I cannot begin to describe the joy I felt when our very dear friends Yuji (aka Nashville) and Yuko Mizushima told us last year that they would come and visit us in Australia. I mean one has to make the effort to actually come here! Australia is a big and isolated continent, and unlike many other places on earth, you don’t just happen to pass by or through. Yuko and Yuji were actually flying over especially to see Alex and I and we were thrilled.
The next couple of days were taken up cruising along the Great Ocean Road, via Geelong. We decided that we would go as far as we could on the Friday, and sleep wherever we ended up. Again, lots of fun was had by all. We stopped in Geelong, and then in Torquay, where we had a traditional “fish and chips” lunch, which we ate on the foreshore. Yuko San and Nashville San were truly enjoying themselves. We then passed through Anglesea, Lorne, and ended up in Apollo Bay. The coast line in this area is truly spectacular. I love the way in which your breath is taken away as you come around a bend and see yet another view more spectacular than the last.
The Great Ocean Road is, without a doubt, one of Australia’s treasures, as well as one of the world’s most scenic roads. That night we ended up at the Dolphin Apartments, where all of us shared an apartment on the third floor. It was a funky set up with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and toilets, yet a shared living area and balcony, with sweeping views of the sea. Yuko and Yuji loved it! After the boys shared a whiskey, we made our way to The Vista Seafood Restaurant, which had been recommended to us, as Yuji loves seafood. I had a lovely vegetarian gnocchi option. It was a relaxing night enjoyed by all.
NOTE: This is part of what Yuko sent me in an e-mail upon her return to Japan: “Ombi, Alex and Dino san, you are kind to us and I thank your hospitality. We talked and talked, laughed and laughed, ate and ate together. They are all my good memories in my life.”……..this is what makes travel so special for me!!!
NOTE 2: You may recall our last Samoa blog, where I mentioned Jacques (spelt with a c!!). I promised that I would set the record straight in my next blog if I stuffed up his cultural background. So…to set the record straight, and straight from the horse’s mouth: “By the way I was born in South Africa to South African parents, Great Grandfather was French, Great Grandmother was Dutch.”
“You make the world a better place by making yourself a better person.” – Scott Sorrell
NEXT: On the 16th May, we leave for a 5 week trip to the Americas; two weeks in New York, and three weeks in Ecuador. Only one day to go!
(Photos: 1.- Welcome to Australia Yuko San and Nashville San, Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne. 2.-Back at Dino (my Dad’s) place in Thornbury, Melbourne. 3.-Nashville San doing his thing, Dino’s house. 4.- An Italian meal at Dino’s house…with the cook (Dino) in the background. 5.-Yuko San and Nashville San at Healesville Sanctuary, Healesville. 6.- Ombi and Nashville San singing away, at Dino’s house. 7.- Nashville San checking out the merchandise at Sovereing Hill, Ballarat. 8.- All of us, somewhere along the Great Ocean Road. 9.- Maits Rainforest Reserve, along the Great Ocean Road. Lto R: Nashville San, Ombi and Yuko San. 10.- Yuko and Yuji at the Cape Otway Lighthouse. 11.- Dada…………here we are infront of the famous Twelve Apostles. 12.- Talking to Sayuri (Yuko and Yuji’s daughter) via skype from Dino’s place. 13.- L to R: Yuko, Ombi, Alex and Dino at La Porchetta pizza and pasta restaurant in Carlton, Melbourne. 14.- Yuko and Yuji catch a tram a tram to the city from close to our house in Thornbury, Melbourne. 15.- Saying goodbye at Tullamarine Airport. 16.- Yuji’s new hairstyle (aka Alex’s hair)!! 17.- BBQ at Dino’s house. Lto R: Alex, Fulvio (my brother), Karen (sister-in-law), James (nephew), Yuji, Yuko and Dino.)