Our weekly hike took us to Werribee Gorge State Park for what we expected to be a 10km hike. It felt like 10km in the heat of the day but my RunKeeper said we only did 7km by the time we were huffing and puffing back at the car park. The walk was a lot more challenging than last week; there were some steep inclines, lots of rocks to scramble over, and a section where we needed to hold onto a rope to get around the cliff face. I realised how little grip my poor worn out sneakers have and how desperate I am to get new shoes.
Amy and Katie walking through the Gorge
My favourite part of the hike was dipping into the Werribee River to cool off. Katie was attacked by slimy reeds when she ventured too far down the river, but despite a little algae the water was devine. I could have spent the entire day floating there.
Katie taking an extra dip!
I took a heavier day pack today which made me realise that carrying the weight of my gear, food and water is going to be a real challenge. We’ve decided to do a three day hike next weekend at Wilson’s Promontory which should really test this theory, although I will need to borrow most of my gear and take an old backpack until I make some serious PCT gear decisions.
On Saturday Josie, Katie, Amy and I reunited for another walk at Woodlands Historic Park just north of Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport. This location was my pick for its close proximity to Melbourne, length of walk and grade of track, although the girls were not overly impressed to begin with. It wasn’t the most challenging of hikes, but the 10kms we walked provided us with views of the city from the top of Gellibrand Hill and exposure to a troop of Kangaroos, including a very intimidating male Roo who towered well above our heads.
Amy the Roo.
Standard sign pose.
Though we were all experiencing hunger pains and slight headaches caused by our lackadaisical packing of water, we reached the top of Gellibrand Hill in 1:18:00 hours. I was missing my walking stick from Jervis Bay but we found some new additions (not quite the standard of my previous one). I carried Josie’s kettlebell in my backpack for additional weight but will soon need to purchase my actual PCT pack and start filling it to between 15-20kg for training.
Me, Josie, Katie and Amy.
Before the New Year began I thought it wise to begin my training for the hike to start 2013 off on a good foot. Not only did I start reading ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed who solo hiked the trail for 3 months back in 1995, I also got out and walked. My first official training hike took place with friends Josie, Katie and Amy in Booderee National Park in the ACT. We walked a 12km circuit from Steamers Beach parking, down to Whiting Beach for a quick swim before walking back around to Steamers Beach and back to the parking. I found a great walking stick which after growing quite attached to we used as fire wood much to my dismay. Can’t imagine taking a large wooden stick from the Australian bush over to the US anyway I suppose.
My second walk took place yesterday on the Great Southern Rail Trail with my mum down in Foster, VIC in the high 30 degree heat. We were averaging 1km every 10.5 minutes but we were walking on a pretty flat trail without a pack. Sadly I was still wearing my regular runners after returning my Saloman shoes to Kathmandu on Boxing Day.
On Monday I plan to begin my training at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) who have ever so kindly given me full membership until the end of April to train for my hike. I trained at MSAC in 2011 before climbing Mt Kilimanjaro so I’m looking forward to getting back into the Peloton and Yoga classes, and hitting the gym and swimming pool. I’m also planning to incorporate 10km of walking each day while getting to and from work in South Melbourne during January.
My second official training walk on 03 Jan 2013