13 May, 2014

M~M 2014: across The Bellarine

Part 1 of the adventure: M~M 2014: the journey begins
On Friday evening we had arrived at our overnight destination in mild, clear conditions. Not so the following morning when the walkers reconvened to begin the final day of our adventure - a 50km walk through Geelong, down the Bellarine Rail Trail and along the beach to Barwon Heads.
In the pre-dawn darkness and with rain falling steadily, we gathered at the Waterfront before setting off at 6am on the shortest leg of our journey; a 2.7km trek up Moorabool Street to the banks of the Barwon where breakfast was available for those who needed it.

Walking circle at the Barwon River, Geelong
As we formed up again and headed out along the river, dawn was just beginning to sneak in. The rain continued to fall and coats and pack covers were a must.

The Barwon a dawn
This was one of the longest stages of the walk, covering over 10km up the hill from Geelong to Christies Road in Leopold along the Bellarine Rail Trail. By the time we arrived, the weather had finally cleared and the Leopold Football Club had the snags on the barbie so I had a sausage in bread and sat down to attend to the crop of blisters I was already cultivating on my feet.
The living walking circle at Leopold
The next step was to make my way through the walking circle - which I did at each of the twelve stations on the journey. The circle at Leopold is a permanent one, built in to the garden which can be walked at any time. The canoe arrived a little after I did and was handed over to a group of scouts who were to carry it to the next station.
Scouts who carried the canoe from Leopold to Drysdale
From Leopold, we covered the 7 or so kilometres to Drysdale where another walking circle awaited us in the form of an amazing display of local produce.
Drysdale walking circle

Centre piece of the Drysdale walking circle
 This was a brief stop and we were soon on our way to Queenscliff - the longest stage of our journey. Whilst the rail trail is a great path to follow and I have run and ridden this section on many occasions and love its views and scenery, as a walker, I found it dragged. My blisters were gaining some serious momentum and we just seemed to take forever to get to the ninth station at the Marine Discovery Centre in Queenscliff.
Walking circle at the Marine Discovery Centre, Queenscliff

Once there however, there was time to dress my blisters once again - a process which it seemed was of interest to at least two photographers!
And then we were off again. This time the canoe was being carried by a group of crossing supervisors - the only group I am aware of who came with a name.

Lollipop Lollipop carrying the canoe to Point Lonsdale
This section from Queenscliff to Point Lonsdale I have to say, was a treat. Possibly my favourite part of the whole walk. Maybe that was because it was short, or because the weather by this stage was sparkling and the views are expansive.
The mayor of the Borough of Queenscliffe and flag-bearers heading to Point Lonsdale
However, it seemed like no time before we were at Point Lonsdale where the crossing supervisors handed over to lifesavers and we stopped to regroup and I was able to see perhaps the most unique of all the walking circles.

Surf lifesavers prepare to escort the canoe to Ocean Grove
This one was on a different scale altogether and with around 11km to go, it was just what I needed - a circle which you walked with your finger!
Point Lonsdale walking circle
This miniature walking circle we were informed, was carved from limestone quarried at Fyansford and a close examination would reveal fossils still embedded in the stone. But once again, having stamped our "passport" to prove we had been there and done that, it was off to Ocean Grove...

1 comment:

  1. That"s very good Jo ,,I often walk the Barwon looking for signs of the past and other ,,love this stuff you do ...I am an Aboriginal Traditional Owner of the Wadda-Wurrung and am very interested in your work and knowledge of the area,,, thank you Great page ,,,take care :)