Melbourne to Robe 2 - Ice
The decision to drive across Victoria to South Australia rather than fly was to experience the Great Ocean Road which follows the wild coastline fronting the Great Southern Ocean for the first 400 kilometres of the 600 kilometre drive. It did not disappoint.
The autumn sun shone; the ocean was at its turquoise best; the road was relatively quiet; the surf rolled in perfect formation towards cliffs and pristine beaches. There were occasional pods of black suited surfers collected on the points of various headlands but few others wearing less than boots, jackets and long trousers and most of these in coffee shops or enjoying the view from their cars.
So naturally, at Lorne, unable to resist such a picturesque beach and perfect water, I went for a swim. No wetsuit for me, just skin and speedos. At knee level I usually ask myself why I made this decision but by then it’s too late. It was freezing as I dove through the first breaker I couldn’t outjump. My testicles had already rejected me as the water crept up to my waist. Now my eyeballs went into deep freeze mode and threatened to carry the pain through the eye socket to my brain where all life would cease. But as all fools who enter subzero waters will attest, it’s just a matter of waiting for the body to adjust. Translate this as lose all sensation and then mistake this for pleasure.
Fifteen minutes and a half dozen rides on some great body surfing waves I emerged and returned to the car numb, but still with the capacity for speech. As we drove off my feet were on autopilot as they worked the pedals of the Corolla but as my body returned to its normal temperature, rather than feel relief, it seemed to have a delayed shock reaction and pain not pleasure slowly crept over my body as we headed for the Wye River and a much anticipated lunch of lamb and minestrone soup.