Great Ocean Road, Victoria
there were two parts of stories, about me visiting the scenic Great Ocean Road of Victoria. the first one was during our visit to the Otway site, where we managed to finish the work early, and requested our driver to drive us via GOR before went back to Melbourne. we approached GOR from the south/east side, taking the exit from Otway - Campbell , if i've not mistaken. we made a quick stop at Bay of Islands and the famous 12-apostles.
my second part was during the weekend, as i extended my stay. it was only me from the group that stayed, hence the only option i had was to sign up for a group tour. well.. there was plenty of companies that offered various kind of tours and for my case, i signed up for the 2 days Great Ocean Road - Grampian tour.
i checked-out from Sheraton after we went back from University of Melbourne for our last meeting. i had lunch with the group at one of the malaysian restaurant - Ipoh Cafe, if i've not mistaken, and then heading for another visit to buy mementos at the Victoria Market, before we ended up our day at the South Wharf Direct Factory Outlet. well..the place looks better than the Harbour Town which seemed passed its golden age already.
the group separated after we went back to Sheraton, to get our luggage. one of us was flying back that night, while others with own plan. i booked to stay at Fulton Tower, via Air BnB. Great and friendly host, but i didn't have much time to spend there, as i arrived when it was night time already, and the left early that morning , around 7am for my tour. Luckily, i had to wait for the bus to pick me up at Nomad Hostels which located just few blocks from the Fulton Tower.
it took a while. i mean the coaster-bus only came around 830am, after i made a call to the tour office, as well as saw few buses stopped by in front of the hostel, picking up passengers for their tours etc. I was warmly greeted by our driver cum-tour guide, Henning. a friendly and chatty german guy that has been living in Australia since his college days, with flawless oz accent. hehehe. Henning apologized for being late, as telling that one of the tyres needed to be replaced.
i hopped on the coaster with other a couple that waited with me in front of the hostel, and then proceed with the journey. we made few more stops around the city to pick up passengers before leaving Melbourne around 9am.
Henning reminds me Paul, the McBackpackers driver back when i went for Scotland tour, very much. Probably, a typical driver cum tourist guide traits where you have to be energetic, alert, humorous, ready with facts and talkative. Obviously, a long trip like this, everybody needed that. The ride started with a quick introduction once everybody on-board. I was the only Malaysian, assuming the two chinese ladies sitting next to me were Singaporean (they skipped the part on where they were from).
Our first stop of the day - the Urquhart Bluff Beach. known as one of the favourite spot for surfing. we had our morning break there - coffee, biscuits etc. anyway, i wasn't able to make friend yet at this time, and i guess most of the single travelers in the group were too. everybody seemed just on their own moment and space. i took a walk along the beach, and then back to the group for the coffee.
it was quiet morning there. nobody at the sea, surfing yet.