It’s more about the journey than the destination (Day 161)
Off to the Great Ocean Road to see the remainder of the 12 Apostles, yet it was more about the journey than the destination in the end
Today is Anzac day, the anniversary from 1915 when Australian and New Zealand forces landed in Gallipoli as part of the Commonwealth with the ultimate objective to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul). Lest we forget. Sadly we do forget. We forget the anguish and pain that so many people have suffered during and after wars, the mental torment, the human sacrifice, there are still wars today happening, dreadful chemical warfare, killing and displacing thousands upon thousands Lest we forget. Do our leaders focus on the word “forget” I wonder?
Ok – what did the Grown Up travellers get up to today? Well today is a prime example that it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey. Our destination was to go and see the Twelve Apostles or should I say 8 and a stump? We got up earlier than usual, it was a long journey, 275km, and we didn’t want to leave Murphy on his own in the dark. Tim took him for his morning walk and I got our packed lunch ready plus hid some treats in the back yard for Murphy to find.
On our journey, I sensed it was time for a coffee stop so found a café online at Winchelsea that looked ok. Tim took the right turn, we parked the car and then noticed a different café. The reviews looked even better. What a friendly greeting we received. @CafeLaHoot is situated in the garage of the family home called Hoot House and run by Jacqui and her great team. While we were queuing, Tim started chatting to an elderly gentleman who’d just turned up in what looked like a kit car. We placed our order and went to sit outside. It was a bit chilly in the shade, so found a sunny position round a large table and joined this gentleman. A few more people of mature age joined us. It turns out that this merry gang meet up for coffee every morning. What a hoot we had with them. The gentleman was Graham. It wasn’t a kit car – he had made it! I mainly chatted to a couple with 4 grown up sons, 11 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. The man was 81, going on 71. He said his young looks were down to keeping active and drinking red wine. There was also Alex, a biker with his big bike behind us. What a character he was. Chatting about Hells Angels and the like. I think he may be been trying to freak me out – pha! Didn’t work – we did have a right giggle together though. Tim chatted to Graham, Cathy and her husband, and lots of guffawing was going on there. Alex zoomed off first, with a big roar from his bike. We all cheered. Then Graham needed to get on the road, and just before he did, he gave me a ring that he had made from an old Australian coin. How lovely is that! He also sped away after a few photos with us and his car. Tim videoed him going, but stopped filming just before he did the most almighty wheel spin! Damn – missed opportunity. We said goodbye to the rest and also the ladies in the café. Wow – what a lovely, unexpected time. This is what travelling is all about.
We eventually got down to see the remaining 8 Apostles, huge stacks up to 45m high of limestone created by the constant erosion by the Southern Ocean. They do look magnificent against the turquoise blue and frothing white of the sea and the smooth golden sand. These are an iconic sight for Australia and in the Lonely Planet’s top 500 places in the world, they give them 12th place! Now, they are impressive, but to be honest, both Tim and I think that the Pancake Rocks in New Zealand are just as spectacular and these aren’t included at all! Perhaps at sunrise or sunset they are more striking. Let me know what you think.
We had enough time to carry on driving along the Great Ocean Road towards Peterborough! And our next destination was London Bridge! Hang on a minute, Peterborough and London Bridge are 158km apart…ah in England they are, here they are just 8.7km away.
I wanted to revisit this place from 28 years ago. In fact the day I arrived in Australia on 15th January 1990, this London Bridge did actually fall down, well part of it. It used to be a double-arched rock platform linked to the mainland and the nearest arch collapsed stranding two tourists. They were later rescued by helicopter. As we were standing looking at this incredible rock formation, Tim noticed something up in the sky. It was a drone. He looked round and spotted the young guy controlling the machine. We got chatting with him, Doug from Sydney with his Drone called River, a Mavic Pro. Tim seemed a little bit too interested in this. He’ll have to get rid of a few pairs of shoes before even thinking about getting one of these!
It was time for us to start our long journey back. We stopped off at Colac, a small city in the Western District of Victoria. It became a settlement in 1837, and the founder was none other than Hugh Murray. (One of your ancestors Hugh?). After getting some petrol it was time for us to also get some fuel. We found @AnRey Hope Fairtrade coffee House and chatted to owners Richard and Jen. What a delightful couple and a delightful café. They both used to travel the world with a Christian Theatre company, often performing plays in schools about various issues such as bullying. They then got involved in a charity in the Philippines and go each year to support it. Their coffee and gift shop is Fairtrade which ensures that the workers get decent prices and work conditions. They shared with us how the café got its name. During time in the Philippines they supported a children’s home called “Door of Hope”. The children now are cared for in the community so the home no longer exists. And also in the Philippines they met an amazing artist called Anthony Rey Manzanilla - hence AnRey Hope….the place keeps evolving. We could have talked for ages. Perhaps our paths will meet again. Next time in the Philippines?
Another wonderful day – full of unexpected delightful conversations, so much more about the journey than the destination.