First day on Great Ocean Walk

Friday 09/09/2016 – Day 2 – Apollo Bay to Blanket Bay – 24.53 km

Awoke early and packed the day pack and the headed up for breakfast. Breakfast consisted of porridge, poached eggs and toast, and coffee. The lunch was the prepared with the ingredients for a salad plus ham, with turkish bread and pita bread. It was left to me to construct the lunch as I pleased. After making lunch, wrapping it in glad wrap, and placing it into a container, I then added one apple, two bananas, and an orange, plus a muesli bar. Once all packed it was into the bus for the first leg.

After about half an hour the bus arrived at the start of the Great Ocean Walk in Apollo Bay. After a series of photos were taken, I was even one UHF by Sam and took up my position as tail end Charlie (also called “toilet paper”). Passing along the Great Ocean Road through Apollo Bay and then through the Barham River estuary with the Backwater, the Great Ocean Road entered Marengo. From there the walk followed the coast and into the Marengo Caravan Park. The walk passed through the caravan park to the start of the walking track, with slippery boardwalk. The trail meandered in the vegetation behind the beach passing Swell Point and then entering the beach. After a short stroll along the beach we came to a headland which looked treacherous to pass. Checking the directions, we should have gone up 1A. So we backtracked to the 1A sign and left the beach to follow the path behind the beach. This section took the walkers past Storm Point and then back to the beach. After a short walk along the beach a set of stairs was ascended to a gate. This does not look right. Descended to the beach and continued to the next stairs which was the track of the Great Ocean Walk. Oops!

Once regaining the track, it ascended quickly to Bald Hill Point with its commanding views including seals seen a distance off the coast. This section involved the trekkers passing under low vegetation which contained a koala. A quick descent from Bald Hill Point and the track entered Three Creeks Beach and walked along the beach for 600 m. At the western end was time for a morning tea break. Then the heavens opened. After packing our gear and donning wet weather gear, we headed off.

Being tail end Charlie, I was in company with a person who saw the walk as a real challenge. So far was a battle and I hoped that we would not arrive at the end of this section too late for the rest of the group.

The track ascended quickly from Three Creeks Beach and started to ascend as the Shelly Beach Car Park was reached. From this point the track descended into the Elliot River and then ascended to the Elliot Ridge GOW Campground. By this time, I was far behind the main group but battled on.

The track at this point headed inland ascending all the while to the left turn onto the Elliot Road. Elliot Road was followed up hill to Parker Spur Road, during which leg a lunch break was taken. As I arrived, the leading group then departed. After about ten minutes, we departed. Upon reaching Parker Spur Road, the walk then undulated along Parker Spur to the Johnson Track. This track undulated till its junction with Blanket Bay Track. The Blanket Bay Track had a long slow descent till its junction with the Telegraph Track. Turning down Telegraph Track, the descent became steeper right down to the beach at Blanket Bay.

A short walk along the beach from the steps and then met the rest of the group, boarded the bus and headed back to Bimbi Park.

Off I go

Thursday 08/09/2016 – Day 1 – Travel Day

Woke at 4.30am, and finished packing, had breakfast and had a BGL of 4.4. Woke Sue at 5.30 am and went into the girls room to see if anyone else was coming to the airport.

Departed home at 5.45 am and started a good run. After crossing the Ted Smout Bridge and onto the Deagon Deviation, news of a broken down vehicle came through. On the Gateway Motorway southbound at Nudgee Road. Oh crap! go to get past that! Decided to take the Deagon Deviation to Sandgate Road, after queueing for fifteen minutes and not making much progress.

On Sandgate Road, the traffic was heavy but moving and allowed us to exit to Toombul Road and get onto the Southern Cross Way and then onto Airport Drive and the Domestic Terminal. Picked up my bags, said my goodbyes and then walked to the Virgin Terminal.

Arrived at the check-in at 7.00am, with my flight boarding at 7.25 am. Thank goodness for the early start. How will the others in the group fare? My bag weighed exactly 23 kg, the maximum weight, how about that?!

Collected the rest of my gear, which I had strategically rearranged to the stuff I need in the plane and the rest in the luggage. I made my way to the departure gate, and tried to make up mu mind about buying a coffee. By the time I had decided to do that, there was less time to purchase it than the time left to board.

On the aircraft a Boeing 737-800, found my seat at 15A retrieved my laptop, man bag and folder and sealed in to my seat. I was shortly joined by a couple from Wynnum heading to their daughters place at Torquay. I also managed to remember Kristine’s bear and placed it on my knee at a window and took its photo.

The plane then departed Brisbane for Melbourne a flight of 2 hours and 15 minutes. There was about 6 oktas of cloud all the way to Melbourne, so no sights to behold. I instead, after the coffee and muesli bar, entered into conversation with my fellow passenger and then looked out the window, we were over northern Victoria and while working out where we were, we flew past Tullamarine. Hang on are we on a Jetstar flight? After short time however, the plane swung around 180 degrees and we landed at Tullamarine. Looking down I could not believe the amount of traffic at 10.15 in the morning, as heavy as Brisbane’s peak traffic.

After landing, and collecting the heavy bag, hired a Ecart and loaded the bag onto it. If anyone else has a heavy bag I can use this. So I made my way to Hudsons and waited. Not long after, Sam arrived and the start of the new adventure was getting underway. We waited for another two hours while the rest of the contingent arrived. Then we waited for the bus. It was caught in a snarl on the Calder Highway.

Finally the bus arrived at 1.00pm, and the bus driver, Lee, was very hospitable.

So we loaded our luggage, took our seats and began the next phase of the journey. It took three and a half hours to arrive at Bimbi Park; which included a stop in Apollo Bay, to buy supplies and a six pack of Stella Artois; and were given our room allocations. I was given DE2, Deluxe Cabin 2, a 4 person cabin all to myself. So I unpacked, showered, and changed and then made my way up to the dining hall for dinner.

During dinner, proper introductions were made and the plan for the walk, including the time for breakfast. After dinner, I made my way back to the cabin, wrote this blog, studied and watched some TV -at least channel 24. I couldn’t change channels as the remote was playing up. I selected channels on the set top box itself, but to no avail. Oh well, it was time to turn in, and an early day tomorrow.

The ball rolls

Woke up with a heavy throat, and a bit sniffly. That’s why my blood glucose was all over the shop, I’m coming down with something. Oh well see how the day pans out.

Ironed one shirt for the day and after breakfast and shower, headed off to the bus. The bus ride took me to the train and due to roadworks was held up so I had to catch the later train. Finally at work, and sorted out files. Then decided I had better make an appointment to see the doctor. I booked 8.00am on Friday so I can see him and then go and get the blood test done. This will kill three birds with the one stone. One, I have signed up to be involved in research about diabetes management with Uni of Melbourne. Two, I need a medical prior to the walk on the Great Ocean Walk 2016 #gorw2016. Three, it is time for my annual diabetes review. I advised my supervisor of my plans and I will come into work early to make up for it.

I then advised Charlotte of my plans, and then the conversation started to sort out the accommodation for the Warrie Circuit Trek in March 2017. Decided on targeting “The Mouses House” near to the Warrie Circuit so we can walk out and back without relying on other transport.

Charlotte said she would look into it and then I started the next phase of the strategy as how to conduct the trek. My initial thoughts are to limit to groups of six with departure times from the accommodation. If the parties regimen the chase to nominate who goes in which group, then the participants can be dealt with in their small groups at the start, so they won’t feel like they are staggered. I am also thinking of creating distance markers for every 5 km so the participants and leaders can better monitor the trek.

Then it was lunch time. I remembered I had to go to the Bendigo Bank to pay the water bill, and as I have to pass RACQ on the way back, I also dealt with the car insurance, caravan insurance and my membership. Happy to roll it together and get the discount as a gold card holder, plus other benefits.

Returned to work and had my lunch then finally cleaned up another file.

Off to home I go, and at home got into study, plus turned my mind to a policy for Bushwalking Queensland about unincorporated clubs. Will follow the lead taken by the QWALC.

Then it was bed time.

Monday Monday

Back to another working week. Up early as usual and couldn’t decide how many shirts to iron. Then the rain came down. Guess I’ll just worry about today’s clothes and eave it to tomorrow.

So trousers and one shirt were given a touch up with the iron.

When it was time to leave home, the rain had stopped so I decided it will b alright to wear my work trousers and shirt in and only have to change the belt and shoes when I arrived at work. Wrong guess! Nearly at the bus when the heavens opened. Hope I dry out before I get into work!!

So I get into work and have dried out, and manage to dodge the rain waking from Central to work. Change my belt and shoes and then head upstairs.

And that was it…back into the working week. Rahul should be back today, but haven’t seen hide nor hair of him! Must be getting dragged around to get his updates!

Then it was lunch and I decided to get out for a walk for lunch. There is something I have to do. Can’t think of it, but a walk around may clear the air. Bought some extras for lunch and felt really peckish. Back at work had lunch and started to feel better.

After lunch I went back to work and started to feel a bit worse. Oh well battle through!

At knock off time, I had come good to go home. But after travelling home, I walked in the front door and very sweaty. I thought it was humidity in the air, but after a glucotest found it to be low…3.5!!! Hopefully the silverside and veges will help me recover.

I eventually improved, and once I settled down went to bed. Sue then asked me if I had paid the water bill…that’s what I was going to do at lunch!

A day to be proud of

Arose early and packed my gear for a day in Noosa, walking the Noosa National Park and hopefully spot a whale or two. I also managed to print raffle tickets for the espresso machine and decided that the tickets be sold for $2.00 each.

Had a great breakfast and my BGL was at 4.5, a good start for the day. Andy arrived just after 7 and off we went.

The traffic was fairly light for the run up the Bruce Highway and we missed the Yandina turn-off, so went to Eumundi instead. From there it was a quick drive across through Tewantin and on to Noosa Junction before arriving in Sunshine Beach and the meet point at the junction of Surf Street and Parkedge Road. We then waited for the other participants.

We then walked off with Gavins Water Bottle providing the commentary on the Glasshouse Bushwalkers Club Inc. blog at .

After the walk Andy gets back in the car and declares that he is short of fuel. We decided that Coolum would be the best bet, so headed there. Arriving at Coolum, the service station was found but couldn’t turn right to get into it. Andy said he was sure there was one on the Coolum Beach Road between the beach and the Sunshine Motorway. I agreed as I was also sure I had seen one.

Sure enough we found the BP and so while Andy filled up I went and got drinks. I was so thirsty! Andy came in and went to the toilet. So while in there I paid for the fuel, to his surprise.

So we headed home and arriving about 2.45 pm, unpacked the gear and stowed it away and put together the clothes to wash… No soap powder! Sue’s gone shopping and just came back too! Will have to wash later!

Settled down for the afternoon and gloated about the great weekend that had been, I had walked in two days the distance of one day of the Great Ocean Walk. Need to step it up next weekend! Although the Bushcare in the middle of Saturday’s walk gave my upper body a bit of curry!

So the rest of the night was to prepare for work the next day and then go to bed with a bit of Olympics to tire me out!

Volunteer work

Woke early and prepared to go to Caboolture and join the Wy-Wurry walkers around Centenary Lakes. Arriving at 6.40am, I was 15 minutes early, but gave me a chance to set up and take an early morning photo.

The rest of the group arrived and then set off for the 5km walk. After the walk, went to a coffee shop, had my customary long black and then headed home.

Had to fill my prescription for my PTSD medications and decided to go to Terry White Chemist at Burpengary to get it filled. While there, thought it a good idea to do some shopping. After making my purchases and ensuring I had bought enough for the family, went home.

At home a I gathered the washing and put it in the washing machine. I then noticed I had forgotten one thing – soap powder. Have enough here for a couple of loads, but hope there is no more to wash pending replacement of said soap powder.

After getting the washing going, Sue announced that she and the kids were going to the movies. That means I will have to walk to Bushcare.

After lunch, gathered my tools into my backpack and went off to Bushcare. I had a number of cheques to deliver to Andy as well so decided to call in on the way. After 3 km, I arrived at Andy’s and dropped off the cheques. Then we walked the 1.5 km to bushcare.

At bushcare it was a case of pulling up broad-leaved pepper seedlings and then start cutting down the more mature trees, which we had started the month before. As Andy and I were cutting the trees down the stumps were dabbed with glyphosate weed killer by the council staff member.
One hour and a half later it was time to review our work and pack up. Then Andy and I walked the 1.5 km to his place, and I continued on home.

At home, it was time to study and ready myself for tomorrow’s walk. I then watched the Olympics and then went to bed.

Funny week ends

Just another normal day at work. Finishing off files and starting new ones, and relegating others to the complex folder for later treatment as more work involved.

At lunch time, checked emails and what not, and it was quiet around the ridges. This gave me a chance to plan out my busy weekend.

Later in the afternoon was summonsed to an afternoon tea to say farewell to Dasha, a psychology masters student, who had completed part of her course work in Behavioural Economics. Wonder who the next student is going to be?

Went back to the desk and an mail from Charlotte. Need to complete a volunteer form for Diabetes Qld as the second leader. I was also advised that Noosa was out for a venue for the March Trek and Warrie Circuit had been selected. Will have a look at accommodation at Springbrook and get back to Charlotte with initial findings.

Then I went home after cleaning off my desk in preparation for the new monitors.

At home had a new look at the study material. Must apply for SARAS once I get the study plan, watched the Olympics and went to bed.

Study re-jig

Normal day at work, especially after a public holiday!

Got stuck into work and cleared a number of files that did not pose any risks to the organisation for which I worked, although some will need referring to the right jurisdiction.

At lunch time, I headed off to Frontier Leadership, 445 Upper Edward Street, Spring Hill to re-ignite my study plan after it was derailed by them moving, IT problems, two family deaths and a number of other obstacles. With me when it rains, it pours.

So after an hour, sorted it all out and was supplied with the next three units. Yippee! Now I can apply for SARAS, so I get the pay rise at the end of the course!

Went back to work and had lunch and then back to the grindstone.

A storm came through late in the day, telling me it was time to think about going home. So I made my way home and received a text from Sue that she would meet me at Hungry Jack’s. What a fine idea!!!

Got home and had a look through the three units, checked out the online resources, and familiarised myself with Frontier Leadership’s new web-site. I am so ready now!!

Watched the Olympics, fell asleep in the chair and went to bed.

#GORW2016 Training

Woke early and proceeded to get ready for a training walk with fellow walkers for the Great Ocean Walk 2016 (#GORW2016).

The first thing though was to have breakfast, find my clothes for the walk, and decided how much to take.

Then I had to do the school run first so left at 7.40 am with Lauren and took her to Hercules Road State School. I came back and then took Stacey to Deception Bay High School. Gemma was sick so stayed home. I was early after this chore so went back home to make sure I had everything.

Once I was sure I was ready I drove to Raven Street Reserve and the Downfall Creek Bushland Centre. I met the other walker and we set off with #gavinswaterbottle in tow.
The walk initially followed the concrete track for a couple of hundred metres to the bikeway which traverses the reserve. Turning left we followed this track, passing a scrub turkey’s mound, which had many deep holes in it. It has either been attacked by goannas or the eggs have hatched.

After a few more hundred metres turned left onto an indistinct track and followed this bush track down to a gully, crossed the gully and then followed it out to Raven Street. A shirt distance up Raven Street was the bike path which was then followed to the large bridge over the creek. Just after the bridge, the track to the left was taken and followed to the next intersection, and again turned left. This track was followed to Raven Street, but then a set of stairs were taken as the track paralleled Raven Street out to Hamilton Road. Upon reaching the northern boundary of the Raven Street Reserve. The track was then followed along the boundary to the green bridge and then the green bridge used to cross Hamilton Road and to go into the Milne Hill Reserve.

From the green bridge the road was followed up to the water reservoir and then turned left to go around to the west of the reservoir and to the summit of Milne Hill. This summit gave views across to Moreton Bay and the city.

From the summit the walk descended 75 steps and then three switchbacks to descend to the track that contours around Milne Hill. On the way down we were watched by a swamp wallaby. Turning left onto this track there was more descending to the bike track along Little Cabbage Tree Creek. Turning left once again the bike track was followed to Killarney then kept to the grass following the creek to the entry into Chermside Hills Reserve.

The Giwadha Track was then followed to the left over the bridge and around to the west of the reserve then ascending to Spider Hill. At the base of the hill, the track was taken straight up to the summit. The trees on this summit make viewing difficult. The Stringyark Trail was then followed paralleling Trouts Road before coming out onto Trouts Road. A walkway was then followed through houses down to Roebig Street, which was followed to the roundabout. Going down Steffen Place from the roundabout, the bikeway along Little Cabbage Tree Creek was followed to the Milne Hill Track.

The steps were retraced back into Raven Street Reserve, although on the ascent, we found ourselves meeting the steps about halfway up the flight. Once regaining the Banksia Track, a left turn was made to continue on this track and then a right turn onto the Xanthorrhea Track. This track was then followed to the concrete track leading to Federation Street. This path took us to the fruit bat colony and then we returned to the Creek Track which followed Downfall Creek. This track then returned to the first track and the day use area and car park.

After the walk headed home and had a lazy afternoon catching up on the Olympics. I also dealt with issues with Bushwalking Queensland Inc., Glasshouse Bushwalkers Club Inc., Australian Adventure Activity Standards Technical Working Group, and other matters.

Gloating about the good day I had, I went to bed!