So with Leslie all kitted out he needed a trial run.
So what better trip for a Devonian surfer to take to christen his house on wheels and get back on the surfari than down Australias infamous Great Ocean Road – a 560km roundtrip along Victoria’s coastline to Port Campbell.
For this test we decided to push Leslie to max capacity – so Me, Kez and Kat were joined by Kty Lou and Amy.
The first day was suitably delayed by an Australia Day hangover…but we were sooned loaded, kitted out with food, put on some acoustic tuneage and hit the road.
First hurdle was exiting Melbourne…which after being lost so many times proved pretty easy :)
Our initial stop was Torquay, somewhere I was particularly excited about. Torquay has 2 things going for it surf wise. Firstly is the fact it’ next to the infamous Bells Beach (home of the Ripcurl Pro….which hopefully I shall be shooting in March) and secondly is the fact its the birthplace of Ripcurl and Quiksilver…and therefore has the factory outlets!
Cue a detour to surf village…basically a shopping centre with nothing but surf labels and surf culture on the brain!
First off I was immediately drawn to a huge red sign outside the Quiksilver store…it simply said “50% off EVERYTHING in store”. This was pretty sweet given the price of surf clothes these days and the fact I was lacking clean clothes!
Secondly…and more expensively…was the Ripcurl store…where I went slightly overboard :S
I constrained myself to merely browsing the other shops (including Billabong, Reef, Oakleys….) bought some much needed straps for the surfboard and noticing the evening light and favourable offshore wind headed straight for the beach.
And in mid January, in nothing but boardies and a rashie, I had my debut 2010 surf…only a foot or so…but it was much needed and I left with a tasty smile on my face!
A quick mission down the road, and a setting sun, we managed to find a free camping spot, lost the kitchen virginity and bantered over a glass of goon :)
The second day started with an early rise and on to do the touristy thing at the Twelve Apostles. The 12 Apostles (if, like my mother you don’t know about!) are a series of rock pillars along the coastline standing solo in the sea. They’re a testament to the erosion around the coastline, and the recent recent collapse of 1 has sparked up the global warming debate again in Oz. More amusingly a formation known as ‘London Bridge’ had its archway collapsed due to erosion….stranding 2 people metres from land with a turbulent sea and a formidable drop the only things around them.
Of course coastguards and the inevitable TV crews descended onto the scene – but the two strandees were reluctant to be filmed. Days later it emerged the pair were actually having an affair and didnt want their partners to find out!
We spent the day wandering around the surrounding area, chilling in beautiful coves, meeting Bob the Echidna and eating cold pasta salad.
Of course the trip home saw a detour for another surf…a a lush horseshoe bay with a tasty shorebreak and right hand point :)
And after a rather arduous drive back to the city, in time to hit the St Kilda Night Market, we arrived back in Melbourne.
Fun Times and stoked for more surfing roadtrips :)