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"Is it weird in here or is it just me?" Woody Allen



HOWDY! This is a platform for me to express myself. To bare my thoughts, emotions and life stories. Leaving bite-size pieces of me before I go. I graciously invite you to comment, swap stories and thoughts. Please post your comment or get in touch with me here.


OTHER HERMITS
ON THE BLOG.

alexandra wong
allyson
bawangmerah
consuela
dreams&sugars
jemima
lex
loopymeals
lynn wabbit
mooi
mrd
nawooz
peteteo
postsecret
scentofgreenbananas
simontalks
snippetsoflife
suyin
tequilamockingbird
thewritetherapy
uncletim
visithra
yvy


ARCHIVES.
09.03 10.03 01.04 02.04 03.04 04.04 05.04 06.04 07.04 08.04 09.04 10.04 11.04 12.04 01.05 02.05 03.05 04.05 05.05 06.05 07.05 08.05 09.05 10.05 11.05 12.05 01.06 02.06 03.06 04.06 05.06 06.06 07.06 08.06 09.06 10.06 11.06 12.06 01.07 02.07 03.07 04.07 05.07 06.07 07.07 08.07 09.07 10.07 11.07 02.08 03.08 05.08 09.08 10.08 12.08 02.09 04.09 05.09 06.09 07.09


FAVOURITES.
a rustic analysis*
bo leh*
buat donno*
jakun & boon cit - a love story. not.*
jingling nona*
many happy returns of the day, u sexy u*
love misunderstood*
no willy*
perfect man*
save me from this misery*
tan ah yam, i'm sorry*


INTERVIEWS & REVIEWS.
an interview with joe blogs*
woo! a review!*


TRAVELOGUES.
halong bay - you jump, i save you*
hanoi on my mind*
hanoi - in search of the pain-in-the-arse ice cream and other stories in between*
sungai petani, my hometown* [pt 1]
leave my country* [pt 1]
leave my country* [pt 2]
ozcapade* [pt 1]
ozcapade* [pt 2]
ozcapade* [pt 3a]
ozcapade* [pt 3b]
moomoo vista* [pt 1]
moomoo vista* [pt 2]
moomoo vista* [pt 3]
ah moy in paris* [pt 1]


CREDITS.
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oz-capade* [part 2] 

Hey. We meet again. As mentioned before, Part 2 will cover the first 4 days of the road trip. I will try my best to include as much details as possible, bound only by the information absorbed during the trip, as well as relevancies from brochures. Enjoy the ride.

Day 1 – Melbourne via Great Ocean Road to Princetown

At 6.15am, I was already waiting eagerly at the Xbase reception for the bus to arrive. There were 3 others with me; Samantha and Siobhan (pronounced as Cher-Von and not Sio-barn) from Ireland and Mikyung from Korea. As always, I brought up the topic on music as the ice breaker. So I told Siobhan about the Damien Rice concert experience, which surprised her as she didn’t think he would have any fan base in the AP region. I also acknowledged that she shares the same name as one of the Bananarama girls. That almost floored her. She then told me about her experience at KLIA, about how one of the immigration officers gasped in excitement, “Aah, you from Ireland! Same country as Westlife!!!” Though I managed a snigger, the embarrassment for the country was borne on my shoulder. I still feel the ache.

With Mikyung, I raised the subject of Bae Yong-Joon. Heh. She was stunned when I mentioned movies like ‘April Snow’, ‘Christmas In August’ and ‘My Sassy Girl’. Not forgetting the drama series ‘Winter Sonata’ which escalated Mr. Bae’s fame. In response, she fed me some interesting gossips, which immediately sealed the Asian sisterhood bond.

We left about 7.15am. There were, in total, 15 passengers, excluding Mark, the tour guide. Until now, I am clueless on how to describe him. He’s somewhat a crossbreed between a medium-fed Neo (when he wears his RipCurl sunnies) and stoned John Cusack in 'High Fidelity'. He’s got quite an extensive taste in music though. I can almost imagine him as a deejay in the RAAF Radio Station, which was kinda nostalgic.

We stopped at Torquay, the capital of Australia’s surfing industry, for a quick breakfast. I believe the brand RipCurl was born and bred here. There’s lots of surfing brands shops here, Quiksilver included. Shortly after, we cruised along the famous Bells Beach, and then we embarked on the famed Great Ocean Road. Jag had warned me to bring along some sour plum, in anticipation of the curvy roads, but I was fine. In fact, I could even read my book as usual. Akin on the Indian trip, David Sedaris and his oh so wicked humour accompanied me throughout the trip. The book - Me Talk Pretty One Day. On my next trip to Ladakh, I may just give him a piggy ride in exchange of daily personal humour. That would be fun. The sister, Amy could tag along as well.



Then we stopped to watch koalas, passed through Lorne and then stopped for lunch at Apollo Bay, a fishing town and beach resort. Near the market area, there housed a series of wooden sculptures by three local artists. That’s where I took this shot. Can you see the wonderful natural formation of the love shape? Amazing, eh? From Apollo Bay, we stopped to be in the midst of the Californian Redwood trees, reputed to be the biggest trees in the world, which can squeeze approximately 21 people inside its hollow base. Being amid those trees felt surreal; I can almost imagine the Little Red Riding Hood prancing around to grandma’s house with the big bad wolf waiting behind one of the trunks, calculating the best time to pounce on her. And eat her up. And then maybe Warrick Brown will come to investigate…



Thereafter we headed to Cape Otway & Otway National Park, which houses the Otway Fly, a 600m long canopy walkway, made from over 120 tonnes of steel. The Spiral Tower is 47m above the forest floor and the climb up was scary as it rocks! View from the top was awesome, as you can see.

Next destination was Port Campbell National Park, where we watched the sunset at The Twelve Apostles. In the past century, it was called the ‘Sow and Piglets’. This has to be one of the best sunsets I have ever witnessed. The rock stacks (only 8 of them left) are actually remnants of a retreating limestone coastline, with erosion rate of 2cm each year. Every picture taken came out postcard perfect. Breathtaking!



One of the stacks fell down last year, which made headline news. It was then the lyrics of the Peter, Paul & Mary’s classic came to me.

“How many years must a mountain exists, before it is washed to the sea…The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind…”

We spent the night at a hostel called the 13th Apostle. The barbecue dinner was yummilicious beyond words.


Day 2 –Princetown To Grampians NP



The next morning, we walked down the Gibson Steps to the beach to view the The Twelve Apostles up close. Thereafter, we headed to Loch Ard Gorge, named after the wreck of the Loch Ard in 1878, with 2 survivors named Tom Pearce and Eva Carmichael. The media tried to pair them up but nothing blossomed.



Further down, we visited The Arch, The Razorback, London Bridge (which did fell down), The Bay of Martyrs and The Grotto. The splashing of the waves were so forceful, I sincerely don’t think anyone will make it alive if he/she were ill-fated to have fallen over.

We stopped at Warrnambool, famous for its whale watching attraction, for lunch. I finally had my Chinese takeaway, like those you see on TV. It’s just for novelty sake, as the fried noodles were horrendous. I guess that’s one of the downside of being able to cook, coz I tend to rate food quite critically. But seriously, the noodles were awful. Portion was humongous and I only finished one fifth.

Next we reached Halls Gap, the most central town at the Grampians NP, where we visited the Brambuks National Park & Cultural Centre. The building was built to the shape of a cockatoo (brambuk) and inside, I really enjoyed the Gariwerd Dreaming Theatre multimedia narration of the traditional story of the formation of the Grampians, and the portraits of the aborigines. Honestly, I am a sucker for olden day’s photographs. They’re just awesome, in their sepia toned prints amid the red earth walls.



Thereafter, we hiked up The Pinnacle, then The Balconies and Reeds Lookout. We reached there quite late and it was almost dark when we reached the lookout, so there’s nothing much to see. But along the walk, we were surrounded by new shoots on tree trunks which suffered the wrath of the bushfire last year. It will take at least 3-5 years for full recovery. Looking at those young shoots, I felt both overwhelmed and inspired. Here’s nature’s example of picking itself up from a dark phase, moving on with life one step at a time. It’s called survival. No grouching. No whining. We humans should learn from nature sometimes.

That night, Mark cooked spaghetti. After we helped him with the preparation of the ingredients and the salad, he shooed us off to leave him with the cooking. He’s one of those solitary cooks who like to be alone in the kitchen. All of us waited anxiously at the living room area, amused with the banging sounds from the kitchen. At 9.00pm, dinner was served. Overall, the sauce looked dull with everything mashed up, somewhat like hog’s vomit, but the taste, lo behold, it was awesome! Unashamedly I tell you, I actually ate 2 plates and so did most of my tour mates.

Day 3 – Halls Gap To Adelaide




The next morning, we hiked to the bottom of the MacKenzie Falls and thereafter the Hollow Mountain. The hike took about 3 hours. We took a group shot at the peak, which was gorgeous.



After lunch in Horsham, the main commercial centre of the Wimmera, we ventured into South Australia and Bordertown. Here, we gained 30 minutes. Mark teased us if any of us had wanted to tell anyone to reveal any secret crushes; this was the chance to take on life’s challenges.

I had wanted to yelled out the infamous joke of “I love you, Mark. I want to have your baby!” People here do that all the time at gigs. And I wasn't sure if it was solely a Malaysian thing and feared the joke may just backfire. And also I’m chicken shit. So I quickly swallowed all the accumulated words from the tip of my tongue before they had the chance to fly out. I wasn’t sure how he was gonna take it and the last thing I want was for everyone to feel awkward. That would be awful.

Anyway, at Bordertown, we saw the rare White Western Grey Kangaroos and then, the Land Rover on stilts. After crossing through the Murray River, the longest river system in Australia, we reached Adelaide around 7.30pm. The first part of the road trip has ended its course. That night, most of us went out together to have Chinese dinner at Chinatown.


Day 4 – Adelaide



It’s free and easy day. In the morning, several of us walked around the Adelaide city (also the capital of South Australia) It was Sunday, so the whole place seemed serene. Adelaide is also known as the “City of Churches”; on the postcard you will see the Holy Trinity Church, built in 1838, the first Anglican church in SA.

I had lunch with Nancy, an American Chinese, in Chinatown. Thereafter, she wanted to spend a lazy afternoon at the hostel. So I ventured out to the beach town of Glenelg riding on the vintage tram from Victoria Square. Each trip costs AUD$3.50.

On the bottom right of the postcard is the picture of Victoria Square Fountain, which depicts the three rivers which Adelaide sources its water – the Murray, the Torrens and The Onkaparinga. It was created by South Australian John Dowie.

At Glenelg, I visited the Rodney Fox Shark Experience, a museum set up by Rodney Fox (of course!) who was listed in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not for surviving a horrendous shark attack in 1963. He has since dedicated his life to researching about sharks and has been called to consult on movies like Jaws.

I also visited the Bay Discovery Centre which showcases the history of Glenelg and the federation of Australia. The exhibition was very impressive. The town has lots of interesting and gorgeous looking murals which I found fascinating. And I couldn’t resist 2 scoops of Copenhagen ice-cream too.

I reached the hostel close to 9pm. We had free apple pie that night. With a hearty dessert sitting comfortably in my intestines, I finished 2 stories from Me Talk Pretty One Day and decided to call it a night. Tomorrow, a new adventure awaits.

July 07, 2006 // anjali* pranced on tip-toes all over the keyboard at 9:35 am
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