Our next episode on the Great Ocean Road was probably the most exciting one. That day we started from Lorne to Port Campbell, which is the most famous part of the whole road.
But before arriving at the famous Twelve Apostles, we had something different on our travel schedule: Koala bears! At Kennet River you will find a lot of Koalas in the trees. You just have to walk or drive up the little Grey River Road. First it’s hard to see the Koalas in the trees, but once you spotted one you will see the bears all over! It is also a good place to see canaries. They were not shy at all and were coming down on us to be feeded.
We had a fun time there. But sadly it started to rain, so we jumped back in the car to go to Port Campbell and the Twelve Apostles. When we arrived at the first apostles we were already very excited. Those huge rocks in the sea look very impressive. After a quick stop at the beach we went on to the look-out from where you could all the twelve of the apostles.
When you continue your journey along the Great Ocean Road after visiting the Twelves Apostles, you will find a lot more stunning rock formations in the sea such as London Arch, Loch Ard Gorge or the Grotto. It was a stormy day and the sea was wild. You could feels the salty spray of the sea in you face. I really liked the rough atmosphere. Everything was changing second after second: the waving grasslands, the foaming sea, the clouds in the sky. Just the huge rocks stood still like they always had.
After the short stay in Melbourne we continued our road trip to the Great Ocean Road, which goes along the south coast from Torquay to Allensford. This road is just about 250 km long, but still there is a lot of beautiful (nature) places to see, so you will stop a lot. There are still some kilometers to go from Melbourne to Torquay. From the the road starts to curl along the shore line. On our way we stopped every now and then to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
One of the touristy attractions on that part was the Split Point Lighthouse. A very white lighthouse enthroned on the green spring coast. That day it was not possible to go up the spire. From there you also enjoy a very nice and wide view over the cost and some impressive rocks in the water. It was a very sunny day, so we sat down on one of the wooden benches, letting the wind blow our hair wild.
We then went on to Lorne. It was not too easy to find a hostel there, but finally we found some place to stay in a very nice pension in the rainforest where the cockatoos were lingering on the terraces, the roofs of the guesthouses and in the trees. Unfortunately the operator of the place was some kind of a cleaning maniac and a choleric. But if this doesn’t agitate you, you will enjoy you stay in the wonderful green place.
My two friends, a Dutch friend of them and me, we rented a small baby blue car to go on our road trip. The route started in Sydney. That first day we just spend in the car to go directly to Melbourne. It was beautiful to see how much even in those few hours the landscape outside of the car was changing. When we arrived in Melbourne it was already dark and the city was looking so exciting. I did not expect such a skyline and such a variety of buildings and bridges. It was beautiful. We stopped in a messy party hostel in the district of St. Kilda.
We had some cheap and greasy pizza and a too expensive pint of beer that evening. That road which is going along the sea in St. Kilda is were the backpackers and the party people go. Actually I didn’t like it that much: people were dressed up to kill, too drunk, the music in the bars and in the streets was bad. So we went to bed soon to seize the day in Melbourne the next morning.
That next day we wandered around St. Kilda. It’s much nicer here during the day. There are a lot of colorful small houses with little shops and lots of bakeries. The beach is not a very special one, but wherever there is some sea – it’s worth a visit! And you should come and see the old amusement park.
This is our travel plan for the next ten days. We will start the trip in Sydney, go directly to Melbourne and then step by step along the Great Ocean Road and back.
After my stay in the Philippines I took a plane to Sydney, Australia. Two good friends are staying in the district of Darlinghurst for a few months and asked me to come over for a visit. And so did I.
I had not a lot of time to go around the city, cos we were leaving the next day for a trip to Melbourne and Great Ocean Road. But still, my first impression of Sydney is: it’s clean, has a lot of green spots, but it’s not the cosy kind of city. And on the contrary to most of the people who have been to Australia – I do not think people are very friendly. But maybe it’s just Sydney. We’ll see.
After spending some days in southern Luzon, seeing Mt Mayon, Cagsawa, the whale sharks and the firefliesin Donsol – I made my way up the map again to Manila. I took a special Route along the beautiful coastline from Legazpi to Sagnay.
Most of the time I spend in Jeepneys, enjoying the view of the stunning coastline. Here and there I stopped over night and made some short trips to paradisiac islands and national parks. I spend one night in Naga to take an overnight bus back to Manila, cos I was about to meet my Filipino friend Gilbert there.
After climbing Mount Mayon I decided to head for some river where you can see millions of fireflies at night. Ido and Noa, the Israelis who were climbing Mt Mayon with me, joined for the trip.To get to the fireflies you just have to ask around the tricycle drivers to take you to that fireflies river near Donsol (I guess its name was Ogod). They will give you a ride.
In Ogod we were getting on a boat and we sailed along the river as the sun was setting. From afar one could see a huge glooming spot, like someone was pointing with a torch on a tree. The closer we got the more one could the the bright and tiny fireflies, that make so much light. There were millions over millions in the mangroves. I have rarely seen something beautiful like this. When you looked up to the stars you were not sure where the fireflies ended and where the stars stated. It’s a pity you cannot catch these beautiful moments in pictures: it was too shaky on the boat to take pictures with slow shutter speed. But I will keep this beautiful experience in my mind.
It is as easy like that: take a bus from Legazpi to Donsol, go on a boat. Get some snorkelling gear and dive into the water.
There was another thing on my Philippine checklist. I wanted to climb a volcano – the Filipino way of course. Which means: it’s actually not safe to hike and climb up an active volcano without appropriate gear and no signal for your cell. But nevertheless: it’s adventure, it makes you feel yourself and nature and it makes you feels free. So me, two Israelis and some Filipino guides took this two day rough hike. The first day was easy. We spend the night in tents halfway on the volcano and got up at three in the morning to climb up before sunrise and heat. It was raining, so the extrusive lava rocks were slippery and sometimes we had to crawl on all fours. But when we arrived at the crater – it was amazing! The sky cleared up, it was so silent. There was nothing but sky and the smell of sulfur. Because the sulfur was so strong and we had no masks we had to go down again after a few minutes. That same day we went down all the way of the volcano. And I can tell: the next day I have had the worst aching muscles ever in my life. But it was worth it!
After a few days in Manila visiting the good old places I used to hang around and seeing some friends, I took the plane to southern Luzon, Legazpi. I wanted to climb Mount Mayon, which actually is a volcano. But before starting the hiking trip I strolled around Mt Mayon with a Filipino I got to know in the streets. On his motorbike he took me to me to the best lookouts and to the town of Cagsawa which is buried under lava. Only the steeple lets one have a guess that there must have been a village.