Olympic in Two Days: €*^%@£ Hippies!

We headed back towards 101 on Lauridsen Blvd, at the South edge of Port Angeles. It being late mid-mid day we were hungry, but we also wanted to integrate our refuelling with our tight schedule. On the north side of the road was a tiny deli/grocer of an obviously flower-child variety. We popped in and quickly ordered up a couple of sandwiches grabbed a few new age drinks, and a bag of snacks, before hitting the road to the Elwha River Valley where we planned to picnic and take a few short trails. Continue reading

The Great Ocean Road

I woke early and as quickly as they had arrived the rain clouds had again stolen away in the night. After checking my wallet (don’t ever trust rain clouds), I set about a morning full of Hiking the “Wonderlands” area of the park, before a planned afternoon decent to Warrnambool and the start of what I though would be an easy scenic drive to Apollo Bay along The Great Ocean Road.

My morning hikes were grand and full of wildlife, dozens of Kangaroos, and a big black (I later learned poisonous) snake I met sunning on my path. It was behind a small boulder on my trail, and as my walking stick (leading) hit the path, the snake jumped startled and I almost fell off the cliff backing up and shouting Jesus Christ! We scared the bejesus out of each other and the snake seemed more than happy to head up hill quickly putting distance between us.

I headed down about midday for the near 2-hour drive to the coast, and gosh what a mistake I made. I had the idea that the GOR was a kind of scenic drive, so I had hiked about 10K in the morning. Well the western half of the “Great Ocean Road is a kilometer or two inland from the fragile coast, so every scenic outlook required a 1 or 2 kilometer round trip hike to view. Certainly stunning coastline, but boy were my dog’s tired.

Near the end of this section I cam upon a very nice Rainforest Walk at Maits Rest. I was knackered, but it is a lovely stroll through a temperate rainforest just a few miles above the south coast.

I arrived a bit late to Apollo Bay, a lovely resort community, and stayed the night at the Eco Bay YHA, another Eco friendly YHA, and also very nice and clean. Seems these greens know how to manage their properties. Dinner tonight was a simple Bucatini Aglio e Olio with long beans. NO recipe necessary with this. Simmer onion and garlic (and fresh chili if you like) to taste in a load of olive oil. Add in the beans and cover to let steam in their own juice. Slash with a bit of lemon, salt and black pepper just at the end, and toss with freshly cooked pasta.

The second day of the GOR was a bit more sedate, as the coast turned from sandstone to granite. This portion is a delicious scenic drive bringing back memories of both Amalfi and Northern California. I started the day with the best breakfast I have had to date, Eggs Florentine done very right (loads of fresh spinach and a nice thick hunk of toasted bread) by the chef at La Bimba in Apollo Bay, and I ended in the evening with an astonishingly good meal in North Melbourne at Sosta Cucina, on 12 Errol Street. If the rest of my meals in this area are this good, I am going to be very happy indeed.