|The Great Ocean Road
|Mon, 17 Mar 2003 14:21:35 -0600
|Greetings from the Journey Down Under,
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
I am still in Melbourne, Australia and enjoying
the last vestiges of Indian Summer here. Today and tomorrow will be a high
33-35 degrees Celsius (in the 90’s) and then it will be cooling off to 18-20
(in the 60’s) and rain…a much more proper Melbourne type day in the
autumn. Since I am following the summer on this journey, that means it is
time to head north. I will be leaving for Bangkok, Thailand this Friday
Last week was a fantastic week of touring and introspection. My friend,
Ron, from Austin, is here teaching part of his facilitator course with Mike
(whom I am staying with in Melbourne) from RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute
of Technology). Anyway, they teach the first module in the lovely seaside
town of Lorne…about two hours south west of Melbourne. We hired (rented)
a car and I was able to explore for the week on my own while they taught.
I can’t tell you what a freedom it was to have an automobile. Something I
have taken for granted since age 20. I had no problems driving on the left
side. In fact, since November, everywhere I have been has been left hand
road driving. so, even as a passenger you do get used to it quickly. My
difficulty came with turning on the windscreen (shield) wipers every time I
attempted ot turn. You see, the wipers and the blinkers are opposite of
ours. Thank god the brake and the accelerator are not reversed!
I traveled west, down the Great Ocean Road for the week and stayed at
delightful little towns along the coast. This rugged coastline is one of
the most beautiful in the entire world. On one side are the Otway Ranges
complete with fern tree rainforests and on the other side are sheer cliffs
into the ocean with beautiful, pristine beaches tucked inbetween rocky
The 12 Apostles in Port campbell National Park is the most famous seascape
rock formation in the country. These rock outcroppings, light gold in
colour, are magnificent along the beach as the Great Southern Ocean waves
constantly pound them. As the sun changes positions throughout the, so
changes the colour and the “feel” of the apostles. To stand in the viewing
platform near them is a party for your senses as you smell and taste the
clean, pure salt water below and feel the power of the place. It is the
kind of place you can imagine your God talking to you.
All along the coast are several stunning stops…The Loch Ard Gorge, The
London Bridge, the Arch, the Grotto and the Blowhole. A few times, I almost
didn’t stop, but the raw beauty of each naturally carved rock was worth a
walk to view it. It was also so nice to see no development. Untouched by
human hands, as it were.
As an added bonus, I was able to capture photos of several koalas in the
wild. They are such beautiful creatures and sadly, near the point of
They feed only on certain types of eucalypt and are very
sensitive to changes in their habitat. They are losing their habitat
I was alone all week and chose to eat take-away meals quietly on beaches or
at picnic areas in national parks and rainforests (there has not been much
rain, as Australia has been in a terrible drought). I had lots of time to
find peaceful places and think about the world and my life. It is a luxury
few of us get, since we are usually caught up in day to day madness of the
world. I wish I could solve some of the world’s problems. Hell, I wish I
could solve some of my own problems! But it was interesting because time
seemed to move very slowly. A sensation I would say most of the western
world is not used to.
In my introspection, I know I am passionate about this earth and the
horrible way that humans are treating it. The mines we are stripping, the
forests we are destroying, the oceans we are polluting, the ozone we are
depleting, and the sensitive plants and animals that we are killing to
extinction. All of those that were created on this earth for the perfect
circle of life. Alas, it is not so perfect anymore. And then there is war.
Are the Americans helping to save the world from weapons of mass
destruction, a mad dictator and terrorism or is the true axis of evil oil,
greed and money? Something to ponder, if you can find the time.
I have changed the course of the journey a bit, since Nepal is quite
dangerous at the present time. Of course, there is this crazy Asian virus
that is killing people and plenty of political unrest in North Korea and the
Malaysian Muslim extremists. Where is safe anymore?
I will send more updates from the wild, unusual and amazing city of Bangkok
next week. Love to all.