Australia 26 June: Airey's Inlet, Vic - Lavers Hill, Vic

Rainbows over the Great Ocean Road

During our rest day yesterday in Torquay, we were able to catch up with some of the media on the Peace Run, including this outstanding article in The Shepparton News about the new plaque installed recognising the dedication of Shepparton as a Sri Chinmoy Peace City.

Our day started in Airey’s Inlet at the primary school assembly as guests.

We started with the peace silence exercise which put everyone into Peace Run mode right from the very start.

The children were very attentive and easily guessed the runners’ countries.

Our Balinese runner, Ella was very excited that the children’s hands all shot up when she spoke Indonesian and as the day went on we realised that the primary schools all along the Surfcoast learnt Indonesian as a second language so we had repeated experiences of this at all three schools today.

Lachie and Ishi received the Certificate of Appreciation.

Louie and Amelie came up to accept a poster of one of Sri Chinmoy’s paintings on World Harmony.

What those of us from other parts of the world had heard about the beauty of the Great Ocean Road was really true. The turquoise colour and singing waves of the ocean was a beautiful experience.

Everywhere there are stunning vistas to behold.

Because our two teams "leap-frog" each other, in this way sharing the distance to be run to ensure we all make it to our appointed meetings on time, it is our custom for the team which drives ahead to leave a distinctive marker for the next team, designating the point where they have started running – and hence where the following team can stop (for the time being).

Today was our magnificent Great Ocean Road run day. We were blessed with more than seven rainbows in an intermittently cloudy and sunny day that made the turbulent and treacherous ocean in this famous stretch of Victoria appear in many varied hues of blue and turquoise with white frosting breakers.

A cool perfect day for running.

Today we wore our HiViz safety vests for much of the run as this stretch of road can get a little tricky to see people on the road as it winds its way along the coastline.

At first we thought he was one of our team members.

Next stop was Lorne for a most enthusiastic reception from Principal Geoff Couper and his students ...

... at Lorne Primary School.

Tommy and Saffy accepted the certificate and artwork.

These teachers and students really appreciate the beautiful countryside they live in and it is certainly easier to feel peace in nature as crisp and inviting as the Great Ocean Road.

One child asked a really good question about what does this torch represent? And some few other questions concerned where do we stay or if we have ever dropped the torch.

It was a perfect place to offer a Peace Tree plaque as the school grounds are being upgraded soon and with more native plantings a tree will be dedicated as a school Peace Tree.

While our boys team hit the road to cover some km, our girls team stayed back with the students who were eager to join us for a run on the oval before we too needed to get back on the road.

Eniko preparing for take-off.

Before leaving Lorne some of the girls team met the local information guide Leon who was very happy to chat to us about the Peace Run and hold the torch ...

... as his son Raff had held the torch at school with Saranyu.

Saranyu also needed to practice harmonica today, hoping to improve enough to play with the World Harmony Run song that all the children love to learn with us.

Almost all of our girls team ...

... ALL of our girls team ...

Time to hit the road again.

The next section for the boys team featured some more running with the Hi-Viz vests.

Yet another rainbow was shining upon us and Bayarkhuu loved it.

We made friends with a German tourist family who are on holidays and very thrilled to hold the Peace Torch.

Both teams met up again at Apollo Bay Primary School.

Once again we were impressed with the knowledge the children had of their world geography and these students also asked many questions of the runners during our visit.

Felix and Thea accepted the certificate for their school.

Thank you to Assistant Principal Brian Humphries for organising our visit and like him, we would love to see the Peace Run return to Apollo Bay next time. This is the first time the Peace Run has visited this wonderful school.

The final section of running for our boys team was through a portion of the great Otway Forest, surrounded by towering gum trees. It is a sheer delight to run in among such mighty trees and experience the freshness and life energy of the forest.

A few of our boys team are most grateful this evening to be staying at the Coastal Motel in Apollo Bay, our room kindly donated by the manager, Yetta. We met with Luke (pictured).

The remainder of our boys team is staying at The Boomerangs at Johanna Beach.

Roz and Mark are our generous hosts.

Mark made these luxury cabins near Johanna beach. The place has so many modern amenities to offer to rejuvenate our tired bodies.
Thank you!

Our girls team had meanwhile run the remaining kilometres and a few hills to Lavers Hill ...

... and arrived just as the dusk was descending early in the Southern Winter with our breath starting to become visible in the moist, cold air. Apart from a few clouds and light drizzle we enjoyed a clear bright night and had forgotten how nice it was to see a canopy of stars in a quiet country sky.

Thank you to Kirsten and family for very kindly accommodating the girls team at their Fauna Australia Wildlife Retreat in Lavers Hill ...

... where we are spending a quiet and relaxing night with the fauna!