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Leaving the Sea for the City

Tuesday 25th August 2015

sunny 14 °C

Today we would be driving the last bit of the Great Ocean Road and making our way to Melbourne for a two night stay. We had been really grateful for a warm and restful night's sleep and had no regrets at changing our booking. Once we had checked out we retraced our steps eastward driving past the Pebble Point glamping sight as we went. The road then turned inland and up through the start of the Otway National Park. There were lots of sharp bends and steep climbs as I drove the car up to the top if the ridge. Although the scenery was lovely I was hoping for some viewpoints but there were very few until we started to drop back southwards and towards the ocean.

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Our first break was at a lovely place called Castle Cove. The biggest challenge was getting into the lay-by which involved me going in the wrong way and then doing what was a probably an illegal manoeuvre to pull back in the right way (thank goodness for quiet Australian roads). It was a short walk to the viewing point overlooking the bay, which was clearly a popular place to stop as several other cars pulled in while we were there. Looking away from the coast the scenery was also very beautiful and looked to me a little like the lowlands of Scotland, which made me wonder whether this had contributed to the naming of the local area as Glenaire.

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There was nowhere to stop for refreshments at Castle Cove, which was probably a good thing as it would have taken away its relative tranquility, so we were soon on our way again.

The road (despite still being called the Great Ocean Road) turned north again and we were soon heading inland, again winding up the hillside. Although this stretch of road was longer, it was less winding and it wasn't long before the coast was in view again.

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Shortly after we reached the town of Apollo Bay, having taken a short detour to look at the harbour and an area known as Marengo.

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It was nearing lunchtime and we managed to find a small (and slightly bohemian) cafe where we both had soup and garlic bread (which was a risky choice for me). We were aware that we still had nearly three hours before we would be at our Melbourne hotel, so we got on our way as soon as we could. We stopped a couple of times to look at the view but generally it was foot down and with the focus on getting to the city.

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We did stop briefly for a comfort break at a place called Lorne and were surprised to see two large red kangaroos, one hopping about in a residential area close to the beach and another standing in the middle of a roundabout! Shortly afterwards the road headed north towards the city. By this time Nigel had taken over the driving and it wasn't long before we joined the motorway. We needed to fill up with fuel before we returned the car, although it was a bit stressful I eventually managed to navigate us to a filling station. Once we had done this it was only a short drive to South Yarra where we were staying and also where we needed to deliver the car. We had just enough time to check in and drop off our luggage.

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Once we had done this we relaxed for a couple of hours before going out to eat at a local Italian restaurant. I had pizza and Nigel went for seafood pasta. Unfortunately he thought that the mussels were off and although his meal was replaced without argument, the experience had put him off his food and made him feel a bit queasy. We went back to the hotel and fortunately he very quickly felt alright and there were no lasting ill effects. After all the driving we were ready for a good nights sleep.

Posted by Gill's Travels 05:13 Archived in Australia Tagged sea melbourne great_ocean_road australia

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