The first part of our day was rated ‘Hard’ and I was bit apprehensive about how we would handle it as we were planning to walk the hard section plus 8km of the next easy stage. So, I pulled up my ‘big girl’ panties (or compression shorts) and stayed focus on the fact that tonight I would be stepping into a blissful shower and sliding into a real, live bed! Heaven!
Pack covers on and off we strolled in the misty early morning light.
Date: Wednesday 23 March, 2022
From: Ryan’s Den, Victoria
Official Distance: 21.4km
Actual Distance: 22.8km
Weather: If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute. Misty rain, clouds, wind, blue sky, sun – a bit of everything.
Stayed At: Southern Ocean Motor Inn, Port Campbell
- We were well-oiled machines as we broke camp, packed our backpacks and folded the tent. It had rained overnight and, while it was lovely to hear it pattering on the roof of the tent, I was worried what we would find in the morning. Yes, the tent was damp, but our gear was dry and that was the most important thing.
- Animals were a feature of today’s walk. Hundreds of kangaroos, wallabies and wallaroos, and a very fat and healthy tiger snake. Thankfully it didn’t want to meet me as much as I didn’t want to meet it, and Mr/Mrs Snake quickly slithered into the brush. I had thought that snakes may be a bit of a problem the whole length of this walk and yet this was only our second sighting after a black snake on Day 2. If you give them space, they will quickly make themselves scarce.
- We made Devil’s Kitchen GOW campsite for lunch. As the sun had broken through, we draped the damp tent over bushes to dry while we dined on Ryvita, sweet chilli tuna sachets, Laughing Cow cheese and lolly snakes. The food of champions! Even if you don’t stay at this campsite, make sure you check out the toilet facilities. The views from the toilet seat are panoramic with a clear Perspex sheet inserted in the wall framing the stunning coastline disappearing westwards.
- From Devil’s Kitchen the path is rated as ‘Easy’. I guess it depends on your definition of easy. More ups and downs and the body was not happy after all my muscles stiffened up over lunch. Thankfully the views provided a good distraction and the breezes cooled our sweaty brows and backs. Apparently, we were supped to be able to glimpse the Twelve Apostles in the far distance, however the heavy sea mist limited visibility to only a kilometre or two.
- We were SO lucky on this walk with the weather being relatively kind. It would have been very unpleasant slogging up and down all those ridges in pouring rain. I gave thanks to the Weather Gods on a daily basis. The only small downside was the constant haze in the air and low, cloudy skies. It won’t do my photography any favours, but it is a small price to pay for staying dry.
Top Tips for this Section:
- Again, the distances for this day were dodgy and seemed much longer than expected. Maybe we were just tired. Princetown Recreation Reserve, where we had left the car, was tantalising close and yet the path seemed to wend every which way through foothills and over yet more soft sand. Yes, keep some energy in the tank for the last winding stretch.
- Princetown Recreation Reserve would be a really good option to camp if you were desperate for a shower and/or wanted a nice, short walk on your final day. We left our vehicle there ($5 per night) the week before and caught the public bus ($11.40pp) eastwards to Apollo Bay to start the walk.
Stay tuned for Day 6 – our Final Day.
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