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Whoops

Waking up to sunshine slipping in through uncovered portions of the campervan windows was an unexpected, although welcome, experience. The night brought spots of rainfall and less than ideal temperatures with it. The plan for the day was the same as the day before….just go do whatever we felt like doing. Possible activities for the day included capturing a kangaroo on film and checking out the crumbling coastline that has come to be known as The Twelve Apostles. We ended up driving the down the coast a couple hours and seeing The Twelve Apostles first. As with most pictures of magnificent natural formations, the ones I have of them really don’t do them justice at all. They really were incredible to see up close. Afterwards, we drove back up the coast to the area we had already been in and ended up camping at a campsite that was supposed to be excellent for spotting kangaroos. As it turns out, on the drive into the campsite we spotted a couple full grown kangaroos but were unable to get any photos of them. The rest of the time at the campsite proved to be a fruitless endeavor as far as kangaroo spotting went. We weren’t able to spot anymore the morning after camping there. So, we headed back up the coast to the town of Apollo Bay to do a little fishing. After an afternoon of fishing that resulted in more broken lines and near catches than actual caught fish we were enjoying an afternoon of football (American style) in the park when Nick received a call from the campervan rental agency. It turns out the we were supposed to have the vehicle back an hour ago. Whoops. The guy told us we wouldn’t have any charges for the extra night as long as we got the van back by the time they open the next morning at 7:30 a.m. After going over our options we decided that instead of waking up extremely early and trying to make it back to Melbourne in the morning, we would meander down the coastline towards Melbourne and get in late that night. Then we could find a spot to park the van, stay in it overnight, and return it in the morning. The relaxed drive back consisted of a stop at Erskine Falls. I had a friend back in Melbourne that did the Great Ocean Road drive the week before that was able to get some brilliant pictures of her at Erskine Falls. After hopping across the boulders in the river below the falls as if they were mother nature’s checkerboard I was able to get some great pictures up next to the falls. Back by the stairs that led to the parking lot I noticed a trail that led deeper into the forest. I contemplated whether or not I should navigate the trail in flip-flops, but only for a moment. I mean, really….how many chances are you going to get to explore tiny little overgrown trails that meander around a small river that seems to disappear into a foreign rainforest? For someone like me that lives to explore the outdoors, the decision was a rather easy one. It turns out that it was a good decision, since the trail ended up going to Straw Falls. The falls weren’t as spectacular as Erskine Falls, but they were climbable for people with experience in such a practice. After scurrying up the falls I was able to get some great photos of me standing right in the middle of the falls, half way up. That's enough exploring for one day...time to head back. I skidded the van to a halt on the road back to town when I noticed what looked like a kangaroo on the side of the road. Now that someone in Sydney has told me the difference between wallabies and kangaroos, I think it actually might have been a wallaby. Either way, I didn’t get a picture of it before it skipped into the foliage and was out of sight. Foiled again. On the way back to Melbourne we stopped at Bells Beach to cook dinner and watch the surfers get in a last few waves before sunset. It was a pretty awesome sight to see how skillfully some of the surfers navigated the waves as the sun dropped down over the horizon. We made it back to Melbourne and returned the van the next morning without incurring any extra charges. Definitely a nice way to end a great trip.

Posted by vegasmbj 15:56 Archived in Australia

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Sounds like a darn good time, Mike. Thanks for sharing the nice pictures. Straw falls look like loads of fun to climb!

by Jeff Dahl

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