When We woke up at Blanket Bay on Sunday morning, We had coffee and breakfast before packing up the house and also took a little stroll on the beach to take pictures. We were in no mood to take pretty beach pictures when We arrived covered in mud and the weather was beautiful for walking and the sun was out-but it was still a little chili.
The bright in the background is the sun reflecting off the ocean, so We were pretty close to the water.
My knees were aching, but not debilitating me, so I stretched my muscles a bit and We were on Our way again! First, the sand ended and rocky beach was to be traversed before reaching stairs that would take Us up and away off the beach.
The trail hugged the coast for a while and continued to incline drastically for over an hour.
The ocean view was almost enough to keep my mind off the fact that my knees were beginning to scream at me. Shooting pain now and We had just started the day!! I had a pretty continuous conversation with God that day…thanking him for everything I could think of and reminding myself of all the blessings that We and Our family receive on a daily basis in order to remain positive. It was certainly a beautiful walk, and there was much to be thankful for (seeing in color instead of black and white, for example), and We would stop to rest ever so often and look into the distance with Our monocular…
A few hours into the days walk, We realized that it was going to basically be an uphill walk. There were some areas of flat trail, but for the most part, up up up. At one point, We came to a clearing that opened up onto a beach. It was confusing because We had started on the beach, walked uphill for hours, and ended up on a beach again…wth? So We walk a few meters on the sand and come to (dun dun dun) another freezing.cold.river.crossing.
I went ahead and took my shoes off to cross and left them off for the walk across the sand to where the trail picked back up. It felt nice to walk barefoot in the sand.
It’s a good thing I left them off for a few since We came across yet another…
That water was fricking cold. Just…cold.
We got back up on to the path and continued to go up. This time, it was so steep, the parks people had installed stone stairs to assist in the getting up. Assist, I said. That is, of course, unless your knees are hurting and you are carrying your life on your back…then it’s more of a hindrance lol. The stairs, like the previous days mud, seemed never ending. Topping hills and rounding corners gave Us new hope that the ground would level out “just up there”, but no.
When We thought We could go no further, and after stopping for a snack and putting down Our packs for about an hour, the trail began to slope downward. We could hear cars, and the ocean waves crashing and knew We had to be nearing the end of the day. While I would normally be thanking Jesus for the downhill, it put a new angle on my screaming knees and I discovered that while the uphill sucked, the downhill sucked more. Just thinking about it now makes me hurt, but I was still wearing a smile and enjoying being alive. Every view still took my breath away. I never once considered it as having anything less than a spectacular day.
The last leg of the days walk was along the road that led to the Cape Otway lighthouse, the oldest standing lighthouse in mainland Australia, and into their parking lot. When We got there, We were informed that the walk to Bimbi Park (which was where We were camping for 2 days) was another mile or more and backtracking from where We came. THAT was disheartening. Cali had already dropped His pack and was getting close to being defeated by the day when I told Him the news. We stopped a couple walking to their car to leave the lighthouse and asked for directions…they must have noticed that We looked a little worse for wear and offered Us a ride. A quickly accepted, and much appreciated ride. It would be my first ride in a car (yes, I’d been on a bus already, but a CAR) on the opposite side of the road from what I’m used to. The steering wheel was in the wrong place, the car was on the wrong side of the road, the speedometer was in km/h instead of miles…disconcerting but exciting! It was only a few minutes drive, but We saw Our first koalas on the way. They pulled over so We could get out and look and ooh and ah and then delivered Us to the door of the Bimbi Park office. Maybe because I knew the walk was over for the day, maybe because it just finally caught up with me, maybe whatever-my knees, especially the right one, did not want to cooperate with the standing and walking. Being done with walking for the day, We now had time to discuss the condition of my legs and the fate of the walk…It wasn’t looking good. I was hurting. We chose the closest campsite available, set up the house and got the stove started for dinner. Cali lit a fire, We sat down and that was the end of that day.
How would I feel upon waking? Why were there so many campers at the park on a Sunday? What did Bimbi Park look like in the sunlight?
For these answers and more, stay tuned…