Monday, August 11, 2008

Just a Little Bit East of Tipperarie

Still on the Great Ocean Road. I tell you, if you come to Australia, you have to spend a couple days driving this baby. It's just one spectacular view after another. And what you're seeing shifts radically as you drive on.

The most radical example of this: After driving along the cliffs and limestone toward the western end of the road, I turned back east toward the longer expanse of the road. Almost immediately the road pulled away from the ocean into the mountains that abut to the north.

We wound up and around through what looked like farm country. And then suddenly I found myself in County Clare.

(Click on any of these or the ones below for a much broader view.)

Isn't it amazing? Frankly, I wasn't ready for it. After six months in Australia I had seen outstanding beaches, great urban landscapes and that strange, scary, oh so alluring world of the outback. But hills? Farmland? Never, not once. And then, all of a sudden, here it was, hidden on a road supposedly dedicated to the ocean. For kilometers and kilometers it spun on and away, Australian pastoral.

And like most great things I've seen these last eight months, it was impossible to adequately capture. The views you see here are just small cuttings of what you see when you're standing there. Time and again, I would come up on a turn and hit the brakes, I was so blown away.

Soon after I began on this part of the road, but before the amazing views, I saw a sign that struck me as funny:

When some Australians really like something, they'll say "Beauty!" (For example, if I admire your shirt, or the fact that you brought some beer along, or the sausages you made, I might say, "Beauty!") It can be sort of another way of saying "Good on ya!" That is, well done!

Looking at those rolling hills, boy that phrase made new sense. Hey God -- Beauty Spot!

No comments: