We have had a most wonderful drive! We had time, upon leaving Adelaide, to take a couple of days meandering along the coast towards Melbourne. This is known as the Great Ocean Road. And it is great.
But first, another Australian icon: In Kingston, South Australia, we came upon this big fellah. He’s the largest roadside creation in the country, somewhat by mistake. They designed him in feet, but he was constructed in metres, so he ended up a bit bigger than they had planned. Very impressive.
We followed the coast all along the way, seeing the wonderful Southern Ocean for a good part of the way. Just before we arrived in Port Campbell for the night, we started the really exciting bit – the huge limestone columns that have remained from the work of the water on the high cliffs in the area. We stopped at dusk at London Arch (which used to be known as London Bridge, but it fell down since we were last here in 1998). There is still a smaller bridge, but no longer can people drive out. It is very lucky that when the bridge fell down in 1990, just two years after we saw it, no one was hurt – but there were two tourists stranded on the new island who had to be rescued by helicopter.
There were only a few people there, and one man was taking a picture of his wife in front of the arch. I offered to take a picture of both of them and we got to talking. They are huge folk music fans, and have attended the Port Fairy Folk Festival many times. We clearly had lots to talk about, so we arranged to meet up again for dinner in Port Campbell. Pat and Steve were really good company – we might meet up with them again.
The next day was sunny and beautiful for the next part of the drive. The big draw on this road is the Twelve Apostles. There aren’t 12 anymore, but that doesn’t matter. We drove right by one entrance to see them, because 13 years ago, there were multiple viewing areas from the road. We were all the way to the next town before we realized they had changed it all, and we had to turn around and go back!
Now, there’s one parking lot for the whole area, and a walk to see the various viewpoints. It’s good – I’m sure it causes less damage to the area (and, with the amount of falling rocks, I’d rather park a bit further away from the coast anyway). We got some beautiful pictures.
The coastline flattens out past Cape Otway, and becomes a marvellous beach destination. It was a calm day, so we didn’t see many surfers, but I’m sure when the surf is up, they’re there.
It was a marvellous day.
We stopped off in Anglesea on our way to Melbourne. When we last sang for the Geelong Patchworkers and Quilters Guild in September 2006, we stayed with a marvellous quilter, Margaret Drayton. She had made a couple of quilts that really inspired me, based on the Bella Bella Quilts book by Norah McMeeking. The quilt I made combined the “Venice Rose” quilt from that book with 24 hand-dyed fabrics I bought at a garage sale in San Diego. I have been showing this quilt since I made it in 2007. Since we were in the area, I wanted to show Margaret what she had inspired, so we called her up and we stopped in for tea.
Margaret was very interested in seeing this quilt, and said that she had had a similar idea two years later. We had a comparison between the two quilts – I think she won!!!
I am amazed at her quilt – instead of my 24 sections, she has divided hers into 48. It requires much smaller pieces, but she got much more subtlety by doing so. I think there might be one of these in my future….. What I love best about hers is not only the flowing curves she got (that’s part of the beauty of this design), but the 3-D effect – it looks like a multicoloured bagel!
The warm colours come forward, and the cool ones recede, of course, which is why this is such an effective use of colour. I can’t WAIT to get back into my studio to play with this again!
We spent a night with our friends in Melbourne, then headed down the Mornington Peninsula again to spend a couple of nights with our friend Judy. On the way we stopped for lunch in Frankston. This is a very touristy town along Port Phillip Bay that has a sand carving compeition every year between Boxing Day and Anzac Day. We just missed it, but the sculptures were still up, behind a fence, so we got to see some of them. It’s amazing what they can do with sand!