• Morington Peninsula Coastal Walk

    30 km London Bridge to Cape Schanck

    By Merilyn

    Weekend Day Walk on 25 September  2016
    Walk Leader: Matt, Ray and Marty.

    At 6.45 am on Sunday Sept 25th, a group of hardy souls gathered in the London Bridge Carpark in Portsea, ready to take on the London Bridge to Cape Schanck Lighthouse 30 km walk, part of the iconic 100 km Mornington Peninsula walk. The three leaders were the redoutable, and there were the ten disciples left standing from the original 15 intended. These people need to be recorded for posterity, as the world needs to know that we all made it!!!!! Yesss!! High fives all round.

    Portsea Surf Beach

    Portsea Surf Beach

    After milling around adjusting gear, ablutions etc and taking the obligatory photo by the London Bridge sign, we headed off a bit after ?7.00 am. It turned out to be glorious weather for walking, despite the grim predictions earlier in the week, and all were in excellent spirits. Matt was leading the first 10 km, and he gathered us up and set a cracking pace, although we slowed to a snails pace going down the slippery ramp near the Portsea yacht club, site of recent mishap.

    We had some beach walking from there, then up the sand dunes and into the coastal tea tree trails.  The coastline was pretty spectacular, with bright blue sky, and a stiff breeze giving the waves a bit of character. Then in the coastal scrub the birdsong was glorious, and being Spring, the tea tree was in flower, and the wild flowers were everywhere. Lots of talking and laughter, but still some quietude, soaking up the ambience.

    Matthew was taking his best camera for its second hike. After only one hour, he had taken 30 photos, so we stopped counting after that. The other statistic of interest was the number of layers of clothing put on and taken off, and put on and taken off……. We stopped counting there too.

    Sphinx Rock near the Sorrento Back Beach

    Sphinx Rock near the Sorrento Back Beach

    By ?10 am we were more than ready for a spot of morning tea, but as the wind had decided to arrive with a brisk Antarctic chill at that point, we found a nice area of beach with decent rock shelter, and enjoyed taking the weight off our feet.

    Soon after that, it was time for Matt to hand over the reins to Ray, who was boss-in-chief for the second 10 km. Again, we had some variability in the walking, with beach walking, cliff top walking and tea tree scrub walking. From a difficulty point of view, it was hard to pick between walking on the beach sand (trudge, trudge) to walking on the inland trails, which had an easier surface, but reminded us all of the reality of the meaning of the term ‘a few undulations’. It didn’t actually matter, as the environment was superb in all locations.

    Things got a bit more tricky at lunch time. We stopped for lunch, to get in before a front, which we could see advancing ominously from the horizon. But packs were barely opened when so did the heavens.  So some partook of refreshments while huddled under a bush, and others nibbled under the friendly verandah of the nearby toilet block. By the time lunch was finished, so was the rain. So off we set again, soon disrobing yet again.

    Bridge Water Bay

    Bridge Water Bay

    Ray found us an interesting rock formation called Lizard Rock – looked like a dinosaur to me, the carnivorous kind. And there was a magnificent view of a very large and flat rock shelf over which the waves were breaking. The water then ran off the vertical edge of the shelf, giving an appearance reminiscent of the Niagra Falls in miniature. It was quite stunning. And further round the coast there must have been an underwater rocky outcrop, because every so often when the conditions were right, a huge gout of spray would go up, to remind us of the power of the ocean.

    We were route marched along a good few kilometres of beach again, then had a pause for some blister treatment. Marty on one foot and Mike on the other, armed with a multitude of band aids, was an impressive surgical team, and soon saw the patient restored and mobile again, if still somewhat tender. Then off we went up a rather steep sand dune, and off around the back of some cliffs, not wishing to trust the tides with our fate.

    Finally it was Marty’s turn. He decreed that we should go at a leisurely pace, and then took off barefoot and carrying someone’s pack as well as his own, two poles and his sandals, at such a pace that the rest of the team was rather reduced in conversation as we endeavoured to keep up. All except Phil, who decided to run up one of the hills like he had a train to catch, although when invited to repeat the performance a little later on, he respectfully declined. Not sure if he had run out of trains or run out of puff.

    We avoided Boags rocks which would have been extremely slippery with the rain, so we took a bit of a detour. And Marty had been talked out of sending us up the 450 steps at Fingal’s beach – instead we climbed the ascent more gradually and walked the upper route through the bushland. I didn’t do a poll, but I suspect it was not only me who was secretly relieved.

    Eventually we made it back to the road into the lighthouse, but not before there was a plaintive call of ‘are we there yet?’ Once on the road, Ray came charging along overtaking all others till he got to the front, as he wanted to make sure we took the obligatory photo by the Cape Schanck sign. Soon we were all assembled, and the picture was in the can. Then off to the car park, for kisses and handshakes all around, and the removal of boots from some very grateful feet. ?4.15 pm. Just over 9 hours on the trail. If we allow about an hour for rest breaks, that comes out to 4 km/hr. Not fast, but not too shabby given that it wasn’t exactly pavement walking. And it gave us time to take it all in, and revel in the luxury of living and walking in such a beautiful part of the world.

    Then happy and eminently satisfied with the day, we headed off via the car shuffle gentlemen to collect the cars at Portsea.

    Many many thanks to the leaders of a really excellent walk, to the powers-that-be that managed the weather gods, and to all the participants for the great conversations and friendship shared with all on the walk.

  • Lorne

    Base Camp Weekend

    By Maria

    Base Camp on 24 – 25 September 2006
    Walk Leader: Ann

    Seven club members woke up to a beautiful sunny morning in Lorne and enjoyed relaxing in the sunshine before meeting two others and setting off for our walk.

    We arrived at Sheoak Picnic area to find a trail running race in progress. Luckily our walk only took in the 10 km runners.  Our first walk involved walking along the route of an old timber tramway that was used to transporting timber to the Lorne Pier. Like all of our walking this was very pretty but thanks to all the recent rains – very muddy! We descended down to the Lower Kalimna Falls which were very impressive. Thanks to the large rock over hang we were able to walk behind the falls.

    Once we had our fill of these falls we made our way up the hill, dodging the runners to Upper Kalimna Falls which were a series of cascades viewed from a platform. We then retraced our steps back to the carpark where we enjoyed our lunch in the sun.

    Lower Kalimna Falls

    Lower Kalimna Falls

    After lunch we walked back along the road for a short while and then through an orchard and past an art studio and up the hill before descending to our next waterfall – Phantom Falls, which were very impressive.

    After enjoying a short break, we continued to The Canyon and arguably the best part of the walk. After descending and going through the gap in the rocks we walked through the Canyon which had sheer walls rising to 10 metres on either side and lots of moss and ferns. Once through the Canyon we had had two more waterfalls, Henderson and Won Wondah to visit before we completed our loop back to the carpark.

    After 19 kms we were feeling tired and impressed with our efforts until we were passed by a young woman just completing a 42 km and then another completing the 63 km run which gave us a different perspective.

    Once everyone had showered and relaxed we headed off to the Lorne Hotel for a lovely meal and to watch the nail biting preliminary AFL final – too much excitement for one day!

    Sunday was another beautiful sunny morning. Six of us completed a circuit that took in Teddy’s Lookout which provided stunning views of the coast and a beautiful walk along the St George River where a competition for who could spot the most koala’s. To the disappointment of one club member they only spotted one whilst Tim spotted 5. We were back at the carpark by lunch time. Some members headed straight home whilst others enjoyed lunch in Lorne before heading home.

    A lovely weekend in a beautiful place enjoying some great walks. Thanks to Ann for organising.

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