The Great Ocean Walk, Victoria – Day 2

The body creaked and groaned this morning as I rolled over onto my back and contemplated the ceiling of the tent, and the day ahead. Slowly stretching out my legs, back and shoulders, I checked for sore spots, strains and sprains, but luckily everything was in order and nothing out of place.

The sun was rising and it was time to get up and get on with the day’s double-stage walk.

Logistics:

Date: Sunday 20 March, 2022

From: Blanket Bay, Victoria

To: Aire River

Map of Day 2. Source: greatoceanwalk.info

Official Distance: 20km

Actual Distance: 22.05km

Total: 45.28/103km

Time: 7h55m (including visiting the light station)

Ascent: 550m                                  Descent: 540m

Weather: Blue sky and hot, and then overcast.

Stayed At: Aire River Great Ocean Walk (GOW) campsite

General Comments:

  • I wondered if there was a protocol to rising early at a GOW campsite. I quickly scanned the other tents and no one seemed to be bothered by us moving quietly around our site – firstly stuffing sleeping bag sacks and then our mouths with muesli. Indeed, the steady drone of snoring issuing from one tent was evidence that we were disturbing absolutely no one. (NB: it appears that the white noise generated by waves breaking on the sand is a good counterpoint to symphonic snores).
  • Today, we again combined two stages into one day, skipping the Cape Otway GOW campsite.
  • Random food comment: Dried peas make a good addition to any meal if you want to bulk up on vegetables.
  • Similar to the start of yesterday, the path hugged the coastline before veering inland to cross Parker’s Inlet. We were nice and early so encroaching tides weren’t an issue however we still needed to take off our boots and socks. Yes, we could have tried leaping across the rushing water, but I suspect my leaping ability may have been severely curtailed with the weight of a loaded backpack on my back. It would have looked something like ‘Geronimo!!’ and then ‘PLOP’ – either into the water or flat on my face. Much smarter to play it safe.
  • The cold water on our feet and ankles was a delight and so refreshing. A small reward for the hassle of trying to re-sock and re-boot without incorporating too much sand at the same time. Light relief was provided by the husband who thought he would be clever and sit on his three-legged stool to put his boots back on, only to have the stool sink smoothly into the sand and the husband toppled gracefully sideways.
  • There is an absolute lung-buster of a climb out of Parker’s Inlet, so enjoy that brief rest on the sand while you can.
  • Cape Otway Light Station is a must see if you enjoy early colonial history or light houses. Our guidebook said that GOW walkers could enter for free, but this is incorrect. The cashier did allow us in for half-price – $10pp. I had hoped to enjoy some hot food for lunch at the café and was sadly disappointed. It really only serves coffee and cake/scones, and no decaf coffee at that. The ice-cold lemonade was very welcome though.
  • The kilometres were catching up with me and I was done in, ready to call it quits at Cape Otway and change the plan to do a double stage the next day. Luckily the husband encouraged me to push on and I found my second wind.
  • The afternoon’s views were equally stunning with endless waves crashing into cliffs and the air filled with sea spray.
  • As we walked, we had both noticed that some sort of animal had been digging holes next to the path. I was thinking feral pigs and the husband was thinking rabbits. The mystery was solved as we turned a corner to see a huge echidna burrowing into the soft soil in pursuit of ants and other bugs. It became a bit of a Mexican stand-off as we waited for it to lift its head and move, and it waited for us to leave. A true highlight of the day.
  • We had the Aire River GOW campsite completely to ourselves.

Top Tips for this Section:

  • Rubbish: On this whole walk the principle of ‘carry it in, carry it out’ applies. There are NO garbage bins anywhere along the path except at the toilets behind the Cape Otway Lighthouse café (not at the entrance to the whole facility). I had accidently entered the light station carrying the bag which contained our very full Ziplock rubbish bag and it was sneakily emptied into a wheelie bin. Oh, simple joys. If nothing else, the necessity to carry all our own rubbish was a very good exercise in understanding the impact of excess packaging and plastics. At home, I try to be environmentally-conscious and I was surprised at how much waste we generated in only 1.5days.
  • The Aire River GOW campsite is located at the top of yet another bloody great hill, with a very steep 100m walk back down the hill to the toilet facilities. Plan your trips accordingly! 😊
  • When selecting your tent site, try to nab one with a low table adjacent. They are really handy to unpack and spread your gear out without getting everything covered in dirt and ants.

Stay tuned for Day 3.

Read About Day 1HERE

patented shower bag
The husband proudly shows off his portable shower – plastic shopping bag with watering can spout attached! Now you know why I married him. x

#travelinspo #greatoceanwalk #bucketlist #adventurebeforedementia #longdistancewalks #australianbush #victoria #bushwalks #greatoutdoors #twelveapostles #capeotway #coastalwalks.

53 thoughts on “The Great Ocean Walk, Victoria – Day 2

    • Life...One Big Adventure April 7, 2022 / 4:54 pm

      That’s my pleasure. It felt so good to be out walking again, but maybe not so much on those $#@! steep hills. 😉

      Like

  1. Karen / Elizabeth April 7, 2022 / 3:44 pm

    > It would have looked something like ‘Geronimo!!’ and then ‘PLOP’ – either into the water or flat on my face.
    Forgive me, but I did have a laugh at that mental image. You two are much hardier walkers than I am, no doubt.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. margaret21 April 7, 2022 / 4:57 pm

    I love the shower! His invention? It looks as though you’ve already had many memorable moments. Long may it continue!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Destinations Journey April 7, 2022 / 5:15 pm

    More beautiful photos and scenery. If we do it, I don’t think double stages would work, we’d need an extra day in-between to recover!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure April 7, 2022 / 5:25 pm

      You could also do an internet search for accommodation along the way. We saw signs for holiday cottages at Johanna Beach and I suspect there may be some Airbnb’s tucked away in the hills. They would be a good option if you wanted to walk and not shuttle-it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Heyjude April 7, 2022 / 7:26 pm

    I had to laugh at the hubby carrying a three legged stool with him! Why?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure April 8, 2022 / 2:46 pm

      As I mentioned somewhere else, he is about comfort not travelling lightweight! 🙂 Although it is supposed to be a light-weight stool. Here I was weighing my socks and undies, and he kept loading his pack with gay abandon! 🙂

      Like

      • Heyjude April 8, 2022 / 7:29 pm

        Oh well, if he’s happy carrying the weight. You just have to hope he doesn’t have a mishap!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Life...One Big Adventure April 10, 2022 / 2:48 pm

          True! Although I think I have cured him of this sort of hiking for a while. I suspect once per year may be more than enough for him. 😉

          Like

  5. Jen April 7, 2022 / 10:57 pm

    Again, so many helpful notes in this post. I can’t imagine writing this post on your phone at the end of a long day. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure April 8, 2022 / 2:48 pm

      Well, a bit of a sneaky secret…I wrote lengthy entries into my journal at the end of each walking day, but am uploading these posts from the comfort of my home. For the majority of the path there is no mobile service/range, so as much as it would have been wonderful, it would have been impossible to upload in real time.

      Like

  6. Toonsarah April 7, 2022 / 11:24 pm

    More beautiful scenery! The lighthouse looks interesting and seeing the echidna is wonderful 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Monkey's Tale April 8, 2022 / 12:15 am

    I had to look up echidna, it looks like a cross between a porcupine and a platypus! I laughed at your geronimo story, next time do it and take a video 😊. Glad you got your second wind, it’s hard on your motivation the next day if you stop early. Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure April 8, 2022 / 2:52 pm

      Echidnas are a favourite of mine – so much personality as you see them wandering along – and they are notoriously shy so we were very lucky.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Diana April 8, 2022 / 12:17 am

    I’d never heard of an echidna before. What a neat thing to encounter!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Priti April 8, 2022 / 9:01 pm

    Beautiful place thanks for sharing with photos and description 😊👍

    Liked by 1 person

  10. wetanddustyroads April 9, 2022 / 1:25 am

    I’m happy to read about the dried peas (I was wondering) … we’re going to try this definitely! Your views of the ocean is beautiful (and just love that boardwalk – easy walking)! Oh, the joys of those hills UP and then steeply down. Haha 😁, clever husband you’ve got with his man-made shower!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Master of Something Yet April 9, 2022 / 10:18 am

    +1 on the dried peas. From your description of Aire River I think I’m glad that’s the one I decided to skip on my itinerary. I’m working hard on waste minimalisation. Just did a 4 day walk and only accumulated a mostly full 22cm square zip lock bag. But have thoughts on further reductions. What a lovely surprise coming across a busy echidna!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure April 10, 2022 / 3:00 pm

      You are obviously far more experienced than me in the waste-minimisation field. It is something I am going to look carefully at when tackling the Great North Walk, although I think bins will be more plentiful.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Master of Something Yet April 10, 2022 / 3:30 pm

        I’ve just watched a LOT of YouTube videos! 😄

        One thing that helped- I try and empty as many packages as I can into the Ziploc freezer bags I use for my meals. So, say my base is a couscous packet, I’ll empty it into the bag. Obviously I can’t do that with anything wet like tuna but any dry things I’ll remove the packaging. And I reuse my freezer bags. So after I finish my meal, I give the bag a rinse with a little water and then pack it away to take home, wash properly and use again.
        I also use ground coffee and leaf tea with a funny little cloth bag infuser thing my son brought back from Thailand. Then the only waste is the grounds or leaves and I just dispose of them where I feel they won’t have an impact on the ecology like the fireplace in camp.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Life...One Big Adventure April 11, 2022 / 7:10 am

          I bought some more solid ziplock bags from Aldi in one of their special sales. I am going to give them a whirl as a re-use option. It is such an interesting exercise to really examine packaging and waste.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Master of Something Yet April 11, 2022 / 7:51 am

            It is. I took some of those cheese dip and crackers packets on the last hike but I’m looking into an option that would remove the packaging, like buying that cheese spread that keeps and putting it in a small container. (I like the savoury taste of cheese and crackers.) May weigh more but sometimes it can be a small weight penalty for the benefit of not carrying more rubbish.

            The Ziploc brand Freezer bags can take boiling water so I just rehydrate my meals in the bag. (I have a homemade cozy to pop it in while it soaks. Keeps it good and hot!) Just check if the Aldi ones will take hot water.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Life...One Big Adventure April 11, 2022 / 8:08 am

            We found that that Laughing Cow cheese travelled really well. Yes, a little foil packaging around each segment, but it’s only small. Thanks for the tips about the boiling water in the bags. I will look into it.

            Liked by 1 person

  12. The Travel Architect April 12, 2022 / 10:21 am

    Three cheers for encouraging husbands! Also, I had to look up echidna. Darn cute. We don’t have those in Minnesota!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Alison April 26, 2022 / 11:13 pm

    Astounding amazing views, must have been so good to put your aching feet into the sea

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure April 27, 2022 / 5:52 am

      Yep, it felt so good and really refreshed the tootsies. Getting your socks and boots back on is another story!

      Like

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