Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Great Ocean Road: Part II

The drive along the Victorian coast is pretty. Pretty is a boring word. I can't say it is the prettiest view I have ever seen throughout my years of traveling, but it is impressive, if not memorable. It's definitely a drive you're glad you've done - it's in all the top lists of Australian sights, after all. But once is enough. (unless anyone wants to come visit, then I'll definitely go again with you!)
  I suppose because the road is so long, that after hours of driving, it gets a bit repetitive, even though the ocean is always an inexhaustible companion on a road trip. The road veers inland for a bit, through unfurnished fields and modest farms lacking mobile reception to the outside world, until all of a sudden the ocean welcomes you back to what you recognise as the Great Ocean Road and reminding you of the purpose of your rambling drive. Directional road signs reappear gesturing towards a parking lot to welcome you to the most famous and most photographed spot along the road: the Twelve Apostles.
After a couple hours of driving and still dim sunlight in the sky, we decided to stop instead of saving the views for the following day. We arrived at dusk, as the tourist information centre was closing, but being a natural landscape, the viewing deck was still open.

After driving along the windy, curvy, cliff-dropping Great Ocean Road, the Tweleve Aposotles makes the drive worthwhile, as though you've accomplished something, something to check of your list of things to see, but I couldn't say it is exactly breath-taking. Don't get me wrong. The limestone stacks which used to be part of the main land but have eroded from years of harsh waves and forcible winds are extraordinary. Striking. Monumental. Remarkable. Stunning. 

We were lucky to visit when we did at dusk and without the summer crowds so that we had space to absorb the sight we left only because it was getting dark and we didn't know where we were staying for the night or what the next town along the road would offer. In that sense, it is a rewarding destination, but it is a lot of hype for the same pictures you can see online - you know what you are going to see and expect, but need to see it for yourself, kinda like the Eiffel Tower. 

That's sorta the funny thing about the internet. You see all these places you want to witness and enjoy for yourself, and if you're lucky, the places won't be deceiving from glorified photos, but in exchange, you already know what you're going to see and lose a bit of that  breathless expectation.

It's quite impressive that no more then wind and water created this natural formation, causing caves that washed away to become arches until those crumbled to sole stacks. You can't see all the Twelve Apostles from the viewing deck, and apparently, in 2005 one of the "apostles" collapsed leaving what is today only eight, so it is definitely a site you want to see before it erodes and disappears completely. 

Oh, Instagram.
(this one below is the only one instagram-ed, the other ones are untouched!)

No comments: