Great Ocean Road: 19th/20th November 2015
When we’d finished our beach walk at Apollo Bay, we climbed back into the minibus, and drove up the hill to the Beacon Point Ocean View Villas, where we were to stay the night. This is a complex of self-catering cabins that does exactly ‘what it says on the tin’ … offers great views of the ocean and the town and its eponymous Bay.
We didn’t self-cater, though. After a quick freshen-up, it was back on the minibus for a short drive to the excellent ‘Chris’s Restaurant’. Its main feature is a Greek-based cuisine, which frequently alternates with Chinese and Italian for the Number One spot on my ‘favourites’ list. I had a delicious Beef Stifado, followed by the best baklava I’ve ever tasted.
And there was, again, a stupendous view, although we didn’t see it to the best advantage, because it was getting dark. But, I loved the atmosphere. It vaguely reminded me of the Troodos Hills in Cyprus, where, if the restaurant was somehow transported, it wouldn’t have looked out of place.
It rained heavily through the night and was still misty and drizzly the next morning, when we drove down the hill into Apollo Bay, for breakfast at the Bay Leaf cafe. It was a meal to be lingered over, and the weather had cleared up considerably by the time we finished. And, we still had time for a quick wander around the town, before hitting the road again.
Our first call of the day was at the temperate rain forest of the Great Otway National Park … and if they call it a ‘rain forest’, I suppose a certain amount of rain is to be expected. This was a bit of a surprise for me. I didn’t expect to come across a rain forest so far south.
We took a short walk down the hill through the forest’s gigantic ferns, down to the bottom, where, half-hidden by the overhanging fronds, a little stream cascaded over the rocks. There wasn’t much to see in the way of wildlife, apart from some rather unappetising-looking snails. But, for the kind of stuff I visualised … we were on the wrong continent!