We spent the Easter break camping on our friends’ property in the King River Valley. Autumn is such a restful time, with verdant pastures and luxuriant bushland bursting with ferns, fungi and sunlight. We chopped wood for the campfire, worked on the hut and burnt off the debris, while enjoying time together.
Another 25km walk but mostly at sea level on a balmy autumn day. After going through a surreal tunnel under the marina entrance, we passed the Safety Beach Sailing Club, where lessons were in progress in charming little boats called Opties.
We stopped by a cute coffee shop in Dromana called The Alley for a cappuccino and muffin, before hiking past the lighthouse at McCrae to lunch in a foreshore reserve near Rosebud. From there it was only a short walk past holiday campers to the Rosebud jetty, where children paddled in the shallows. We returned the same way, with increased activity from fishermen and dog walkers, and even a wedding car across the road. Distant ferry and container ship provided an opportunity to test the x20 optical zoom on my new compact camera.
Armed with their first Myki electronic ticket, two girls, their Mum and I boarded the bus and train for a two-hour journey to Flinders Street Station where we met their cousins for a day in Melbourne City Centre. The pop-up rooftop garden over the car park provided a taste of the familiar amongst the sensory overload. Then to Hosier Lane to admire the street art before pizza lunch in Degraves Street and a chill-out/toilet break in the City Library.
Afternoon was devoted to intensive arcade strolling, going into Haighs Chocolate for Easter cuddly ducks, pocket money finds at a toyshop and Arthur Daley’s Discount Store. A final ice-cream and it was back on the train for the long commute home, arriving after dark.
Starting with sulphur crested cockies outside the Dromana information centre, at sea level, we climbed steadily over the shoulder of Arthur’s Seat, pausing to take in the view across Port Phillip Bay towards McRae lighthouse . There were enough walkers on the track to make it sociable and some steep stretches to give us a heart workout. As we trekked inland, we were rewarded with grass trees, grazing Eastern Grey kangaroos and pastoral vistas. We didn’t quite make it to last weekend’s starting point before turning back. Even so, it took us 8.5 hours to do 26km.
Earlier this week I walked from Flinders Street Station in the heart of Melbourne CBD to Melbourne Park, where I had a tour of Rod Laver Arena, site of the Australian Open tennis. Since the Commonwealth Games in 2006, this walk has been made possible by the construction of the William Barak Bridge, a footbridge spanning the rail yards and freeway.
I took photos on the return walk, reaching the station at rush hour.
On Sunday, we did our longest day walk to date – 22km. We are in training for doing part of the Pilgrims Way in Spain, and were delighted to practise by walking through Greens Bush – unspoiled bushland in the centre of the Mornington Peninsula. The sandy path traversed creeks through fern gullies, banksia woodland and skirted elevated ant nests. They say they build them up in anticipation of rain. We crossed a bitumen road and lunched at a convenient bench before a track took us to Bushrangers Bay, returning to the car by the same route. A pleasant way to spend a sunny autumn day.