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Adventures on a bike; sometimes on foot

GOW day 6: Ryans Den – Twelve Apostles

It was cold in the morning. Like huddled up in your sleeping bag and thing “I really really don’t want to go out there” kind of cold.  I clambered out of the tent in the dark and added layer after layer as I fired up the stove to get some coffee going in order to try and make sense of who I was and what was going on. It took a bit of prodding and the promise of coffee to get Gea to emerge from the tent at all.

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Waiting for the coffee to take hold

All though there had been rain through the night, all our gear was pretty dry thanks to the wind that had been howling all night, which made the packup pretty pain free. It wasn’t until we were walking out of the campsite that the rain began coming down again but by that stage, we were in gortex and everything was sealed so it didn’t really matter to us. There was a quick stop at the loo with a view and then we headed out on our last day on trail.

Loo with a view

Loo with a view

Loo with a view mounted on the cliff edge

Loo with a view mounted on the cliff edge

So the last section of trail was also one of my favourites. I don’t think we left sight of the ocean for the whole way. At one point we were walking along with and escarpment on our right and the ocean on our left in a little narrow green corridor. It was seriously cool.

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About an hour into the walk, we came around a corner to find a sizeable Eastern Grey Kangaroo standing in the middle of the trail staring us down. It was a strange place to find an actual kangaroo (as opposed to the ubiquitous swamp wallaby) as the undergrowth was almost impenetrable along our narrow ribbon of trail. The roo spooked and headed off along the trail in front of us. As we wandered along, I wondered about where it had gone when we came around a corner some 10 minutes later and there it was again. Again it spooked and continued along the trail in front of us and again after another 10 minutes we came around the corner to find it staring us down. This time we stopped and it decided to come at us. We were unsure quite what was going on and stood our ground and with no way around due to the dense scrub, the roo thought twice about it and turned and ended up back where it started. It was clearly getting agitated and i suggested to Gea that we should step off trail and into the bush to let it past. The moment we did, it flew past us and off down the trail to wherever it called home. None of the other hikers that we spoke to at Twelve apostles saw it, so it must have been very close to home when we got in the way.

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About 8 kms from the end we were passed by a trail runner who blew past us like we were standing still. She looked strong and as we noodled along, we came across a scenic view of Princetown, she was already crossing the bridge several kilometers ahead of us. My mind was blown – she was seriously hauling arse.

The river at Princetown

The river at Princetown

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Princetown was another optional trail diversion. We were making such great time that barring a catastrophe, we were going to have plenty of time to kill while waiting for the bus. So we decided to walk across the board walk over the marshes and see what was up in sunny Princetown. It tuns out they had coffee and after 6 days of GSI coffee, i was ready for the real thing. It was as good as you could imagine and the bacon and egg roll was next level. No freaking salmon today!

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nom nom nom

nom nom nom

While we were eating, the bus to Geelong rolled through town so for someone pondering extraction posibilities, gettting the bus at Princetown is an option although you’d be crazy to skip the finish at the Twelve Apostles unless you’ve been there before.

The last 5 kilometers rolled along comfortably and then we are standing on a viewing platform with the GOW logo overlooking one of the apostles. We were done. We wandered around trying to learn how to re-integrate into society amongst the throngs of tourists. We spent time looking from the various viewing platforms and ended up hiding from the sun and crowds behind the tourist centre in a shady little alcove while we waited for the bus. Eventually we moved to what we guessed was the correct bus stop (it’s hard when you are in a place that is filled with dozens of tour buses to work out which one you actually want to be on)where a surprisingly cheery driver asked us all about our walk. During his run, he was happy enough to stop for 10 minutes while we went out to the viewing platform at Loch Ard Gorge which was also well and truly worth seeing.

Spring is a great time to walk. The flowers were amazing the whole way along the route

Spring is a great time to walk. The flowers were amazing the whole way along the route

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Loch Ard gorge (yep, you gussed it, named after another ship wreck)

Loch Ard gorge (yep, you gussed it, named after another ship wreck)

So our trip had ended and it was rad. We were both still talking to each other, we were both still able bodied and smiling. Success.

If like me you’ve been thinking about doing this walk – just get out there and do it. It’s better than i could have imagined so book some flights and make it happen.

Preamble

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

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