My week in summary
Flinders Peak; twice. You Yangs
Recently Ive been struggling a bit with hills…so to make them suck less I’m doing more of them!
Depends on what you use as your guide, Flinders Peak is somewhere between 400 and 450 granite steps, plus track. It’s also meant to take an hour return – and even on my second go (when I was slower, and stopped for more photos), I came in easily around the 40 minute mark.
I headed up there early, and was surprised to find quite a few people up there on a weekday. On the weekend it’s busier than Bourke Street (Melbourne)…
The first time I went up was great. I found it much easier than I have before, and even though I’ve never timed myself, I know it would’ve been a lot quicker as well.
The second time was a fair bit more puffing, but not too much slower, and still a lot easier than I usually find it. After looking at my watch I even managed to run the last part – did someone mention ‘competitive’?!
I’ll be doing it again soon – and before too long will try it with a fully loaded backpack (just cos that’s the type of thing I do for fun).
Highlight: It didn’t suck as much as the last time I did it.
Lowlight: It could still suck less.
The Saddle & East-West walk. You-Yangs
I caught up with a couple of old friends for a fun walk along the Saddle trail, then joining the East-West walk for half of it (following it back to the carpark).
There were lots of laughs, and we had a great time catching up – as well as only 1 hill, and lots of fun scrambling on the rocks (note to self: next time wear trail shoes – runners are slippery!).
It was a gorgeous day, and they were suitably impressed by the great views along the East-West track. Next time they wont believe my explanation of how hard a hill will be (I find that being vague works better – until you’re found out) – but seeing as though we’ve already planned next week’s walk they cant be too upset.
Highlight: Reminiscing and enjoying time with old friends.
Lowlight: Slippery runners – I usually enjoy a bit of rock hopping, but instead felt unsure on my feet.
Werribee Gorge (near Bacchus Marsh): Quarry picnic area to Junction Pool (return)
Not sure of the distance, or the exact time it took, but all up I was there about 2 ½ hours (which included more than half hour at Junction Pool, and some wandering around that area). There are quite a few options of trails, but this suited me just fine for my first time (and my 3rd day in a row of hiking).
It was so much drier than the hills on the Otways (see previous posts on the Great Ocean Walk) – and it’s not even Summer yet! I’m not surprised that area is at such a high fire risk.
I got up there early, which meant for most of it I only saw a couple of others, but by the time I was leaving it was one group after another. It was my first time out with my gaiters (bought at the Kathmandu sale last week) – but most of the people I saw were wearing shorts – just as I was looking at their bare legs thinking WTF, I could see them checking out my gaiters thinking WTF! I didn’t see any snakes, but there was a lot of long grass and bushes…I was also glad I’d taken my trail shoes today (go the Merrell’s) – as my runners would’ve had me sliding all over the place.
The Junction Pool was a great spot to stay for a while. Except for the noisy cockatoo’s, the trickling water and stunning scenery were perfect.
I then wandered around that area for a bit (a few more signs would’ve been handy) before heading back to the car. The trees gave some nice relief from the sun along the track – by then it was getting to just over 30 degrees (not bad for only 10.30am!).
Tips: Wear trail shoes or hiking boots, and gaiters. Park at the Quarry car park if you would like a toilet (albeit a drop one). Signage is pretty ordinary – so take at least a map – and compass to be sure.
Highlights: The (solo) sing along in the car with the melodic and soothing voice of Billy Corgan (‘Disarm’ still gives me the shivers).
Lowlights: The heat could’ve been, if I had’ve gone even an hour later.