March moments #1
It seems so long ago now since I blogged about adventures of the Australian kind but in March I did a few things worth sharing, so better late than never…
A long weekend in March involved camping, hiking, platypus searching and bushbashing. The day’s rock climbing and abseiling I had been looking forward to with a friend for some months got cancelled last minute due to heavy rainfall and slippery rocks, so since the camping and car hire were non-refundable, the only thing we could do was go anyway and make the most of the location. Although I was disappointed that the purpose of the trip had changed, I was looking forward to a couple of days out of Melbourne, to enjoy the countryside and smell the fresh air.
Werribee Gorge is a relatively small national park compared to its neighbours, but nevertheless offers spectacular scenery for a day’s hiking. Our 10km hike up, over and along the gorge was well worth it. It took us up along the ridge overlooking the calm green waters inside the gorge and the rolling greenery of the Victorian landscape outside it. After the decent, you follow the river for about 5km and at one point there is a little bit of rock climbing, as you scramble around the rock face over the river, assisted by some metal chains and handholds. The scariest part of the day was nothing physical regarding the hike, but a pile of bones we came across which looked remarkably human sized (or maybe kangaroo-sized) leading us to spend the next few kms coming up with stories of whose bones they were and what had happened to them.
Later on, hiking without a map caused a little confusion at a fork in the path, so a kindly hiker passing by stopping to show us his map and suggest our next route. He told me that if we went left we might have to do a bit of bush-bashing to get back onto the path, as it was quite overgrown. The differences between the Australian lingo and ours does often create those moments when you have to bite your lip hard and avoid the childish temptation to laugh in someone’s face. Honestly, go bush-bashing?????
The thoughtful Victorian parks people had put placards at certain points along the track pointing out flora and fauna of interest – one of which was the platypus. I had sort of considered this animal to be a mythical creature, which didn’t really exist: although very shy they apparently live in rock pool areas of slow-moving water, so we dedicated some time, as foreigners do, to finding it. It seems the platypus didn’t want to make an appearance that day.
Hike number 2, the following day was in Lerderderg Park, which amused me just to say it, so I simply had to drive us there for a look. Another hike took us along a river to a bathing pool, which was further down the track than we’d hoped and enthusiasm to swim had worn off a little when we got there. The actual location was idyllic however, with barbecue spots, and sunny grassed area, rivers, pools and a number of paths leading off to different hikes. It struck me just how much I was enjoying being in Australia, and how with very little effort you can travel less than an hour out of the city and enjoy peace and tranquillity, exercise ( I know, sometimes I enjoy it!) and just being surrounded by green things. Although I enjoy living in a city and having things at my fingertips, I was born in the country and know that my real happiness comes from being in it, and every now and then necessity dictates that I find somewhere green to fill that need.
Done. A great weekend with great company in great surroundings.