Wednesday, January 13, 2010

One Word – Magnifique!

Recently, my family went on a Great Ocean Road trip with our relatives. It was our second visit, but this time I managed to plan the itinerary quite nicely and we visited just about all the best spots. I was the happiest gal around. This was one the best summer holiday trips we made! =)

All 11 of us (my family, our cousins Jon & Ben + parents, and aunt Rachel + her son Mark) plus 5 other relatives, travelled nearly 6 hours along the famed Great Ocean Road. We rented a 12-seater van for 11 of us to travel together, so it was fun. And for this trip, we planned to stay at least one night – didn’t wanna’ rush it. The only problem was we didn’t book any accommodation. So we actually planned to sleep in the van unless we managed to get a place at the last minute!

Thank God, my mum called up a motel at Port Campbell (which is in between two sightseeing stretches – 12 Apostles and Bay of the Martyrs) and they ngam ngam – for lack of a better word :P – had 5 rooms to fit all of us for about $48 per person. It sure was expensive for our family, and my dad was almost happy to sleep in the van. I wouldn’t have mind, really. Nothing like a bit of adventure. :D

So after watching the sunset, we drove to Port Campbell ready for food and rest! We were really glad we found a motel! It was such a long journey, and I couldn’t possibly imagine having to go back miserably to the van for dinner and sleep – without the luxury of a shower, a hot drink, a cosy bed and someplace to use my toothbrush. Ha ha.

Before sleeping, my parents and I decided that we’d go for sunrise the next day. We’d never done it before, and thought it just might be worthwhile… We invited the others, and as expected, only 3 of them were game to wake up at 5am and brave the cold to watch a possibly unpromising sunrise. Aunty Rachel, Mark and Ashley joined us on our lil’ too-early-morning escapade. But to my great delight, we were not for a single second disappointed at the sight and sounds that were captured forever in our memories!!!

It was so, so beautiful. Ahh... I had an awed look on my face, then a dreamy one. The sight before me was a kind of “heavenly realm”. =) When I saw the thunderous rolling waves, swirling with the cold sea breeze and the golden mist (ohhh!) accentuating the cliff edges and rocks, I uttered one word: Magnifique! I don’t even know I had it in my vocab. Haha.

The grandeur of the sunrise along the 12 Apostles coast took my breath away. I ran from one lookout to another, getting different perspectives. I was out of breath and cold, but it felt so great. It was mystical, magical, magnificent. Just plain “wow”. :D

Afterwards, our next stop was the Loch Ard Gorge. Man, it’s the BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD!!! It was a very secluded beach, surrounded by tall limestone cliff walls. The blue-green waves crashed in through a gap between two cliffs, surging into the cove. Awhile later, my dad noticed a dark cave at the side of the cove and he ventured out by himself, climbing towards it. I decided to follow after Mark went, and boy, it was the best adventure ever! :D

The waves crashed into the rocks that I had to climb on to get to the cave. It was pretty slippery, but I really enjoyed doing something different. It was really cool! I took videos as I ventured towards the cave. And for extra excitement, I was screaming and squealing every few seconds, as if I was on a rollercoaster. Haha. xD

Anyway, here are all the best photos taken during the two days trip. It was short, but I’m glad that this time we managed to cover the best spots. I had such a grand time! :D

On our first day. At the Gibson steps. This was about 1 hour before sunset. Unreal, isn't it?

My family with aunty May and Rachel + my cousins.

Mum and I =)

With my sisters =)


It all looks so unreal...

This was the next day at sunrise!

Breathtaking. Look at the waves!!!! Ahhh! =D =D =D

You HAVE to watch this! I was taking this video when I said to myself: Magnifique...! The surf was just the BEST. It look liked something in a painting. A mesmerizing work of art. The only difference is it's LIVE, it's real.
Man can only go so far as to paint or to describe in words, or even to do some computer animation, but never can we create the real thing. Only God can work such wonders.

Almost heavenly. Looking at the photos, I realize they are NOTHING compared to the real thing!

With my parents. A photo with some of the 12 Apostles behind us.

With my cousin Ashley. =)

the Loch Ard Gorge. Look at the sky first, doesn't the swirl of the clouds somehow match the form of the limestone cliffs and the waves breaking on shore? Perfect timing it was!

This is my most favorite beach in the whole wide world! :D

Whatever my dad was doing... It was a cool candid shot! =)

The cave...

My dad going alone. Haha.

Man, I LOVE THIS SHOT I love this shot ILoveThisShot!!! =D

After this shot, I said to myself: I'm not taking dad's pictures no more! I'm going! :P

From the inside...

Exploring the cave. :D

Running back out was the funnest. :P We didn't realize that the tide was coming in. If it came in too deep, we probably would've to swim to shore, which was very dangerous cause' the rocks were close and the waves were very strong in the cove. So anyway, I timed my running out. The tide pulled back every 10 seconds. For extra excitement, I whooped and screamed as I clambered over the rocks and ran to shore just before the waves crashed back in. Haha xD

We love adventures :D

The wind-blown clouds made this photo all the more interesting!

At the Bay of Martyrs. I thought it was a cool name. =)

One of the "martyrs".

The London Bridge! Man, its so beautiful. I can't imagine how the rock formed like that.

Before going home, we went to the Loch Ard Gorge again.

Sun "baked" there for a while...

And my crazy dad and cousin Mark went into the freezing cold water!

Janna, Jonathan, Jirene, and Benjamin making sand castles at the beach.

This was at another site called the Grotto. We climbed past the wall that restricted people from going further in and got so close to where the massive waves crashed against the limestone walls. It was magnificent!


Enchanting. =)

Wish I could sit there the whole day and read a book. Ahh, that would be perfect.

Last shot at the Grotto! =)

Boy, all those sights were just too much for my eyes! Strangely, on the trip back, whenever I closed my eyes for a nap, I would see the crashing and swirling waves. Oh the beautiful, perfect surfs. I saw it in my mind’s eye! It’s forever with me. I loved every moment, every memory of it! =)

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