Thursday, May 22, 2014

Like the sands through the hourglass, these are the Days of our Lives….

Week 7 ended with a quick downtown tour and lunch in Adelaide and then dropping off Wanda and Brent at the Adelaide airport. Then we punched as far East as we could towards the Grampions National Park. Ended up at Hatham overnight, at the Comfort inn. 
even with room for our 3 kids!
and where we FINALLY found a “club” to eat at. Note to Canadians: The Aussies have these “clubs” everywhere, they could be surf clubs, bowling clubs, community clubs or RSL clubs that serve food for VERY reasonable prices. To compare it to anything in Canada, it would be like the legion, but you don’t pay to enter AND it ISNT full of retired and old people, its just regular folks having some good food and drink.

Next morning we kept on moving to get to the Grampions, where there were supposed to be a lot of good sites, however, only a month ago, there was a lighting strike in the park and it wiped out a lot of foliage and therefore, closed up many of the walking paths and driving roads. So although we figured it would take 2 days to get thru all the activities that Grampian’s offered, it was cut down to 1 day due to mother nature.  We did manage to see some cool things like:  


and “the balconies”

and some lame waterfalls (cause it was off season)

We found this very cool caravan park in Halls Gap, where kangaroos hung out day and night. We decided to stay the night here.
Roo's in the wild, only 10 feet from us.

pushing the "roo envelope a bit close.
The next day, we wanted to climb to the “pinnacle”, as it was a very popular hike. Basically it was 2.1 km straight up. It sounds horrible, but it was very cool. 

not a good time to be overweight!

top of the "pinnacle"
After the Grampions, we were determined to get to the Great Ocean Road, but we got sidetracked at the “J Ward Prison” in Ararat. It was only a gaol for 25 years, and then was converted to a ward of the Lunacy department (for the criminally insane!). This place was unreal, and was in operation until 1991!

Our tour guide was Harry, and he was frickin’ awesome! He toured us through the “west wing”, where inmates were allowed to come and go as they pleased. One guy killed his wife, cause he thought she was having an affair, but was allowed to have a job and but came back to the Ward every night on his own for dinner and bed.
Inmates were required to remove all clothing and sleep naked on this straw bed (yes until 1991), at 7:30 pm, and were “locked” in their rooms until 8 am the next day with ONLY a pee pot and a bible.

the window was closed over with this big wooden door, so technically there was no light, not sure how they even read their bibles

this guy stole food for his family, and he was arrested, and then his whole family (with 3 kids) were required to stay with him in Gaol, because his wife couldn;t support the family! Can you believe this?!
The very first person in Australia diagnosed with HIV/AIDs was sent to live here in 1981, in the west wing too. No one knew what to do with him and no one wanted to touch/see him, so he was sent here to live. 
main hall area of the prison

There are so many stories we can tell you in person about this gaol (do you not love that I’m spelling jail like old school!!) You will have to come over for coffee or dinner at our new house for us to tell you all the stories!
The next day, we finally made it down to the great ocean road! 

Todd wanted to stop at EVERY road side pull out, and after 5 stops, we turned them into "Japanese tour" stops where either we got out and ran to the picture spot and ran back to the car, OR we did a drive thru picture shot! Check out the pictures below for some of our japanese tour shots...

the grotto
London Bridge
The arch
some shipwreck beach place

At the end of the exhausting tour day, we found another lighthouse (Cape Otway) to call home for a couple of nights.

Our second day on the great ocean road, we wanted to do a walk along the great ocean walk (which was 104 km in total but we thought we would only do a small 7 km section). The “I” information girl suggested we park at the 12 Apostles, then take the bus to the next  exit (Princetown) and then do the hike/walk back to the 12 Apostles. This sounded like an EXCELLENT plan!  We drove down to the 12 Apostles carpark, and checked out the scenery.

5 of the 12 apostles

The walking path was pretty easy, in the grand scheme of hiking trails and provided us with lovely and brilliant scenery. This was pretty cool, highly recommend this to anyone traveling this way. We headed back to the lighthouse and on to Melbourne for the start of our home trek…


1 comment:

  1. so what should the "Roo envelope" be? Not surprised Todd pushed the envelope. Crazy stories about the gaol! Amazing coastal pics! Can hardly believe your nearly done your Aussie journey! Winter is finally done here ~ the grass is turning green and the leaves are coming out! Looking forward to seeing you and hearing more stories.