The temperature’s warming up for our 13km hike today, starting from the Blanket Bay campground and finishing at the Cape Otway lighthouse.
One car is dropped off at Cape Otway parking area, then we drive to Blanket Bay, dropping off bandaids and socks to Aoife and James. They’ve had a rough night. No sleeping mats = cold and uncomfortable + no cooking facilities = no hot food or drinks. Kinda adds up to no fun.
At 09:45, the Tramping Sisters head off in jaunty fashion, enjoying spectacular scenery and some wonderful creatures en route – gang-gang cockatoos, yellow-tailed black cockatoos, koalas, a (very small) snake, loads of insects and butterflies, and unfortunately too many biting March flies.
Lots of stairs, wooden paths and hills today. Stopped at Parker Inlet for a snack around 11:30, before hiking the never-ending haul up Parker Hill. There’s steps all the way up and you have to admire the people who built it because it’s a seriously steep hill.
Aoife and James caught up to us earlier, so we rested together at Parker Inlet before they took off at a fast clip. They want to go much further than we do. The Tramping Sisters, fortunately, do not do fast clips. A school group trudged past us with full backpacks – the last straggle of students walked like life sucked and they’d do anything to find a comfy chair and spend their lives on a mobile device.
Later we lunch at Crayfish Bay and Daryle, Kim and I risk life and limb jumping in for a swim. Let’s just say the water temp was very clear and fresh but we weren’t in for very long. Not a soul around – blissful.
WHAT’S HURTING TODAY?
My toes aren’t too good, I know I’m going to lose a few toenails out of this and I can feel little blisters forming on the edge of my big toe pad. How do I get these boots to work? Are they too small?
Kim’s backpack is considerably lighter but it’s no more comfortable for the lesser load. Fortunately everyone else is hunky dory.
REACHING THE LIGHTHOUSE
Much later, just as we reach our Use By date, the lighthouse is spotted in the distance. I change into walking sandals and the relief is immediate. I can wiggle my toes!
We thought we’d visit the lighthouse but entry is a ridiculous $20pp. You cannot visit the cafe without forking out the entry fee either. Oh I don’t think so – that’s a large rip-off and very disappointing. Everyone was hanging out for a scone with jam and cream, so we settle for an icecream instead.
Aiofe and James are staying at the same campground as us. Their plan to go further was thwarted by exhaustion plus the need for a shower, a decent night’s sleep and a hot meal. There’s a wide demographic staying at Bimbi Park – mostly Chinese/Asian but also Americans, Germans, French, English and our Irish pals.
- If this was a Camino where you sleep with 458 others, I figure it’d be very disruptive. Snoring, moaning, teeth grinding, bad smells and trips to the toilet (not that we girls did any of these things because we’re pure and hygienic). But a nice hotel room does start looking good …
- When it’s hot weather and you’re in a little bunk room where space is at a premium, the air doesn’t circulate – it stays hot and stuffy. We
eventually borrowed a fan which made a difference.
- To keep cool on these hot nights, drape a wet towel over your body and keep a bottle of water handy to re-wet it. Saved me from insanity a couple of nights running.
Read more about Day 3 …