Day 1 – Victorian weather and Great Ocean Road scenery at it’s finest
Rain, hail, sun, strong winds…welcome to the Great Ocean Walk.
Wide tracks through the forest, narrow walks heading down to a secluded beach, skipping over rock pools…we had all this (and more) on Day 1 of our trek, along the world famous Great Ocean Road.
Early on in the day I was wandering along the beach with a member of my group and he says ‘Are you going to put a jacket on?’ I look up towards where he’s pointing, and in that split second it came down – ice cold shards of rain ripping through us, as we struggled against the wind to get our poncho’s on. Did the poncho keep me dry? Who knows – by the time I managed to get it on, I was soaked through. Within 10 minutes it was all over and done with – the sun pushing through helping to dry us off.
Victoria (more specifically Melbourne) is famous for it’s changing weather but even this seemed extreme! I learnt that the Otways (the hills near the Great Ocean Road) have the highest rainfall in the State – that explains the beautiful green hills (and the rain).
Later on I enjoyed some time wandering through the forest alone, drinking my thermos of coffee (word spread about this thermos, and I was lucky I didn’t get rugby tackled for it!). This was a rare treat for me – an hour or so of peaceful reflection coupled with physical activity – bliss!
I caught up with the group a bit later, then we stayed together off and on until we ended the day at Blanket Bay. From what I could tell it was a lovely spot – within 30 seconds of arriving on the beach we were pelted with hail. Had you asked me did I have enough energy left to run I would’ve said no – but you should’ve seen me go!! For future reference: hail on the back of your neck really stings.
There were lots of camping spots at Blanket Bay, but we headed back for a warm shower and our comfy beds in Apollo Bay to rest up and fuel up (pasta – what else?!) ready for Day 2.
Getting to know my fellow walkers – what a varied and interesting bunch we were!
Chilled drops of rainwater falling on my face to cool me down after a LOOONNNNGGGG hill (thought it would never end).
The smells of the forest after the rain
My time spent alone, with time to take it all in and soak it up
The hail at Blanket Bay – walked all day to get there then couldn’t fully appreciate it
Where: Marengo Caravan Park to Blanket Bay via Bald Hill & Sandy Beach – approx. 18km
Summary: A few long hills, some walking on the beach (over the rocks), mainly through the forest