Finally... several more sets of photos uploaded. Here's the link:
Great Ocean Road
The road runs along the south coast of Victoria, between Torquay and Portland, SW of Melbourne. It's a formidable drive in spots... you HAVE to keep your eyes on the road, not the gorgeous coastline, or you could easily careen right off the edge. Off course, there were the usual aggressive drivers who know the road intimately, who just dogged our little Sheila, but we perservered and pulled over whenever possible to let them by. I have to say my legs were shaking at one point... some of the curves appeared to veer off into the ocean, far below.
The 12 Apostles are sandstone rock formations and arches that used to be part of the main lane. Eventually they will all erode. Now you can walk along the top, with only a few access points to the shore. This coastline is littered with shipwrecks, and the lighthouse we visited is one of many lights that lit up the coast for the ships that used to sail without any satellite or radar/sonar navigation. The Cape Otway lighthouse was the big highlight for ships sailing towards Australia from Europe/England, as they then knew they were close to their destination!
The koalas on Phillip Island (S of Melbourne) were brought there, and their population is slowly eroding due to human incursion -- buildings, roads, traffic. Koalas are susceptible to several diseases, including chlamydia. They also eat only one or two kinds of eucalyptus leaves, so once that environment disappears, there goes their habitat. They use eucalyptus leaves for both food and water, so when it was very hot, they were quite desperate. The koala spends 80% of its day sleeping -- the animal gets almost no energy from its one food source. The refuge has been created as a way to help save the population that remains on Phillip Island. By the way, several koalas pooed on us when were on our way to Cape Otway, and upon inspection, breaking open the little pellet, the product was a light green in colour!
We had the opportunity to try some basic surfing on the beach at Invergulf. We all tried it, with Gabe and Kai having the most success. But the rest of us had a lot of fun, and learned about rip tides, where to "catch the wave", and how to (try to) stand up!
Easy entertaining. Pickerel Cheeks - This is really such a delighfully simple dish to make. Great local ingredients that shine. Pickerel cheeks (yes, Walleye, to my non-local language puris...