Friday 09/09/2016 – Day 2 – Apollo Bay to Blanket Bay – 24.53 km
Awoke early and packed the day pack and the headed up for breakfast. Breakfast consisted of porridge, poached eggs and toast, and coffee. The lunch was the prepared with the ingredients for a salad plus ham, with turkish bread and pita bread. It was left to me to construct the lunch as I pleased. After making lunch, wrapping it in glad wrap, and placing it into a container, I then added one apple, two bananas, and an orange, plus a muesli bar. Once all packed it was into the bus for the first leg.
After about half an hour the bus arrived at the start of the Great Ocean Walk in Apollo Bay. After a series of photos were taken, I was even one UHF by Sam and took up my position as tail end Charlie (also called “toilet paper”). Passing along the Great Ocean Road through Apollo Bay and then through the Barham River estuary with the Backwater, the Great Ocean Road entered Marengo. From there the walk followed the coast and into the Marengo Caravan Park. The walk passed through the caravan park to the start of the walking track, with slippery boardwalk. The trail meandered in the vegetation behind the beach passing Swell Point and then entering the beach. After a short stroll along the beach we came to a headland which looked treacherous to pass. Checking the directions, we should have gone up 1A. So we backtracked to the 1A sign and left the beach to follow the path behind the beach. This section took the walkers past Storm Point and then back to the beach. After a short walk along the beach a set of stairs was ascended to a gate. This does not look right. Descended to the beach and continued to the next stairs which was the track of the Great Ocean Walk. Oops!
Once regaining the track, it ascended quickly to Bald Hill Point with its commanding views including seals seen a distance off the coast. This section involved the trekkers passing under low vegetation which contained a koala. A quick descent from Bald Hill Point and the track entered Three Creeks Beach and walked along the beach for 600 m. At the western end was time for a morning tea break. Then the heavens opened. After packing our gear and donning wet weather gear, we headed off.
Being tail end Charlie, I was in company with a person who saw the walk as a real challenge. So far was a battle and I hoped that we would not arrive at the end of this section too late for the rest of the group.
The track ascended quickly from Three Creeks Beach and started to ascend as the Shelly Beach Car Park was reached. From this point the track descended into the Elliot River and then ascended to the Elliot Ridge GOW Campground. By this time, I was far behind the main group but battled on.
The track at this point headed inland ascending all the while to the left turn onto the Elliot Road. Elliot Road was followed up hill to Parker Spur Road, during which leg a lunch break was taken. As I arrived, the leading group then departed. After about ten minutes, we departed. Upon reaching Parker Spur Road, the walk then undulated along Parker Spur to the Johnson Track. This track undulated till its junction with Blanket Bay Track. The Blanket Bay Track had a long slow descent till its junction with the Telegraph Track. Turning down Telegraph Track, the descent became steeper right down to the beach at Blanket Bay.
A short walk along the beach from the steps and then met the rest of the group, boarded the bus and headed back to Bimbi Park.