Starting the Great Ocean Road

Today was the start of the proper part of our road trip. With Kevin now officially on holidays for a week it was time to start our drive along the Great Ocean Road. Packing is always more of an ordeal than you expect and with Kevin’s work sending things home with us, we didn’t end up with the extra space we had expected. After Kevin rearranged and packed the car we set off about 8.30. Our first stop was Geelong, where we charged the Tesla and walked over to a nearby petrol station to buy Pie Face for breakfast. Not the ideal choice but it was what was on offer. We decided to try the vegan sausage rolls and I’m pleased to report we both enjoyed them (though I did need tomato sauce on mine to cut the meaty flavour). By the time we had finished eating the car was almost fully charged, and we headed of to Torquay. First up, the Australian National Surfing Museum. I’m obviously not a surfer but it’s something I find fascinating and they have quite the collection.

Kevin really wasn’t interested in this museum at all but he knows I enjoy it so was a good sport about it. I found it interesting reading about the origins of surfing in Australia. And we watched some of a documentary, part of which focused on women in surfing and how big a roll the movie Gidget played in making surfing more popular with women. Another thing I learned was that skating boarding was invented by a surfer.

On the way out I made a little purchase at the gift shop and then we visited a number of the nearby surf shops to try and find a part for the gopro – I’m missing the part that attaches it to the car mount ! Sadly only one sold any parts but only for the older models. Apparently either surfers no longer use go-pros or they (like Kevin) already have ALL the parts they need.

I had two places listed as lunch options for today. – both of which were vegetarian. We drove to the first one Ginger Monkey – which looked really cute but there wasn’t really anything on the menu that we felt like and I don’t think either of us were feeling this cafe. We decided to hop back in the car, drive to Bunnings (for Kevin to pick up some double sided tape to try and fix my cameras wind muff) and then drive to my other suggestion – Little Things Big Things cafe. This turned out to be another cute cafe but empty when we arrived and thankfully had more appealing things on the menu. I opted for the create your own salad and Kevin had a peanut butter & jelly chia pudding.

Before leaving Torquay we visited the Super IGA to pick up a few things including dinner. I got very excited to discover they had Gardein Mandarin Chicken – just one packet left, which I scored. I’m sure they usually had more varieties but the shelves were empty. They had quite the number of vegan products and I picked up a few other goodies. A quick stop in at Bakers Delights for some bread…

Then it was time to visit Bells Beach. We stopped at the carpark, took photos and Kevin flew the drone. I wasn’t feeling up to walk to the viewing area. As we were leaving Kevin pulled into the next carpark (since I told him we had to stop at ALL the lookouts today) and it turned out we could see Bells Beach from here. No walking required. Silly thing is I think we did exactly the same thing on our visit here in 2008.

Not too far from here was the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery. Loved the caution sign on the way in. There was a viewing area that you could see chocolates being made but this is mainly a store. A very beautiful store I must say, esp. with their Christmas items. Kevin found quite a few things he wanted to buy, and we got some stocking stuffers for the kids. And of course I got a few of the vegan chocolates to try. And since it’s an ice creamery Kevin felt he had to have one. They did have a few vegan sorbet options but I didn’t have any.

Back in the car (yep, there was LOTS of in and out of the car today) again and we were off.

We thought we must have missed the memorial arch but finally I spotted it, yelling at Kevin to pull over into the parking bay. I mean have you really driven the Great Ocean Road if you don’t have a photo with the sign? :-).

From here there were many, many photos stops (I won’t bore you with pictures from all of them).

The town of Lorne was especially pretty. At first I didn’t get why it was such a popular town, and then I spotted the beach… and this was at a cloudy moment in time !! Kevin flew the drone again but didn’t get any photos.

Finally around 5.30pm we arrived at our airbnb. Right on the Great Ocean Road in a cute little area/town called Sugarloaf. And boy did we hit the jackpot.

Can you believe that view? From the couch and from the bed !! Once we lugged up all the luggage (yep, the downside of this place is stairs) we sat and enjoyed some tea while watching the waves for a good hour or so. Later Kevin cooked up the Mandarin Chickn, which we enjoyed while watching some vlogs.

A great surprise was that, though we faced South, we still managed to see the sunset from the balcony.

A “home” day

Today was Kevin’s last work day for this week and our last day in St Kilda and so I decided to have a day “at home” before the real part of the road trip begins. I took the opportunity to do some laundry (Kevin made up a great make- shift clothes line), paint my nails, start on packing and trying to catch up on blog posts and editing vlogs. I’d forgotten just how long it takes to edit a travel vlog so I’m not able to keep up with those on a daily basis.

We have been facetiming with the Groodles (and CHristy) at least once a day, which has been lovely and helped not to miss them so much. Today Christy sent us is this cute photo of them looking out the front window.

Breakfast was the “usual”, lunch was a packet vegan mushroom mac n cheese (which tastes better than it looks) and for dinner I made taco.

I got as much as possible packed tonight so we didn’t have too much to do in the morning. And we were treated to another storm – this one even made the city disappear.

Exploring the Melbourne Botanical Gardens

This morning we were treated to a lovely sunrise – even though our main windows face West. It was another work day for Kevin and I decided to have breakfast (another Turkish roll with salad) and then catch the tram to the gardens. It was another hot day and was already approaching 30C by the time I arrived there just before 10am. I was a little unsure where the entry was as they are extending the underground train lines but I quickly worked it out. There were some photos showing how the streets and trams used to look like, which was pretty interesting.

Then its a walk uphill…

to the Shrine of Remembrance.

After stopping to take photos I continued my walk around the Shrine and across the roads to the gardens. At the Visitors Center I checked in for my bus tour around the gardens. Since she guessed I was Libby I was thinking no-one had pre-booked. Since I still had half an hour till my tour I had a look in the gift store (and made a few purchases).

I then walked over to the meeting point (past the kids water play area – which was nicely hidden behind a hedge) and the strange creatures in the kids garden. I then found a spot on the grass under the shade of a tree to wait.

Meanwhile Kevin was hard at work in the HOT sun on a rooftop installing starlink.

Finally at 11am the bus turned up, and I set out on my private bus tour. This was really good way to see and learn about the gardens and I really enjoyed it. The gardens are very large and there is no way I could have walked all around it.

After the tour I set off on foot to explore some more and take close up photos of the flowers.

There was also one tree that was full of lorikeets screeching and eating lunch.

One area I particularly wanted to explore was Fern Gulley. Being a “rainforest” area it was nice and cool so extra lovely on this hot day. I walked throughout the boardwalk area and sat for awhile to rest and relax.

I really enjoyed my time here but did find it challenging getting around – not sure if it was me or the map but I eventually found my way back to the visitors center. I had finished all my water so bought myself an orange juice and a lemon squash. I drank the OJ on my way back to the tram. I later tried the lemon squash but it was horrible – I didn’t realize it was brewed. i had to wait quite a bit of time for my tram (I assume I had just missed one) but eventually I got back to the apartment, feeling happy, but rather hot and tired. I quickly assembled an asian noodle salad for lunch and then put my feet up to relax and enjoy it.

It was actually only an hour or so later that Kevin returned home from his work day. Shortly afterwards a big storm rolled through. It was quite the sight from up on the 12th floor. And amazingly enough to cleared up enough for us to be treated to a beautiful sunset.

We ordered in dinner again tonight as I was still suffering with sore feet (I think more from the heat and fibro than anything else). After some debate we decided on potato bowls – which we really enjoyed.

Exploring St. Kilda’s Botanical gardens

Today was a work day for Kevin so we didn’t have the slow, lazy morning we had been having. Kevin left just after 8am. I put on a load of washing while I decided what to do with the day. It was going to be a hot one – over 30C all afternoon so I decided it would be best to get out in the morning and go on a walk to and around the local botanical gardens.

It was supposed to take 15mins to walk there and though it seemed longer (probably because much of the walk was alongside the busy St. Kilda road, it was right on 15mins when I walked in the gates.

I spent the next hour wandering around, sitting to rest for a little bit, and stopping to take lots of photos and videos.

The pond area was lovely, especially once they started the statue fountain

I really enjoyed my walk around the gardens and because of all the trees it wasn’t even too hot.

I found a different route home, off the main road, past some lovely homes with yet more flowers.

I was pretty hot and tired by the time I arrive back at the apartment. But I also felt very rather accomplished. I ate my breakfast (turkish rolls with vegan cheese spread & salad) while I cooled down. Then I draped the washing around the place (mostly in the 2nd bathroom) since there was no drying rack to be found, before showering and getting dressed. I spent the afternoon editing vlogs and writing blog posts. Lunch was some of the leftover pizza. I added some pineapple this time.

Kevin arrived home about 3pm. I cut up some watermelon for an afternoon snack and then a few hours later we ordered a delivery for dinner. I can’t remember the name of the place but it was totally vegan.

I was excited to be able to order ANYTHING I wanted. We both got the Wonton soup. Then shared some “chicken” satay sticks, spring rolls and dumplings. It was ALL delicious.

And of course, another lovely sunset to end the day.

This entry was posted in Travel.