CLIFF TOP HIKING

Day 2 – Great Ocean Walk: Blanket Bay to Aire River (21km)

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The tinkling of raindrops on the tent woke me up a few times through the night. By the morning the ground appeared dry so it must not have been a lot of rain.  Patches of blue sky and little wind promised a nice day. 

This promise was shortlived as rain arrived almost as soon as we left camp. And pretty much all day it rained in short squalls. Not enough to get you soaked but enough to feel cold when exposed to gusts of wind .

We walked almost all day along the clifftops surronded by mostly short coastal heath. We crossed Parker River, which had very little flow to the ocean,  and  passed Cape Otway lighthouse finishing at Aird River.

We reached Cape Otway lighthouse mid-morning and it is quite a tourist destination. It was a little discomforting after walking for hours and not seeing another person to emerge into a very busy carpark.  And so dissapointing that despite passing by their shop we could not even buy a cup of coffee without paying the $19.50 entry fee to the lighthouse site. 

This put me in such a foul mood that I really struggled to walk the next few hours. Partly because it was all through sand and partly because I was so annoyed by the commercialism that seems to have prevailed in a few sections of the Great Ocean Road. Unlike me, Hammer had no problems with the lighthouse administration but still had a little struggle through to the finish of today’s walk. We ended up walking with hiking  poles to see if it made any difference.  Initially it certainly did as you could pick up quite a good rhythm.

Anyhow, eventually we made our destination at Aird River and  in pretty good time. Another great campspot where we sat around in the camp shelter relaxing over a cup of our very own brewed coffee. Life is grand indeed.

We are camped a little way uphill from a drive-in camping area by the river. There are two school groups camped there. As I write this the squeeling voices of school kids is almost drowning out the sound of the crashing surf.   Hammer is reminded of being on school camp. And then he realises he can relax.  The kids are not his responsibilty.  He does feel empathy for their teachers.

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Leaving Blanket Bay under a cloud.

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Lovely green grass trees firming the understorey for the paperbarks

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A perfect branch on which to take a rest

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Parker River crossing. Not much flow on this occasion.

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A long uphill from Parker River

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Occasionally the sun came out.

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The trail is incredibly well signposted.

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Fossil dig at Crayfish Beach.

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About the be hit by another rain squall coming off the ocean.

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The trail was nice and wide

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Approaching Cape Otway Lighthouse.

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Cape Otway Lighthouse. This is as close as we got it today.

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Hikers shelter at Cape Otway.

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Lou-Seal appreciated the heritage timber used in the hikers shelter.

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Stunning blue

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Sandy trail on the way to Aird River

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Ocean was an amazing blue colour

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Aird River