Mr. Shane’s Wild Ride on The Great Ocean Road

There always has to be something funny.  It wouldn’t be a Wilson trip without it.  On Friday, we went on a tour of The Great Ocean Road (I’ll say GOR from now on).  But I should tell you a bit about Thursday, too… so we back up.

Thursday was the day we arrived in Melbourne.  It kind of took us a while to really figure out what day it was here.  We left LA on Tuesday the 1st… but somehow we missed out totally on Wednesday the 2nd… because when we arrived in Melbourne it was Thursday the 3rd.  That’s a bit strange… I guess those of you who’ve lived through it know what I mean.  If you haven’t, all I can say is it might be like when you’re dreaming…and you can’t remember where you left your clothes…oh wait…that’s another dream.  Well… you do kind of walk around in a bit of a daze, for sure.

Anyway, we had a good time walking around Victoria Market, where they have a huge selection of fruits & vegetables, a sort of flea-market-like section, a hall with meats and fish, and a hall with deli and other delights, like Chocolate, etc.  We bought a couple bottles of wine from a merchant who sells bottles with nice screw-tops, filled with local wines, and when you finish the wine you can bring the bottle back (rinsed out) for a re-fill.  Great idea, and the wine was pretty good.  We bought a Victoria Shiraz and a Pinot Grigio.  They’re both good for my taste, and I’m no wine expert… but this is pretty good if you ask me.

After the market we found a grocery to stock up on other essentials for breakfasts to add to our market finds of fresh bacon, cheese, and fruit.  We found our way back to the hotel and had an early dinner at Young and Jackson’s, just a short walk from our hotel.

When we got back, it was only about 8:30 p.m. but everyone was completely bushed and we went to bed, but what a laugh… I was up at 2 a.m. thinking that it was time to get up for the day.  I forced myself to stay in bed ’till 5 a.m. If you know me well, you know that I don’t normally force myself to stay in BED at 5 a.m.  So you can stop laughing now.

We had to be up fairly early because we were being picked up for our Great Ocean Road Tour.  They were pretty much on time, and so were we, and we started off on our day with our driver Shane.  We were the last to be picked up, so we ended up in the back of the bus.  Again, for those of you who know me, ask how long it took me to ask to ride up front.  Not long.  And so I got to know our driver, Shane, pretty well throughout the 580-Kilometer ride (about 360  miles).

Shane had a lot to say for himself, and I must admit, that I started to think most of it was tall tales, but went along with it because I really wanted to see how far he would take it.  I will not bore you with the details of the Great Ocean Road.  It’s amazing scenery, and people are surfing in the ocean all over the place.  These Australians take their surfing seriously…but you should see the waves!  We were also treated to a Mooning when we were in the parking lot at Bell’s Beach when one of the surfers was changing into his wetsuit.  Moons over Miami, for sure!!!!  heheheheh  I didn’t think fast enough to grab my camera, LOL.

Shane had a schedule to keep if we were going to get to the end of the tour before dark, so he was really putting pedal to the metal at every opportunity.  By this time, of course, I had moved to the front of the bus or I would have lost it many times over.  On the way back to Melbourne we were to stop for dinner in a town called Colac.  About 5 minutes after hitting the road to Colac, a fog set in, and Shane was remarking that he had never seen such fog in all the years he had been driving in this area.  Oh great, I thought… I have the crazy driver, I’m sitting in front of a bus with about 1/4 inch of glass and steel in front of me, and we can’t see a thing after 100 yards.  I put my seatbelt on…no offense Shane…but it was insane, because the bus had no seat belts in the back.  To make matters worse, the road was full of dips and potholes which made it impossible for anyone in the back to actually stay in their seats.  OMG if I was in the back I can only say I would have begged for death.  As it was, there were several times during that drive to Colac that I was pretty sure that I was going to get that wish…but Shane turned out to be a skillful (or very lucky) driver and I’ve lived to tell the tale.  The other lucky thing is that it is winter, so not so much traffic out there in that area.

Shane told us that he was born and bred in the Northern Territories and he’s an aboriginal person, but he looked European to me.  What do I know?  He said he is active duty military but can’t tell me what branch.  He said he did missions that no one knows about.  I just said, Ok…. well I work on a secret project, too… and I can’t talk about it so I guess it’s possible…what do you think?  He told us such wonderful stories that it really felt like the drive just flew by… or maybe it  just felt like the bus was flying… which it was… but never mind, we are back safe and sound.

I had a blast, by the way… it was an experience I’ll never forget, and Shane is one of those people in life that we never forget either.

If you are ever in this part of the world, you really must get out to the GOR, it is amazing scenery and local history that is not to be missed.  It was worth every minute of the day spent.

I have to catch up now… that was yesterday and today we spent the day in Melbourne shopping, and we went up to the top of the Eureka Tower — 88 stories… but the weather was cloudy and by the time we finished our day out it was raining.  I think it still is…. luckily there are shops and restaurants in a mall very near to our hotel so we don’t have to get out in the rain too much.  Tony and Amy are flaked out on the couch sleeping as I write this… and it’s not even 7 p.m. yet.  I hope I can get them up to go out to dinner.  Anyway if I can’t I’ll just enjoy another glass of that Shiraz and relax.

I’m having a great time!


2 Responses to “Mr. Shane’s Wild Ride on The Great Ocean Road”

  1. 1 CAROL WILSON June 5, 2010 at 7:23 pm



    • 2 wiltap June 10, 2010 at 7:51 am

      Hi Carol, we did get to the aquarium, it was really fun! In fact it was one of the first things we did when we arrived. We also got to see the Melbourne Museum and the Titanic exhibit, as well as the Old Melbourne Gaol. The gaol was kind of creepy. If I can get on the computer tonight I will write about our last few days in McLaren Vale. Stay tuned!

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