It’s a beautiful house, ours. A lovely big kitchen, a nice living room, and a flourishing garden. It isn’t far into town, there’s a park just down the road, a lovely homeschooling community that meets there once a week, and a pub with live music every Saturday night. As close to perfect as we could ask for.
It’s only our second housesit. The first was in New Zealand, where we stayed at a beautiful cottage on the beach for a while and made some new friends (our hosts) in the process. So far, housesitting has been a really wonderful way to settle into an area for a while, take care of lodging, and enjoy some down time. It’s perfect for the family who owns the house as well, since they can rest peacefully, knowing that someone is watching over their home while they travel.
We’ve been here for just over two weeks now. Long enough to get a taste of Geelong, and short enough to still be getting used to living in a house again. By this weekend we were sufficiently unpacked and comfortable to want to be exploring again. It doesn’t take us long! Eager to see some of the country surrounding our town, we decided to take a drive down the Great Ocean Road.
Lunches were packed, cameras were pulled from their cozy hiding places in our backpacks, and we loaded into our two little cars excited and ready to explore at least some of the 243 kilometers of coastal road that lay before us.
Grey mist speckled our windshields with sparkling droplets of water. They raced each other up the window, defying gravity. We sped past brick buildings, quiet shops, and out of town. Endless pastures full of sheep flashed past my window. In some ways, Australia is very similar to New Zealand (though if you’ve ever heard an Auzzie and a Kiwi disputing this you’d know they’d never agree with me). We reached the coast soon, and the road began to twist and turn wildly, snaking its way along the edges of cliffs, near postcard-perfect beaches, and around numerous bays. The water sparkled, now gray blue, now black, aquamarine, and back to gray blue. White tips flecked the waves, turning creamy where the surf crashed against the feet of a weathered red cliff or rolled smoothly up to caress the soft white sand of Victoria’s beaches. Here and there, surfers clad in wetsuits bobbed black against the water, waiting for the perfect wave. Occasionally one would turn to effortlessly rise from the ocean on the foamy surf. Kookaburras flew above us, and wild cockatiels mingled with the seagulls near shore.
We drove from Geelong to Apollo Bay, and back again. Before the Great Ocean Road was finished in 1932, Apollo Bay couldn’t be accessed except by water, and so was a quiet fishing town. I suspect that it has grown considerably since then. Later on in the day, I learned that not only does the Great Ocean Road connect a lot of towns like Apollo Bay, it also serves as the world’s biggest war memorial! It was built between the years 1919 and 1932 by soldiers who served in World War 1, and was dedicated to those who never were able to come home. What a beautiful way of commemorating them, don’t you think?
And, of course, we took plenty of pictures! Have a look: