Saturday, July 13, 2013

Surfing the waves on the Great Ocean Road

I have been in Australia for two weeks, and the time has absolutely flown by and yet I feel like I've done so much.

After leaving the wonder hospitality of some friends of a friend, I moved in to what I will call home for the next 4 months or so. I'm living in what they call a boarding house here, which means that the couple that own the house live in the downstairs area; the upstairs area is a self-contained rentable area. I live upstairs with two other girls, both originally from China, and we have three bedrooms, living room, full kitchen, and a shared bathroom on the second floor of the house. It is a wonderful set up and I am very close to campus, 3-5 mins. walking time. I've lived there for a week now, and am loving it, and I love hanging out with their cute dog!

Sunrise view from my kitchen window

Me and Jessie

Let me know by email or post a comment if you would like the address.

Well luckily for all exchange students, my school here Deakin University set up a three day beach trip to the picturesque town of Lorne, located on the famous Great Ocean Road.

So, before I left there were a lot of questions about surfing in Australia, quite a trademark of traveling in Australia (cough**David**cough). So dude, even though I'm like from Southern California, dude, I've like never totally mastered the surfing bro. (Hopefully you understand the exaggeration there). Keeping in mind that is winter here, and that the air temperature during the day is 15°C (55° F), at night is 5°C (40°F), and the water is 13°C (55°F). I did go surfing, in the town of Lorne. I had to wear a full wetsuit, actually everyone was wearing a full wetsuit except for this crazy old guy, wearing white, see-through-when-their-wet underwear.

Photo by: Nadia Buttice
Well we did get surfing lessons, and after attempting to catch some waves...I was actually able to stand up! ...and then I fell....but I sure felt accomplished! Surfing is really so much fun, and quite a good workout.

Me and my Australian surf instructor

The university had activities set up for us for all the days, meals set up, a place to stay, etc.... all at no extra charge to us. Well a line up like that attracted almost all the exchange students, and in total we were about 200 people. It was a giant group, but surprisingly over the three days we got to know each other all pretty well. Split into groups of 50 people, we rotated though the activities for three days.

The first day, my group had surfing which was an absolute blast. That night at dinner, I was part of a limbo competition, i'm not as limber as some of those people. The next day was a jam packed day of fun; beginning with a hike into the Australian bush. We headed inland early in the morning, the landscape can best be described as semi-arid forest, with plenty of ferns and eucalyptus as well as rivers running every which way. It was my lucky day because we spotted a kangaroo. It was a much different spotting a kangaroo hopping around in the wild than it is to see one in the zoo; and I have to admit, I felt a little bad about eating kangaroo steaks only a few days before because it was probably his cousin or something! After the really nice hike, I opted for beach yoga. This was very refreshing and felt good after being sore from surfing and hiking. The afternoon was full of fish and chips and beach volleyball and then wine. You have to watch out when your eating outside because there are yellow-haired cockatoos everywhere, as well as the black and white magpies...together they threaten any meal you eat outside. Dinner that night included Trivia Night. So, without using your SMARTPHONES!!.....first person to get this question right by leaving a comment, I will send you a postcard!

Which of the following is not an Australian innovation?
A) Chiko Roll (kind of like egg roll)
B) Lawn Sprinkler
C) Plastic Bank notes
D) Dual flush toilet
E) Wine cask

 The trip to Lorne and traveling along the Great Ocean Road was amazing and loads of fun!

First day on the Great Ocean Rd.

I still don't understand how they destroy homes???

Hiking into the bush

Magpie birds, that are everywhere, like our crows

A great group of friends I've made
I didn't mind looking at this view for 3 days


  1. Lawn sprinklers it is! Australians invented everything on that list except lawn sprinklers. Congrats Tom. Post card headed your way.


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