By the time we got up and headed to the kitchen area for breaky, Frank was already hard at work preparing bacon and eggs, porridge or whatever took your fancy. On top of breakfast he had arranged a smorgasbord of foods and meats to make delicious wraps, along with homemade muesli bars and a selection of fruits to take with us on the days walk.
Lee picked us up right on time and dropped us off in the Shelly Beach carpark where we had finished our previous days walk. Today’s walk was 19kms finishing at Parker Inlet and the day overall was considerably cooler, almost cold at times but excellent for walking.
Firstly the walk took us down to Shelly beach and then back away from it along Elliot River inland giving us a greater perspective and respect for the diversity of the Otway National park’s forests. We walked through Mountain Ash, towering tree ferns, Myrtle Beech and Blackwood just to name a few. We did not see ocean until around lunchtime and rose to elevations of around 250m above sea level. It was quite tough going initially as most of the 250m elevation was in the first kilometre and then we were on or close to a ridge for the next 8km. This particular day was one of the highlight days for both Jason and myself due to the variety of different forests, many of them flowering heavily due to the time of year.
We then descended back down to Blanket Bay that had, both, a walkers camping ground and a drive to camping ground close by. This was a beautifully secluded little beach and had an array of wildlife in and near it including Echidna’s, Wallabies and Kookaburras.
On the way out of the camping ground I noticed what I thought to be a skinny Wombat or a bear cub (not possible of coarse) or something of that calibre but on closer inspection, it appeared to be a large, buffed looking cat. I really only got a glimpse of it though, didn’t manage to get a picture and no one but me saw it. It still remains a mystery to this day, like Bigfoot or Yeti.
In the afternoon the day started to warm up. The last part of today’s walk was elevated to about 100m but close to the ocean along cliff faces, so we got to stop and catch some fantastic views. The last kilometre or so descended back into Parker inlet and a small river crossing. It was a magnificent little inlet and just one of many along this stretch of coastline. We ascended back up 100m to our pickup point at the Parker Inlet car park where Lee was waiting for us. I have attached a picture of a fluker post which were quite numerous along the track. Walkers can take photos on these posts and forward them to ‘Parks Victoria’ where they are used to observe the parks flora over many years to come, ensuring a healthy forest for future generations.
We went back to our cabin at the end of day two a little bit sorer than the day before, we were looking forward to a hot shower but it wasn’t to be, there had been a blackout in the area and we had no power. We went for dinner around 6.30pm and our Chef still managed a magnificent meal but it was to be by candle light. We shared a glass of wine with other walkers who were at different stages of their walks (from all over the country) and with full stomachs retired for the evening.
Stay tuned for day 3 next week on My Walkabout Plants.