Episode 10 – But it’s dark!
Our last long training walk before the big event saw us down at Inverloch and choosing to walk the Great Southern Rail Trail from Foster to Leongatha. Starting at 5:30PM on Saturday night, we headed off from Foster to walk the 14 km to Fish Creek. Being a Rail Trail, it’s relatively flat, wide and straight. All things guaranteed to bring sighs of joy to Gwen and Frances. The walk was mainly through farmland with pine forest beside the track and at one point we could see clearly across to Corner Inlet.
Starting from Charity Lane, Foster, at 5:30PM Saturday night.
After the Alice in Wonderland walk we had a couple of weeks ago, we were in the mood to see rabbits running late (“I’m sure he had a fob-watch”) and large toadstools (“if you eat a bit from this side you will grow taller”). The caterpillar’s hookah resembles the drinking tube for our water … well, we were convinced …
Anyway, coming in to Fish Creek and meeting up with our support crew just as the remaining light fled for the night was lovely, although doing a checkpoint in the dark was a learning experience for us all.
Putting on our head torches for the first time, we set off again, this time for a 16 km walk in the dark. Walking in the dark was surreal, with frogs calling, possums watching us, and bats flying across the path. With such limited light, it felt that we weren’t so much moving through the bush, as having it cocoon us.
Night walking @ 9:30PM - still an hour and a half to go tonight.
Our biggest lesson for the night was that if you look down and watch your feet rather than looking ahead, you can easily zig when you should zag, and so fall off the edge of the track because you don’t have the wider view readily available. Oops!
We were picked up at around 11PM from Stony Creek, and taken back to Inverloch for a short sleep, only to be up and off again at 6AM. In the morning we didn’t need our head torches, so we left them behind and, with the requisite amount of grumbling “I don’t do mornings”, we were on our way again. The morning was a short 18 km, with a break in the middle to car shuffle along the missing bit of track and have a cup of tea. So at 9:30AM we were walking into Leongatha and ready to call it a day (and get the shoes off).
Day 2, just before 7am - Pumphouse bridge just after Meeniyan
Along the way in training, we’ve dealt with blisters, night walking, eating and drinking, walking pole technique, and how silly we can get to keep ourselves entertained. I think we may be ready … which is good really as the Oxfam Trailwalker is only 2 ½ weeks away. No more long training walks now as we’re in recovery phase. Closer to the time we’ll let you know how to keep track of our progress during the event.
Cheers, Tracy, Darren, Gwen and Frances
Team 672: “We’re Doing What?”
Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne – 100 km – teams of 4 – 48 hours
To read more about my team go to Team 672 : We’re doing what?