On January 1, 2013 some friends I hadn’t seen since 1976
arrived from Saskatchewan, Canada. One of the planned excursions was a drive along
The Great Ocean Road.
This shot, inside Lochard Gorge, was taken near
the end of that day.
The temperature was 44 degrees Celsius/111 degrees F
and the bitumen in the car park was melting.
It was summer.
Another sign that summer is on its way is
the erection of the Geelong Ferris wheel.
is the Ferris Wheel on Geelong’s Foreshore.
A few days ago construction still had not begun
so I assume summer is a few weeks away.
January 4th, 2013 at Lochard Gorge.
Bitumen in the car park was melting
and after climbing down the steps to the sand
all I wanted to do was walk over to the shade,
and there seemed to be twice as many steps
back up to car park level.
The temperature was 44 degrees Celsius, that day.
A few days later snapped this photo
of my Canadian friends with a top layer on.
I was still in shorts.
My contribution for this week’s
for a short period, of time stretched across
the gutter’s edge in the foreground.
Fast forward to January 4, 2013 and I am
driving along the Great ocean Road showing
my Canadian friends its beauty.
This is Lochard Gorge.
The bitumen in the car park was melting and
it was the only time I did not walk around
to a cave on the left of shot due to the heat.
Temperature around 44 degrees Celsius, or just over 110°F.
My contribution for this week’s
Word of the Week Challenge…
These boats are moored securely….
I have often been down inside Loch Ard Gorge, one of Western Victoria’s well-known tourist attractions.
The gorge is where the two sole survivors of the wrecked Loch Ard were washed ashore on June 1, 1878.
However, on January 4th, 2013, with temperatures reaching 44 degrees Celsius,
I had never felt the sand as hot as inside the Gorge as on that day.
Blistering, was the only way to describe the heat.
As soon as I saw Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge was Summer my mind immediately returned to Friday January 4, 2013.
I had planned a drive along The Great Ocean Road to show my Canadian friends one of Australia’s major tourist attractions.
It was about mid-afternoon before we reached one of the last stops, Loch Ard Gorge. The temperature had passed 40 degrees and the bitumen in the car park was beginning to melt and break up under the weight of tourist buses and light traffic.
I have been into the Gorge on many occasion….
…however, on this day, after five or six hours driving, searing heat and the lack of breeze when down on the sand, had me wishing I had picked a cooler day. Even in the shade of the cliff was too hot…..but it was summer.
Fortunately the drive home was a lot quicker using inland roads. If you ever visit the Great Ocean Road it is a slow, beautiful drive. Setting out early from Melbourne or Geelong should see you comfortably in Warrnambool for an overnight stay. Conversely a long day trip is possible of you plan to return on quieter, straighter inland highways. By turning inland at Port Campbell you will have a quick two-hour drive to Geelong.
Lochard Gorge is named after the ship Loch Ard which ran aground in a stormy night losing all souls aboard except for Eva Carmichael and Tom Pearce (both 18 years old) who managed to swim ashore, ending up in the gorge. There is a small cemetery nearby where crew members and passengers whose bodies were recovered are buried.
It is only a short drive to Port Campbell where we stopped long enough to re-hydrate and cool down a little…..okay we stopped at a pub! My Canadian friends would have called it a Bar. It was only a short stop, before heading inland for the two hour drive home after an enjoyable, but extremely hot, day.
The scenery along the Great Ocean Road can be breath taking and there are plenty of photo opportunities along the drive.
When I first visited this area there was a rough car parking area and only natural footpaths.
In recent years a modern car park and conveniences have been built on the inland side of the Great Ocean Road adjacent to the heliport.
Visitors have a five to ten minute walk, crossing under the Great Ocean Road, to reach the Twelve Apostles. In the 40 degree Celsius heat we experienced that day the walk seemed much longer……or is it that my legs are ageing?
Once out of the underpass it is a short, easy walk on a boardwalk to the Apostle still joined to the mainland. From this vantage point many Twelve Apostles images have been taken by visitors from all over the world.
In the photo below you can see that there was a path right out to the end of this Apostle. I dare say that due to erosion, the narrow path and increasing numbers of visitors public safety has become paramount.
Earlier this year I played tour guide for some Canadian friends whom I had not seen for around thirty-five years. I spent several weeks planning an itinerary which would I hoped would repay them for the hospitality they showed me when visiting Canada.
Commencing at the Geelong end is better for two reasons. First, in Australia we drive on the left side of the road, so driving from East to West gives everyone better views of the rugged coastal. Second reason, is that the sun is behind you all the way which makes the drive more relaxing.
The planned trip also offered me a chance to use my Nikon D90.