Great Ocean Road-Day 3

When I woke up the next day all of the guys from our cabin had already left to go on the quad tours. I looked over to see Julie waking up just as I was. We made a comment about enjoying having the room to ourselves.  We soon got into a deep subject for such an early morning.

 

We talked about alcoholism and how it destroyed people's lives.  We talked about how certain people had an addiction and their bodies did not allow them to stop when it was time to stop.  We talked about loved ones with this problem and how it affects the entire family.

 

After a bit we took turns using the restroom and getting ready for the day. In about five minutes we made our way to the meal area where we ate breakfast and then made ourselves wraps for lunch.

 

Everyone loaded the bus just as the boys got back from the quad tour. We all waved goodbye to Steve and told him thank you for the hospitality.

 

On the bus I heard all the buzz about what had happened after Julie and I went to sleep. Apparently Peter had voluntarily done a cartwheel and handstand of his own. The boys were so impressed at this they repeatedly told us how awesome it was. I guess the guys were all up until 4am. They had only two hours sleep before going on their quad tours. Even though they were all horribly hungover, they said the fun night was worth it.

 

Our main event for Day 3 was hiking up the Grampions. It took us two hours but it was definitely my favorite part of the trip. There was an easy route and a hard route and Gnaire led the hard hike.  Myself along with Laurence, Matthew, Maxime, Julie, Sarina, Sven, Kris, Stuart and Elena all went on the hard hike.

 

The mountain we hiked was called Mount Hollow. It took us an hour to get to the top and I'll admit, it wasn't an easy hike. At one point we got to crawl on our bellies and squish ourselves inside a cave. I loved that part! Then we crawled around the cave and up to the very top of the mountain. The very top was absolutely breathtaking and it was awesome to feel like you had accomplished something hard. I felt very good, like I had earned a special privileged view that only those who completed the hike could see. Even Stuart and Elena, who were fearful of the hike, had made it to the top and were displaying self gratification on their faces. We all encouraged one another and took a group photo to commemorate our success.

 Our group at the top of the mountain.

Our group at the top of the mountain.

 

On the way down I thought it was definitely harder than the way up, and again at the bottom I felt really good, like I had accomplished another feat. We all took pictures again at the bottom before refilling our water bottles and getting back on the bus. The group who took the short hike said it was a nice view but I could tell they didn't have the sense of self-satisfaction that those of us who had climbed the hard hike had received.

 

From there the day moved on quickly. We had our pre-made lunch at Horsham in a park under some shade. It was there that we realized we were about to have to say goodbye to one another. Julie and I talked about how we needed a Facebook group so we could share all of our pictures with one another.

I agreed and so I passed my phone around and told everyone to add themselves to my Facebook page so I could create a group for us to post in. Everyone but the Denmark couple and Peter had Facebook and I thought that was awesome.

 

After lunch we split up into two groups: those going back to Melbourne and those journeying on to Adelaide. Matthew and I, of course, were en route to Adelaide. Fortunately there was a fair sized group heading to Adelaide with us. We said our goodbyes to Peter, Sarina, Elena, Dikta, Kris and Maxime and then walked with the rest of the group to the bus stop across the street. We had half an hour to kill so I uploaded photos to Facebook while Julie wrote her postcards. Matthew talked on the phone and the Denmark couple enjoyed a few cigarrettes each.

 

While we sat there waiting I realized Matthew and I still hadn't booked any accommodations for Adelaide so I searched the web and found that for this particular city, the hostels were cheaper than using AirBnb. We had a few connections in Adelaide but all of those fell through as well so I called the Traveller's Inn, Backpackers and booked us two beds for three nights. It was $23 per night a piece and I thought that was pretty groovy.

 

When the bus pulled up Matthew and I handed the driver our luggage first. “Wow. Those are big ones!” he pointed at our suitcases and made a slight face as he struggled to lift them into the storage space of the bus.

 

This bus was much bigger than the tour bus. It has big seats and enough room for fifty people. Matthew and I took our place in the front as co-pilots. Behind us sat Stuart and Mark and behind them sat Julie and then the Denmark couple, followed by Denice in a row to herself.

 

Stuart and I began discussing American politics. He asked Matthew and I our views on Trump and we shook our heads and shrugged our shoulders. Before we explained any further Stuart said he thought that was exactly how Americans should feel. We talked again about the fact that Trump may be a wild card but there aren't many other prospects.

 

Stuart made a good point regarding Hilary Clinton. He said if the past six presidents mostly consisted of two families: the Bush's and the Clinton's, that made our democracy look like a joke. I agreed it was a good point and he expressed his distaste for Hilary Clinton.

We then got into a similar conversation to the one we had with Jack; regarding British politics. Stuart told us they discussing weather to leave the European Union or not and in Stuart's opinion they ought to stay in the union simply because it would be better in the long run. He said if they left the union things like passports and immigration would get much more complicated. I thought it was interesting that he had the opposite opinion of Jack.

 

I then asked Mark what was relevant in German politics and he explained to me the immigration problems that his country was having. Apparently Germany was being overtaken with Syrian refugees and his country was quick to feed and shelter these people because they were refugees. The problem was that now Germany was over its capacity for people and the German's were mad at the government for providing so much free assistance to non-German peoples. He also explained that many of the Syrians were taking advantage of the free assistance and it was all happening so fast that the German government was struggling to write laws to keep up with the problems. Mark said every single day there was 300,000 refugees entering his city alone.

 

After learning enough about overseas politics, I excused myself to my writing and wrote for the remaining two hours. When we pulled into Adelaide Mark, Stuart, Matthew and I all realized we were going to be in Adelaide for a few days and promised to meet up for a drink later that evening after everyone was showered and settled.

 

Matthew and I grabbed our luggage once more and made the wise decision to catch a taxi for a 5 minute ride rather than walk a 20 minute walk with luggage in the rain. Adelaide had dropped the temperature another ten degrees and it was cool and rainy when we arrived.

 

A nice taxi man from Iran gave us a ride to the hostel. He pointed out some points of interest on the way and told us to enjoy our stay in Adelaide. The owner of the hostel had given me instructions to find my name on the wall by the door and retrieve my room key from the box above it. Matthew and I did as instructed and made our way inside the hostel.

 

This hostel was different but similar to the ones we had stayed in so far. The staircase was covered in a wild floral pattern that looked retro and dated. The doors were each painted a bright color; blue, green and yellow. Our door happened to be white but the walls inside it were bright orange. We walked in to find two other roommates already there.

 

“How's it goin?” Matthew nodded at the two guys on their separate beds. One of them grunted and the other one looked at us without saying anything.

 

“Hi.” I said as I looked at both of them. The guy on the left laid on his back and the other one climbed off his bed and walked out of the room.

 

Matthew and I discussed our options and then verbally agreed to shower and then make our way downtown for some food. The other guy got up and left the room as I gathered my things for the shower. Before I left the room I had to stop myself from laughing when I saw Matthew's face. He was staring in disbelief at the room around him. I knew he was running on very little sleep and I knew this room wasn't the fanciest but his face just said it all. He noticed me looking at him and said, “What is this place?” He sat on the bed and told me it was hard as a rock. I laughed at his description and went off to take my shower.

 

After we both showered I could tell Matthew felt a lot better. Our room had a half-sized door that led out to the balcony and there was a lot of noise coming through the screen. We decided the best thing to do was to get out of the room and go eat.

 

Down on the sidewalk we walked past a Thai restaurant, an organic pizza place and a rowdy pub. We walked a bit further and found a hip italian bistro that caught our eye. I texted Stuart and told him where to join us. I then took a picture of our table and put it on Facebook to announce my arrival in Adelaide.

 

While we waited on Stuart, Matthew and I each ordered a glass of the house Shiraz which was a variety grown in the Mclaren Vale which was close by. The glass was $5.50 each and a bottle was only $20. After our first glass I went ahead and ordered us a bottle and another glass for Stuart to have when he arrived.

 

Stuart came in as we were halfway through our second glass of wine. I poured him a drink and Matthew pulled him up a chair. We listened as Stuart told us about his 12 minute walk that Siri had drug him through from his hotel to here. He then told us about how he sometimes got lonely travelling alone. He said he was 42 and had never been married. I asked him why and he said he had just never found the right person at the right time.

 

I got the impression that Stuart had a pretty nice job back home. He seemed to have a good amount of money and occasionally I caught him stressing about a situation on his phone, after which he would always explain it was work. I continuously told him to turn his phone off and enjoy his vacation. A few times he would. That night he did.

 

While I was on my third glass I noticed the bottle was empty but I was halfway through my meal so I figured I'd be okay. Just as I looked up I saw two things happening. Our buddy Mark walked in and Matthew also presented the table with a second bottle of wine. We pulled Mark up a chair and began on our second bottle as a group. When we had finished our bottle we noticed the restaurant around us was clean and dark and we got the impression that the staff was ready to go home.

Matthew suggested we walk up the street and find a pub to get into. Sure enough we found a rooftop bar not far away. While I was inspecting the pallet furniture, Stuart and Matthew were busy buying our third bottle of wine. I don't remember much after that but I just know I had a really good time. We laughed and we drank and we celebrated our first night in a new city. We had all become such fast friends and we eventually ordered a fourth bottle of wine before closing down the bar.

 

I remember a chilly wind surrounding us as we said our goodbyes and walked ourselves home. I fell asleep on the rock-hard mattress and didn't wake up until 10 o'clock the next day.