I was finding it hard to believe that this road trip was going to have to come to an end. For being just over two weeks, I still feel like this trip was such a big part of my time in Australia. It was complete and total freedom – no jobs, limited cell reception. Just the girls, the car, and pretty much whatever we wanted to do. I had absolutely nothing planned for when I arrived in Melbourne except the vague concept of ‘get a job and enjoy the city for two to three months’. That plan got pretty heavily derailed, but more on that later.
It was a long drive out of South Australia everything was so dry. The whole countryside seemed thirsty and tired.
But we did finally make it into Victoria, the final leg of our journey together.
Just after we passed the state border, we were discussing the possibility of a wombat sighting. We passed into a forest, and came around a bend to see a shape in the middle of the road. Not a wombat, but a koala.
The car screeched to a halt, we pulled over and all three of us flew out of the car – door left open, shoes forgotten on the floor.
Once he had moved onto the grass, I don’t really think this guy cared at all that we were there. It just sat and blinked, barely looking at us.
Sometime we have experiences that bring out our inner six year-old. Anything regarding a wild animal encounter does it for me without fail (if you recall my swim with a sea turtle in Exmouth.)
To say I was excited is an understatement.
As the day came to a close, we came across the strangest discovery: Canadian Rooster.
Being that Canucks made up two thirds of the car, we had to make a pit stop.
As the light started to fade, we began to look around Cape Bridgewater to stop for the night. Of course, not without a detour to watch the sunset.
We learned that at the end of this trail there was a viewpoint to see a colony of fur seals, and all agreed that our last day of the trip would begin with this hike.
We were up before the sun, and sat in the car passing around a can of fruit salad and the remnants of our peanut butter jar for breakfast. As the sky began to lighten up, we set off, at our own paces.
I don’t often wake early enough to see a sunrise, so this was a special treat. As we had been getting closer to Melbourne I had a nervous feeling growing in my heart, just a murmur. I had no plans and limited funds and a big city to take on. Maybe I hadn’t made the best decision jumping in a car and driving across the country. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone to Exmouth and tried to save more.
I stopped on the path and watched the sunrise and all the doubts stopped.
If my all my choices had led me to this moment, standing completely alone in the dark and witnessing the world come to life, they were all the right choices.
As the gold faded into the daylight, I continued on the trail, worry free and excited for my next adventure.
There are no photographs of the seals, but they were a joy to watch, playing around in the huge swells like it was a bathtub. I couldn’t believe the wind and the waves that were crashing against the cliffs didn’t phase them.
The Great Ocean Road was stunning overall. The 12 Apostles were no exception, however the sheer amount of other tourists crammed onto the lookouts was quite claustrophobic.
At first we weren’t really enjoying ourselves as much as our other stops, but we decided our last day of roadtripping could not be spent feeling apathetic. So we took a whole lot of stupid photos, and laughed until we cried.
The rest of the day seemed to go by too fast. We stopped in at the town of Lorne to check out Erksine Falls.
Here it was also confirmed a truth I had been believing for a long time: everything in Australia is trying to kill you, even the trees.
One last beach before we hit the big city – Bells Beach, Torquay.
It was a rushed goodbye when we got into downtown Melbourne, we were all going separate ways that day. A quick hug in the car and that was it.
I miss those girls, our long talks and long silences, the dinners shared from one pot huddled in the car, the excitement over a campsite with showers and laughing until I couldn’t breathe.
Thank you, ladies. I’ll see you again sometime.
‘I feel so alive’.