Great Ocean Road

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Annnnd I’m back. Sorry for the silence on Facebook, but I’ve had a bunch of stuff going on, some of it fun, but not all of it. I took a tour down to a beautiful part of South Australia called the Great Ocean Road, then spent overnight at Grampians National Park. That was the fun bit.

Kangaroos in the mist
Kangaroos in the mist

 

Tuesday morning, I watched wild kangaroos grazing in a field while sipping my cup of coffee. I won’t deny, a very cool way to start the day. But no Internet. When I got back to civilization, I found that my laptop had developed another problem and that it wouldn’t take a charge anymore, so off I went in search of an Apple Store. Once that was fixed, I plugged into the hostel’s wi-fi, only to find that it was dead. Shit. Apparently a light drizzle will take down the Internet here. So I headed out to meet Pat and Leah, a very cool couple who live outside of Melbourne that I first met on a tour in Thailand. We decided on Thai food for dinner, naturally, and spent the next several hours catching up over a delicious meal that they picked up the tab for (thanks guys!) They dropped me off at the hostel afterwards where I found that the wi-fi was up and I could finally get down to business, catching up with e-mail and podcasts and such. I was getting ready to post some photos when I noticed that I had lost Internet again, this time for exceeding my maximum usage for the day. Double shit! Yeah, this hostel has free Internet, but you are limited to 200 MB/day. I really, really, really hate the way the vast majority of hostels I have seen in Australia limit/charge for Internet access. Nowhere else on my trip has it been like this and I don’t understand it at all. Considering the prices I’ve been paying to stay here, they should be throwing in unlimited wi-fi, free beer and a complimentary foot massage. But just two more days here before I head off to New Zealand, so I’ll muddle through somehow. Hopefully, things will be better once I get to the Shire. Oh, and I haven’t forgotten about the shark feed video from the Great Barrier Reef. Unfortunately, that file is over 1GB. With my Internet usage currently capped at 200MB/day, posting it will obviously have to wait. Maybe the Hobbits will have more lenient Internet access policies.

Anyway, the title of this post is Great Ocean Road, so I should talk about that a bit too.
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Inspired by the Pacific Coast Highway, civil engineers built the Great Ocean Road to show off the coast’s natural beauty, open up rural areas that up until then were only accessible by boat and to give soldiers returning from World War I something to do. It was also built as a tribute to the men who died in that war, making it the world’s longest war memorial. It is about 150 miles (243 km) long and took 14 years to complete.

The photo at the top of the post is from a rock formation on the Great Ocean Road know as London Bridge. The name made sense at the time, as there used to be another rock arch that spanned that big gap, so the whole formation loosely resembled the London Bridge. Unfortunately, the first arch collapsed in 1990. Note to self – if ever called on to name a natural rock formation, try to avoid naming it after a structure whose tendency to fall down is well known to any six-year-old. Funny story – a couple was actually trapped out there on the rock when the arch fell. They ended up being rescued by a news helicopter but were strangely silent when it came to giving interviews. Turns out that it was a businessman and his secretary, and they weren’t exactly on a business trip. There is much more natural beauty along the route and I’d post more photos but…you guessed it…I am going to hit my 200 MB limit again very soon, so I’ll put those up on Facebook when the Internet gods allow.

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