Oz Trip – South Coast

3rd January 2017

 

Desert is definitely over. I can tell by the amount of human being around me.

It’s been an amazing experience, I wish I could do that again soon.

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In the meantime I got lost in Adelaide, cursing the tonnes of roadworks that wouldn’t let me find the botanical garden, the main reason I was there. I went for a ride in the CBD, very nice and tidy, and after a good hour wandering around I give up and head to Carrick Hill. The drive to the pretty suburb brings back memories from Italy years ago, where everyone had a piece of green land to grow their own tomatoes and go wild with roses and geraniums. The difference between here and Sydney is that here everything seems to make sense. The most expensive suburbs in Sydney are a big mess of big million dollar houses built with different styles, one next to the other.

I’ll never afford to live in those suburbs anyway, so whatever…

I copy and paste a part of my last blog where I talk about Carrick Hill cause I am too lazy to write down everything again.

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“Once in Adelaide I drive around like an idiot trying to find the Botanical Garden but there are road works everywhere and absolutely no signs to help you at all. After 40 minutes driving around, I think:”fuck off the garden”, so I went to Springfield to see Carrick Hill, which is a property owned by a rich Australian couple back in the ’30. They got some old furniture from their honeymoon in Europe and decorate their house with exquisite taste. The mansion becomes quickly the main meeting point artists and rich Australians who enjoyed the endless parties in the most exclusive house of South Australia. The property was left to the state at the death of its owner, in the early 80′, and now is one of the must-do stops in SA.

The beautiful garden is a real treat for your soul. There’s just one disturbing thing: people. Families. With kids. Horrible ugly and noisy kids. Society.

Fuck. This is the sign my outback adventure is really over.”

Ok, let’s continue from here.

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After my short visit to Carrick Hill, I head to Mount Gambier, enjoying the drive between wheat fields and countless wineries. I arrived late at night and treat myself with a beer and a huge plate of pasta at the only restaurant open in town. The portion was so big I struggled and had to drive myself to the car.

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I drove around a bit to find a quiet place and passed out. I woke up like usual to take a glimpse at the sky and fell back to sleep, to be later awakened by the morning chill. What a great feeling.

I quickly wore something warm and started to wander around.

This place is popular for its sinkholes and limestone landscapes.

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I started with Cave Garden, which is right in the middle of the town. It is exactly what it says: a garden in a cave. Even with the sun hiding behind a thick layer of clouds (that bastard!) I really enjoyed the unique view.

 

After a short drive, I arrived at what it probably is the most famous attraction: The Blue Lake, a 206 m deep crater lake whose colour leaves you speechless, because during summer it turns into blue cobalt and the panorama seems like coming out of an impressionist painting.

I swear the pictures don’t do justice.

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Within just a few more minutes driving and I found myself in another well-renowned spot: Umpeherston Sinkhole.

This place was once property of Mr Umpherston who turned it into a summer retreat garden. A tiny lake was once at the bottom of the hole, surrounded by plants and trees. Unfortunately, after years without proper maintenance, the sinkhole went in disuse, until Mount Gambier Council stepped in and restored the site bringing back its old beauty, even though the lake doesn’t exist anymore.

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All the major sightseeings are handily located within few minutes drive. The day is not over yet but I just want to relax so I take a cup of tea at the local bakery where I am right now writing my journal.

After the spinach roll, I’ll try to get to the 12 Apostles by dawn.

 

7th December 2016

Home.

Done.

7.046 km in two weeks across 5 states.

I have a couple of days to put my shit together before going back to reality.

The last few days of my trip haven’t been what I was hoping, photographically speaking. But still, I got some good stuff.

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By the time I arrived at the 12 Apostles the sun and clear blue sky were gone and I was left with nothing but a grey background. Classic.

The view was spectacular anyway, I have to say.

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I saw the remaining of the last rock formation that collapsed in 2005, leaving now the Apostles from 12 to 9.

I parked the car a few km down the road of the main sightseeing spot, Castle Rock, and after a frozen night, I headed to the location at 5 am. I was the first one, it was pitch black and couldn’t see a thing, the stars were still there in the sky. Half an hour later I started a ruthless battle with a horde of Chinese trying to push my tripod away. Those sneaky bastards were trying to get my spot, the best for a perfect shot, which I claimed as I was the first to arrive for the show. No way bitch, the spot is mine.

Everyone was hoping for a spectacular sunrise, one of those you see in calendar and postcards, but no, that didn’t happen.

But out of an ordinary sky, something really good came out. I’m not extremely creative but with my photoshop skills, I was able to get the most out of a dull pic.

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After few shots I had to stop, I couldn’t move my hands it was so cold.

Once back to the car I turned the heater on and it took a good couple of hours before I stopped shivering. Thank god it was summer!

After the 12 Apostles, I kept driving along the Great Ocean Road without stopping. I just wanted to enjoy the drive.

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After a whole day, I arrived in Canberra and went straight to visit Anzac Parade and War Memorial.

That place inspires a great sense of respect.

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I then drove to the top of Mount Ainslie to have an aerial view of the city.

After a good hot cup of tea, I was ready again to hit the road and this last part of the trip was absolutely amazing. I drove through the scenic route 15 that touches exquisite places like Fitzroy Falls and Kangaroo Valley. I decided to add these places to my list of outdoor trips to do.

And finally, here I am, in paradise, where the sand is so white it blinds you: Jarvis Bay.

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This world renowned Bay hosts what is considered the whitest beach in the world, Hyams Beach. The water is so clear and the sand is so soft and white you feel you’re in another world. The red soil and hundreds of km without seeing a soul seem to belong to another planet. It’s hard to believe you can find all this in the same Country. A bloody big and strange one.

Walking around Boderee National Parks leave you breathless, every corner is saturated with colourful plants, fascinating rock formation and the bluest water you could possibly imagine.

I enjoyed the last few days of freedom, recharging my batteries and mentally preparing myself to go back to reality.

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During the three hours that separated me from home, I was thinking that in the end… my reality is not that bad. I live in one of the most exquisite suburbs around the most beautiful city in the world. I work in a great place with great people and lovely customers. I can hop on a bus and go for a drink next to the Opera House. And within one hour drive, I can immerse myself in unspoilt and untouched nature.

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My reality is pretty awesome after all.

I just need to get used wearing shoes again!