10th February to 24th February 2015
After we departed Ocean Grove we made a detour to Woolworths to do our weekly shop, as we knew the Foodworks in Lorne was very limited in choice and quite pricey. We then headed to Bells Beach in Torquay to have lunch and a play in the water.
Nik and I assumed as it was a Tuesday we would only be sharing the place with the hardcore surfers (sadly no Keanu…). Oh my, were we wrong!!!! Being a nice sunny day the carpark was inundated with Wicked campers, hire cars, motor homes and tourists. We parked in the furtherest park away from the crowds, took a deep breath, got out and started making lunch before we attempted to join them. We went for a wander along the path and boardwalk lookout and noticed that only the diehards had decided to tackle the long steep descent down to the beach. So that’s where we decided we were going!!! After we did the usual routine of sunscreen application we headed down to the sand for our taste of Bells Beach. The girls had moaned and groaned when we refused to get their surfboards off the trailer, ignoring our comments and rolling their eyes (more so Bec) at our surfer dude talk about “how the waves are really far out and gnarly and not really suited for young grommets like themselves to hang ten on.” Within 5 minutes of them ‘frolicking’ (translation: getting dumped and knocked about) in the knee deep waves I think they were secretly thanking us for not having boards. The waves on the beach weren’t too great and were shore dumpers so that was enough for the girls to muck around in. After about an hour of watching the surfers and the girls screaming and running away from the waves we decided to head off, which meant a walk back to the stairs in very soft, shin deep, coarse sand and a butt busting trek up the 4 flights of stairs and steep path back to the carpark (damn that park far away in the corner…..). All in all we liked Bells Beach, it is certainly a beautiful beach, not one recommended for the faint hearted or young children though as it has a very deep drop off right on the shore. Hard to imagine how they manage to set up for the Ripcurl surf event and cater to the crowd as the area is quite steep and harsh and not crowd friendly at all. Might have to have a closer look on TV when its on.
From Bells we meandered along the Great Ocean Road to arrive at Lorne. As there is only one caravan park in Lorne, which is owned by the council who charge ridiculous prices, we had no alternative but to stay there. Our site, was a dusty, uneven site that had a car parked on it with no driver in sight…. I wasn’t impressed, and as the car had a mobile number on the side I rang it and left a polite message for them to please come and collect it. So while we waited, we decided that we weren’t happy with the site so drove back to the office and requested another one. The receptionist was a lovely lady who ummed and ahhed, saying that it was hard because the park is booked out, but luckily in the end she put us on a site where all the permanent vans were. The site was perfect, as it was a quiet, grassy spot with brand new amenities and a playground. To date we have quickly learnt to always enquire with the receptionist at check in about the type of site and the whereabouts in the park it is, as well as their opinion about it. I suppose its our version of upgrading from economy to business class!!!!
Our first few days at Lorne were spent doing schoolwork in the morning, eating lunch, then surfing for the rest of the afternoon. My brother, his wife and our 2 young nephews came down for a visit on the Saturday, it was great to catch up them. Also on the Saturday we went down to the beach where there was the masters lifesaving competition as well as a boaties comp, the beach was packed!!!! Lifesaving Victoria were there too, running trials on new lifejackets for competitors, so as Bec had her SRC (surf rescue certificate) she got to take part and was given a $75 voucher for Westfield Shopping Centre. She has already mapped out our return to the closest Westfield in Geelong to spend her quick grab for cash!!!!!!
Over the following week we had were kept busy with a senior and a junior lifesaving carnival, the kids all did well and had fun. We all got a chance to catch up with our friends and enjoy a meal at the local pub.
We went for a fish on the Lorne Pier on evening, unfortunly with no luck, although a local angler pulled in a sting ray which was only a baby and thankfully was thrown back in. We got some great photos and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!!
The weather for our second week was pretty average so we once again we got stuck into schoolwork until lunchtime then went surfing or to the skate park after lunch. We went for a short walk from our campsite along the Erskine Falls walk to a place known as the ‘sliding rocks’, unfortunly there was not enough water in the river to ‘slide’ so we just hopped around the rocks and explored. I did a few walks along GOR and to Erskine Falls and before we knew it our time at Lorne was over.
And yes whilst we were in Lorne we had about 3 thunderstorms too. We absolutely love Lorne and we all had a ball during our stay, but we were ready to move on. Make sure you look at Bec’s page and have a look at her video blog summing up her time in Lorne: surfing, skating and lifesaving mates!!! So after a very relaxing fortnight we headed off to our next destination on our Ozlap……………..