Take five women in their 50s, throw them a 100km hike, then stand back and see what they’ll do. The outcome rather surprised us too!
Collectively known as the Tramping Sisters, five pals from the Sunshine Coast (Kim, Jennifer, Daryle and Aileen and myself), figured a long hike would be just the ticket on our annual February hiking pilgrimage.
So we picked the Great Ocean Walk – a 100km trek along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. We’d tramp it in stages over six days.
Because hiking with camping gear is an art a few of the Tramping Sisters have yet to master, we elected to stay at Bimbi Park in Cape Otway for the duration and use the hire cars to get us to/from the entry and exit points.
ABOUT THE ACCOMMODATION
Bimbi Park was cheap – a teeny tiny cabin to (allegedly) sleep 9, which is great provided you’re all children, don’t have any luggage whatsoever, and the temperature never goes above over 18oC at night. Summing up:
- There’s limited ventilation in the cabin, which is great if you’re 10 year old boys who view farting as serious fun, and consider breathing fresh air to be an optional extra. When the temperature starts to climb (as it did for 2-3 days of our trip), air flow becomes an important factor.
- No space at all to store luggage or foodstuffs. We had a couple of spare beds to put things, but it was messy and awkward. Recommend they ditch a bunk bed and add cupboards – that would make it worthwhile staying again in the future. However, it was cheap – you get what you pay for.
- Kitchen facilities fairly good, providing no morons are staying with the expectation their mothers will miraculously turn up and clean up after them (surprising number of young folk who act this way). TIP: Clean up after yourselves and do your dishes. Kitchen did need more bench space to prepare food, and to wash and dry dishes. Plus a freezer would’ve been mega useful. Also like to see management put in fly-screens – the flies were dreadful.
- Bathroom facilities spacious and very clean. Showers cost $1 for 3 mins (they’re on tank water so this helps limit overuse). However, no benches available to place gear after exiting the shower. And what’s with women who fling toilet paper and sanitary bags around the cubicle? Why? Clean up after yourselves please.
ONWARDS WE GO
After hiring two cars at the airport and a big grocery shop in Geelong (yes, we bought far too much), we arrive quite late at the campground. Hence a mad dash to sort out backpacks, buy shower tokens, locate the kitchen and toilets, put away groceries, and chow down on a 10pm dinner while swatting flies.
Through the night we hear koalas grunting – they sound like snorting grunting pigs. If you haven’t heard it before, it’s a very startling and possibly terrifying noise … particularly if you’re in a tent. Between the koalas and various noises inside the cabin, no one slept terribly well.
To cap it off, Bimbi Park have a chicken run. I actually like chickens – they’re fun to draw – but roosters crowing at some ungodly hour before dawn saw me fervently dreaming of a shotgun. Those foul would’ve been roasting with sweet potatoes the next night if I’d had access to something lethal.
See next post for Day 1 of the Great Ocean Walk.