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Our lady by the sea

Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia

August 2016

The Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic roads in the world. It stretches more than 200 km along the Southwest coast of Victoria, Australia. Completed in 1932, it was built as a memorial to all the soldiers who served during the World War I.

It was late August, almost the beginning of the Austral spring, but the cold wind on the South Australian coast was still very strong. We did not have many days, but enough to get a taste of the endless landscapes that only Australia can offer.

After a few days of driving up and down the coast, we ended up in Yuulong, a perfect location for our last stop: the Twelve Apostels. Imposing rocks in the middle of the sea, dating back more than 10 million years, in Bass Strait, between Tasmania and Australia. The view leaves one speechless. Today, due to strong winds and the sea, four have collapsed and only eight remain.

Michele and Malcolm fell in love with the South Australian coast more than 30 years ago, when they bought land to build their dream house. A beautiful brick building with a sloping red roof overlooking the ocean: 'our lady by the sea', as they call it. Ever since they left the city life, they have been taking care of their land, cultivating their veggies garden and fruit trees (always in the company of their big dogs) and trying to leave the world in a better way than they found it.

Two guest rooms are dedicated to tourists who, like us, want to enjoy the tranquillity of nature. That evening, in fact, they hosted us.

It was the birthday of one of our friends and, with Michele's complicity, we had organised a mini surprise party for him. Our table was adorned with fruit and vegetables from the garden behind the house. We spent the entire evening in their company, with chatter, music, the fire in the stove and the sound of the ocean in the background.

Years have passed, but I still remember that evening vividly.

Great Ocean Road : the cliffs

The beaches

Twelve Apostles

Twelve Apostles

A house with a red roof

The birthday boy with Michele

Surprised party

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