(written on February 4th)
We left Melbourne this morning after cleaning the apartment we were staying in. Around 9:30 I headed to the car rental office, which was right across the street from where we were staying. Pretty convenient. Well, issue #1, the car I rented was a bit smaller than I thought it would be and I wasn’t sure we would fit all the suitcases and the people in the car. Issue #2, there was construction at both entrances to the building, so nowhere to pick up the bags or the family. So, I parked around the corner and was able to stuff all the suitcases in the back on the little SUV and everyone put their backpacks and the food bags at their feet. It was a tight squeeze, but we only had a 2 ½ hour drive and we roughed it.
On the drive I was on the opposite side of the road. I had done the same thing in New Zealand a couple of years ago and it isn’t too bad, especially on the highways. In the city it might be a challenge, but I won’t be doing much driving in any big cities. We return the car on Saturday at the Melbourne Airport and then don’t get a car again until we are leaving Sydney. Our first stop was a small town called Lorne, where we stopped for lunch. I have been told that Lorne used to be a sleepy little beach town, but now it has become an overpriced resort area. We had lunch in Lorne, which was just OK.
We continued our ride for another hour on the Great Ocean Road to the house we rented on AirBnB. We arrived at the house on a mountain overlooking the Southern Sea owned by Roderick and his partner. It is a 90 acre working eco-farm with pigs, chickens, cows, horses, bulls, a cute little dog named Bella and many more animals. We immediately went for a walk around the property and ended up on top of the mountain overlooking the ocean. It was a pretty amazing view. I might try to catch the sunrise there in the morning as the face the east and get the sunrise over the ocean here.
Ilise and I then left the kids and Karley to go shopping in Apollo Bay, just about 7-8 miles down the road. We stopped at a supermarket and picked up some food to make dinner and meals for the next few days. On the ride back we saw our first quala up close and personal. He came right up to the car on my side. Ilise got out of the car to take a closer look. He was pretty cute. We came back and I started to cook dinner with the food we bought and some amazing fresh vegetables that Roderick had left for us. Roderick joined us for dinner and we had a really great conversation.
It turns out that Roderick is the father of 3 boys, age 22, 16 and 12, who all live in Melbourne with his life partner whom he got engaged to 32 years ago but they never got married. She runs an opera company down in Melbourne and they get together each week either in Melbourne or down at this farm. Roderick used to be an artist and was involved with an amazing human art program for many years that took him all around the world. I really enjoyed talking with Roderick and look forward to spending more time with him before we leave.
After dinner I headed to the beach to take some long exposure pictures of the waves crashing over some rocks and played around a bit. The pictures didn’t come out very good, but I learned a few good lessons for when I can do it for real. I’m looking forward to waking up early tomorrow and getting some exercise while taking some amazing nature pictures. This farm is a photographers dream!
To a life well lived.