After the koalas, we detoured inland a bit to briefly visit a tropical rain forest. For Kathy and Stephanie and me, it was very similar to the forest we visited with Andrea and Darryl the day before. But it was the students’ first experience with a rain forest, and they were as amazed as we had been the day before. Here’s Megan, Yardley, Brooke and Shelby in their natural habitat:
And Josh, Marissa, Rachel and Jeff in a similar habitat:
But DON’T touch the mushrooms said our guide, John. After hearing songs about the zillion ways to die from natural predators and fauna in Australia, we didn’t challenge him on this.
After the forest, we headed out to the end of the Great Ocean Road – the Shipwreck Coast. Here, we stopped to view the incredible rock formations known as The Twelve Apostles (although several of the apostles have fallen into the ocean).
Next stop was to hear about the incredibly sad and romantic story of the wreak of the Loch Ard steamer which sailed from England in 1878. After three months of sailing, the ship had almost reached port when a terrible storm came up in the middle of the night. By the time the captain realized where he was, the ship was on the rocks and went down within 15 minutes. Tom Pearce, a young 18 yo crew member made it to shore, and soon heard the cries of Eva Carmichael, the only passenger to survive. Against incredible odds, young Tom swam back out to the rocks to save young Eva and brought her into what has now been named the Loch Ard Gorge. They were the only two survivors of the wreak. Tom was given medals and rewards and went on to continue a life at sea, surviving three additional ship wreaks. Eva returned to Ireland after three months, and married and had a large family. Here’s Alexis, YouDee and me on our way down into the gorge:
The gorge was very impressive and very scary:
Here’s the back edge of the gorge with Stephanie and YouDee. The rock formations were inspiring.
The final stop was London Bridge – a natural rock formation. In the picture below, the rock was once connected to the mainland to the left. While there were people on the rock, the whole bridge section fell into the sea, trapping a young couple who were unfortunately married to other people. OOPS! Especially since they were rescued by a News Media helicopter. Moral of the story – fooling around on a rock in the middle of the ocean is a bad idea!
A group shot at London Bridge was a must:
Kathy was happy today at London Bridge, too……….nothing could go wrong. And a beautiful sunset, too.