The Great Ocean Road has been a must-see for me for a while, and that is where we headed when the skies cleared. What a gorgeous, wild coast down to the 12 Apostles! We spent the night at Surfside Backpackers in Apollo Bay. It was so homey I felt like I was visiting my grandmother. Clean, cozy, dated... Perfect. They even had a resident (wild) koala. We got down to the Apostles in plenty of time to enjoy their magnificence, along with a few other awesome coastal overlooks.
After a tour of the coast it was back to Melbourne for an Australian Rules Footy match at MCG. Richmond Tigers vs. Collingswood Magpies - It was 96 to 67 (or something), but really I was interested in the uniforms, watching Aussie fans, and tasting the Carlton draught. Successful night at MCG :) We were staying with an Ambo friend in Geelong so we decided to head down to Torquay for some surfing & live music - the 2014 Rip Curl Pro was in town! Great crew of people and the singer had a beautiful voice. On our way back we stopped in downtown Geelong with some new friends and went to play a few games of pool. After just 2 games, we decided to call it a night and returned to the car to find the surfboard and all of our fishing rods gone. Talk about a bummer... Bugger that!
Our last day on the road was spent flying kites in Bells Beach, watching the pros, and checking out the surf outlets - our losses of the previous night forgotten. Our plans to camp on the way back to Sydney were rained out, so we drove the entire 850km straight through over about 11 hours. I don't recommend this - there are kangaroos out there and they will jump in your path! Plus, the temptation of Magnum ice cream bars and grapefruit soda is very high after the first 8 hours, and the resulting sugar high could make you crazy! We did make it back physically unscathed, but our mental states were questionable!
I spent my final day in Australia checking out downtown Sydney - and it just so happened Will & Kate were also in town. Yes, it was very crowded by the Opera House. I got to reunite with an old friend from my time at University of Queensland, and after saying goodbye to Aussie #1 he took me out to show me his Sydney. Fun town, but the 28 hour trip home was weighing on my mind a bit, so it was a short tour! I was headed back to the US after all this time, and I was going to have plenty of time on airplanes for some reflection. It was a grueling 11 hours to Seoul, Korea followed by a 4 hour layover, and another 11 hours to LAX... And I got back in the same day!? At the end of the rainbow my sisters were waiting, so US here I come!