16 May, 2014

M~M 2014: fire on water

We'd made it! Over 24 hours, 80km, 12 walking circles and uncountable blisters, but we'd walked from Big Rock in the You Yangs to the mouth of the Barwon River at Barwon Heads.
The walk itself is described in these three previous posts:
M~M 2014: the journey begins
M~M 2014: across The Bellarine
M~M 2014: the end is nigh
Some had walked the entire distance (about 30 of us I heard), others had walked sections, but now, about 1,000 people had assembled for the closing ceremony. As we had walked the final circle and taken our positions for the closing ceremony, darkness had fallen. The canoe which had travelled the entire distance with us, was now loaded with straw and there was a strong smell of diesel in the air.
Then, with a rising tide lapping at our toes we lined the beach, the walls and any available vantage point to watch the show.
Amidst an array of lights, the bird-like creatures from the opening ceremony reappeared and were joined by an array of dancers:

"Birds" from the opening ceremony at Big Rock
Dancers on the pier
 The Mayor was presented by each of the ward councillors with an item which was indiscernible at our distance but may well have been the bottles of water carried from Big Rock. Finally, the canoe was placed a specially designed vessel and lowered into the water.

The canoe in position
A flame was introduced and within moments, the whole vessel was alight.
Introducing the flame
The weather conditions were perfect. The river surface had barely a ripple and there was hardly a breath of wind as the flames took hold.

And then, before the pier also went up in flames, the now flaming canoe was towed slowly out into the mouth of the Barwon.

Towed into the night
Receding into darkness
And with that, our journey was complete and another chapter had been added to storyline of the region.

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