the route for long walks and lookouts. We have driven along beautiful stretches of coast before in South Africa (The Garden Route) and California (Big Sur Drive), but this was way better than either of those. Maybe because of the intensity of the light here – the sun made the deep blue water sparkle all the way along and the wind gave us really BIG waves – awesome. A piece of street art in the town carries the message “Wanju Kepa Kurl Boodja” – aboriginal for welcome to the land where the water lies like a boomerang and driving the Great Ocean Drive, you can see how apt a welcome this is.
Sensational West Beach was our first stop. Sharks have a breeding ground on the two islands just offshore from the beach. Locals tell tales of men eaten whole – they don’t find any remains – by the ‘big bitey” (AKA White Pointer shark). Aussies have a refreshingly fatalistic attitude to these risks though. The guy we talked to on the beach rationalised that it made life exciting and you’re going to go somehow anyway so you may as well not worry about it and enjoy every day. Good advice I reckon.
The road wound round through Twilight Beach – voted Australia’s most beautiful beach to our lunch stop at Eleven Mile Beach. It was pretty peaceful when we arrived, but four motorbikes soon arrived and sped down the beach right in front of us. These guys were taking fun to a whole new level – WA is one of the few places in the world where you can still drive right along the beach.
Lamingtons. An Australian cake, made from squares of cake coated in an outer layer of chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut. The thin mixture is absorbed into the outside of the sponge cake and left to set, giving the cake a distinctive texture – delicious.