A Day Around Apollo Bay

The whole day, I regretted not wearing my Vans. I had driven most of the Great Ocean Road in them yesterday and had considered not bringing any other shoes with me on the trip. Just my Vans.
Tom (my cousins husband), Ania (my cousin) and me (in my Vans), driving down the Great Ocean Road
 Ania taking pics
 Beauchamp Waterfalls, carnivorous black snail only found in the Otways

We were meant to be walking the Otway treetop walk today  - a path I could only imagine would be muddy and wet. So I wore my heavily reduced, bright blue runners. I looked ridiculous. Cute top, tights, cozy jumper, snood, tailored coat and bright blue runners.

Given my company (my family) I managed to sufficiently ignore my strange ensemble – I’d seen them wear worse combinations. My dad often matches bright pink socks with his work gear (he’s a tradie of sorts). He was the first to comment.

My remorse deepened when I realised that we were not in fact going to the Otway treetop walk today but to Cape Otway Lightstation and the Twelve Apostles. I could’ve worn my Vans.

I bounced around Cape Otway Lightstation, peppered with questions from my cousin, who is Poland born and raised. She asked about traveling around Australia, our beautiful natural sights and when was the last time I was in Apollo Bay.
Cape Otway Lightstation, view from the top

I went to Apollo Bay recently enough for a fun run but didn’t actually visit the sites. Before that I hadn’t been to Apollo bay in close to 10 years. I remember the last time I was there, in parts; travelling with a close friend and her family, filling the spa with bubble bath which consumed the whole bathroom in bubbles and walking the Otway tree top walk. And I remember that it was cold.

It was cold this time around too. There’s a cafĂ© at most tourist destinations to warm up after long walks through the Otway’s and on the beach.
Apollo Bay beach with Tom and Ania

We drove to the Twelve Apostles and managed to get split up at the first opportunity. Mum and I wandered to the beach, down the Gibson steps. Dad, with my cousin Ania and her husband Tom, searched for an imaginary lookout – they had been fooled by a promising path.

It was late in the afternoon and the ‘real’ attraction was yet to be seen. As we drove to it, we read aloud each sign directing us to the Twelve Apostles, as though they themselves were the attraction.

As my nature, I had prepared for the cold, the bite of the wind. However wishful for a Stutterheim, I took pleasure in feeling the wind pierce against my exposed nose and cheeks. My fingertips intermittently snug in my recently discovered coat pockets. The wind went surprisingly unnoticed to my feet. My socks successfully filled the air holes of my bright blue runners.

The view of the Twelve Apostles was calming amidst the clicking of cameras and the hum of many voices in many languages.
Mum, Tom, Ania and Dad walking to the Twelve Apostles
 The Twelve Apostles

Returning home to Apollo Bay, we wove our way down the Great Ocean Road. Watching the sun setting behind us. What a shame it was that we we’re in the car and not on the beach. The beach! It took little convincing and many voices for my dad to pull back into Gibson steps. It was well worth the stop. All the elements drew together to create a spectacle of light and dark. The sky opened up through the greying clouds. We saw each other in a different light, if only for a moment.

View from Gibson steps

I wandered through the sand, consumed by the moment, taking pictures of my family. A wave caught me out and soaked my feet. My bright blue runners were completely submerged. All I could think about was luckily, this time, I didn’t wear my Vans.

Love Helena

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