The Great Ocean Road, Katsjourney Around the World: 17 March, 2003

The Great Ocean Road
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 14:21:35 -0600
Greetings from the Journey Down Under,

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Mel St Paddys day

I am still in Melbourne, Australia and enjoying

the last vestiges of Indian Summer here.  Today and tomorrow will be a high

33-35 degrees Celsius (in the 90’s) and then it will be cooling off to 18-20

(in the 60’s) and rain…a much more proper Melbourne type day in the

autumn.  Since I am following the summer on this journey, that means it is

time to head north.  I will be leaving for Bangkok, Thailand this Friday

night.

Last week was a fantastic week of touring and introspection.  My friend,

Ron, from Austin, is here teaching part of his facilitator course with Mike

(whom I am staying with in Melbourne) from RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute

of Technology).  Anyway, they teach the first module in the lovely seaside Mel grt ocn rd rainforest gully

town of Lorne…about two hours south west of Melbourne.  We hired (rented)

a car and I was able to explore for the week on my own while they taught.

I can’t tell you what a freedom it was to have an automobile.  Something I

have taken for granted since age 20.  I had no problems driving on the left

side.  In fact, since November, everywhere I have been has been left hand

road driving.  so, even as a passenger you do get used to it quickly.  My

difficulty came with turning on the windscreen (shield) wipers every time I

attempted ot turn.  You see, the wipers and the blinkers are opposite of

ours.  Thank god the brake and the accelerator are not reversed!

I traveled west, down the Great Ocean Road for the week and stayed at

delightful little towns along the coast.  This rugged coastline is one of

the most beautiful in the entire world.  On one side are the Otway Ranges

complete with fern tree rainforests and on the other side are sheer cliffs

into the ocean with beautiful, pristine beaches tucked inbetween rocky

outcroppings.

The 12 Apostles in Port campbell National Park is the most famous seascape

rock formation in the country.   These rock outcroppings, light gold in

colour, are magnificent along the beach as the Great Southern Ocean waves

constantly pound them.  As the sun changes positions throughout the, so

changes the colour and the “feel” of the apostles.  To stand in the viewing

platform near them is a party for your senses as you smell and taste the

clean, pure salt water below and feel the power of the place.  It is the

kind of place you can imagine your God talking to you.

All along the coast are several stunning stops…The Loch Ard Gorge, The

London Bridge, the Arch, the Grotto and the Blowhole.  A few times, I almost

didn’t stop, but the raw beauty of each naturally carved rock was worth a

walk to view it.  It was also so nice to see no development.  Untouched by

human hands, as it were.

As an added bonus, I was able to capture photos of several koalas in the

wild.  They are such beautiful creatures and sadly,  near the point of

extinction.

They feed only on certain types of eucalypt and are very

sensitive to changes in their habitat.  They are losing their habitat

quickly here.

I was alone all week and chose to eat  take-away meals quietly on beaches or

at picnic areas in national parks Mel Grt Ocn rd Pt Fairy lighthouse and rainforests (there has not been much

rain, as Australia has been in a terrible drought).  I had lots of time to

find peaceful places and think about the world and my life.  It is a luxury

few of us get, since we are usually caught up in day to day madness of the

world.  I wish I could solve some of the world’s problems.  Hell, I wish I

could solve some of my own problems!  But it was interesting because time

seemed to move very slowly.  A sensation I would say most of the western

world is not used to.

In my introspection, I know I am passionate about this earth and the

horrible way that humans are treating it.  The mines we are stripping, the

forests we are destroying, the oceans we are polluting, the ozone we are

depleting, and the sensitive plants and animals that we are killing to

extinction.  All of those that were created on this earth for the perfect

circle of life.  Alas, it is not so perfect anymore.  And then there is war.

Are the Americans helping to save the world from weapons of mass

destruction, a mad dictator and terrorism or is the true axis of evil oil,

greed and money?  Something to ponder, if you can find the time.

I have changed the course of the journey a bit, since Nepal is quite

dangerous at the present time.  Of course, there is this crazy Asian virus

that is killing people and plenty of political unrest in North Korea and the

Malaysian Muslim extremists.  Where is safe anymore?

I will send more updates from the wild, unusual and amazing city of Bangkok

next week.  Love to all.

Kathleen

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