Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | October 11, 2014

Adventures on the Other Side of the World #1

Welcome to the Great Ocean Road!

Welcome to the Great Ocean Road!

It’s October 11, 2014, and I’m finally on my long-awaited adventure in Australia. It’s a trip that has been over a year in the making, and even longer if you count when my friend Alexander moved to Melbourne and I said he could expect a visit from me at some point. Well, that point is now, and I am pleased as all get out to be writing this from the furthest away that I have ever been.

I’ll begin with apologies if some of this is less than coherent – I’m running on fumes at this point, or fumes and giddy excitement. I began my trek from Yellowknife to Australia on October 8, flying to Vancouver where I got the chance to overnight at my Godmom’s and squeeze in a visit. That part was mainly uneventful (though my dad did play here by picking me up a new carryon when I discovered the one I’d recently purchase had a crummy zipper and I couldn’t properly get it open. As the snow began to fly in Yellowknife, I dumped out my carry on into the new one as soon as my dad pulled up, and was so excited I barely felt the stress).

Getting my toes in sand and surf again, and it feels perfect!

Getting my toes in sand and surf again, and it feels perfect!

From there, it was a flight on Air China to Melbourne via stops in Beijing and Shanghai. Given my propensity for jet lag and my desire to get the most out of my days down under, I indulged in a business class ticket (booked on Priceline so quite reasonable), and I have to say that it is definitely worth it for such a long stretch of time. I had a little difficulty navigating the Beijing airport, but again it was mostly smooth sailing. I got some sleep and while I’m exhausted now, I am mostly within the right time zone thanks to being able to lie flat and actually get some sleep in the airplane. I’d write more, but again the exhaustion is wreaking a bit of havoc on my brain. Good food, good service, and the space is excellent,; no complaints from me at all on Air China’s business class, especially since the price was not exorbitant.

The line at the customs part of the airport in Australia was insanely long, and I didn’t make my navigating all that much better by missing the spot where you pick up the declaration card. The customs agent was kind enough to let me step out fill one out then back in rather than going to the back of the line. Then it was another long line to exit.

A moment of lovely light along the Great Ocean Road.

A moment of lovely light along the Great Ocean Road.

Once through to the other side, Alexander was there to meet me. He’d rented a vehicle for the weekend, as after a stop at his flat (in a mansion converted to rental units) where I showered off two days of plane germs. Then we took a quick walk to get the lay of the neighbourhood before packing up the car and hitting the road… The Great Ocean Road, that is.

We drove down to Clifton Lodge, where we are staying the next couple of days to see the ocean and the Twelve Apostles. The drive is incredibly pretty, and we even got to stop in a lovely little town (called Lorne) where we had dinner at a pier restaurant. I had a paella with tons of different seafood. It was very flavourful and fillng, and I couldn’t finish, there was so much of it. The Rose Moscato from Jacob’s Creek I accompanied it with was lovely as well. We made lots of stops for pictures along the road, and I was especially excited to put my feet in the ocean. I even put them in a new ocean, technically, since we stopped at a convergence of the Pacific and Southern Oceans, in the Bass Straight. It was just gorgeous, an extra lovely to get my tooties in the surf again. The weather here is gorgeous, and it is just going to get warmer.

But now I’m starting to feel my days of travel, and should be hitting the sack in short order. Alexander and I are getting up early tomorrow to catch the sunrise (and maybe some kangaroos napping on the lawn) so I’ll be signing off to brush my teeth and curl into my bed for the night. Tomorrow is going to be amazing, I can feel it. In fact, I’m sure this is going to be an amazing month. I’m so very, very glad to be here, and I can’t wait to have more adventures.



  1. I love Australia it’s so diverse, preparation is the key to a good trip!

    • I love it too, and am sorry my time here is going to be ending soon. I’ll have to come back and do the other half at some point!

      • Yes when we planned our trip we realsied how big it was and how much longer than we thought it took to get anywhere – when an Ozzie says 10 minutes they mean 15 really!!

  2. Oh, I’m used to that, I’m from Northern Canada!

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