The Great Ocean Road (And Grampians) Part Trois

Now we are finally up to my last day of the Ocean Road tour, and it is also my last day here in Adelaide!

This day will be nice and easy to write about. The major thing that we did this day was go on one last hour and a half hike up a little mountain.

Now, silly me, I figured I would be fine to do this hike in my Birks. Tash told us that we couldn’t wear flip flops, but I asked if the Birks would be ok because unlike flip flops, they have backs and because the only other shoes I had were the yoga slide death shoes. She said that her only concern was that I had proper ankle support, but if I had strong ankles they should be ok, as we only had a little bit of scrambling to do.

Hah! And I’ll say it again, HAH! Some parts of this short hike were just as hard as it was at the Cradle Mountain. The only good thing was that there were no loose rocks, while Cradle Mountain was full of them.

I was pretty good going up in these sandals. Coming down was not so good. But before I talk about coming down I have to talk about going up! The point we were trying to reach was another lookout area at a high point on the mountain. Once we got there, the view was astounding:

And if you look at the picture below, you can see where all the land was cleared for farming purposes. At one time, it was green as far as the eye could see:

We sat up on the mountain eating cookies and recuperating from our hike. Then we had to start the downward trek. This hike, dear friends, is where I had all of my problems.

First let me tell you that I have pretty much been wearing my birks non-stop, almost everyday, through various places that have all kinds of fun stuff for me to walk on. I did one other five-hour hike in Tasmania (at Wineglass Bay) with them. They have been there through rain, through snow (well, tiny little bits of snow), through sand, over rocks, and on pavement. It has been hot, cold, and medium temperatured. If you now looked at them closely, they are quite dirty and they are showing wear on the bottoms of the soles. They never had terrific grip to begin with but the grip is definitely not getting any better. There are parts where the sole is noticeably worn away! Under normal, non-hiking conditions, I fully believe that these shoes would last another five years. But climbing down slippery rocks… no. So, I slipped and slid quite a bit. I got a nice big scrape on my knee to replace the one that just healed from when I fell at surf camp. I slipped a couple times before I realized that it was much easier to scoot down the rocks on my butt. Good thing I was wearing tear-resistant hiking shorts!

I admit, I made a faux-pas with my footwear decisions. But as I was taking my time getting down the rocks, I noticed someone that made an even BIGGER faux-pas. The older woman who was on our trip (the mother to one of the guys on the trip) was wearing dress shoes. High-heeled dress shoes. I mean, the heel was a thick one, not those crazy thin ones that my sister Stacy likes, but STILL! In case you were worried about her fate, her son was helping her a lot, and she too was sitting down and scooting for the tough parts. Talk about guts! Who climbs a mountain in high heels?

After we got down the mountain our Great Ocean Road/Grampians tour was pretty much over and done with. All we had left was one more lunch, and then a 4-5 hour drive to get to Adelaide. We ate lunch in a place called “Nhill” – pronounced like the “h” is silent. According to Tash, it is the most boring town in the state of Victoria. It is known for being so boring and ordinary that it has even been the subject of a movie about itself as a boring town called ‘The Road to Nhill’.

I bet it’s even more boring than Hershey, PA, during a snowstorm. Here’s a nice picture of our view of the town during our picnic lunch:

It doesn’t look boring, you say? Well, I went to the supermarket, and they didn’t have the cookie flying saucer ice cream treat that I was craving. You can’t get much more boring than no cookie flying saucer ice cream.

The rest of the trip was pretty much just driving with a quick stop at the border of Victoria and South Australia where Tash spent a full minute reversing and going forward saying “Now it’s 3:00! Now it’s 2:30! Now it’s 3:00! 2:30!” I’ve never before heard of another country that has time change in half hour intervals!

And now for the moment that you have all been semi-patiently waiting for! The winner of our country contest was….

(drumroll)

USA! And I totally carried the team in the riddle category. Another US girl on the bus carried us in the geography category – by naming all countries that end with ‘stan’ or ‘land’ and naming what country was in between these two countries, etc. Geography has never been a strong area for me so I didn’t really help us much for that part. We ended up with it being so close between Germany, Switzerland, and US, but we worked hard for it and won!

When we got to Adelaide, like I said, it was hot. Hoottt. Tash thought we should meet at her hostel’s bar for dinner, but first we all went to our respective hostels to get our dirty selves unpacked and showered. At the bar, we found out just what this ‘Toxic Slime’ was. It was a drink! She brought out a pitcher of this bright green mixed drink along with a bunch of shot glasses and we all had some (not just the US people, she got enough for everyone to share). It was pretty delicious. It had Midori in it and tasted a bit like a Midori sour. I left the bar at around 10 and went to bed fairly early. It’d been a long day and I was pretty beat, so I walked back to my hostel and crawled into my nice, clean, cool bed… and coughed all night.

Well, that is the end of my tour story! I will publish this one and then go and have dinner… and if you are lucky I will write one more and tell the story of my time in Adelaide! You’ll most likely be lucky because I won’t be able to post it tomorrow as I’ll be on the road again.

Toodles for now!