We arrived in Apollo Bay to a delightful picnic in the park, our first taste the abundant food we would enjoy over the next three days. After lunch we drove over to our accommodation at Bimbi Park and our journey began.
The day finished with hot showers all round before a delicious dinner cooked by Holly at Bimbi Park. After scrumptious berry pavlova and a bit of a chat, everyone went off to bed for an early night.
We travelled through a magnificent Xanthorrea (grass tree) forest and on a boardwalk across a section of vegetation. I surprised a wallaby by the track, who moved about four metres away and then was quite happy to sit and observe us from afar. The tea tree in bloom scattered petals everywhere like confetti, and there were many tiny orchids and other wildflowers in flower – just glorious! The walk down to Johanna Beach gave some spectacular views, and the sun broke through the clouds, silvering the water. After a big day of walking, the icy water was a delight for tired, hot feet – it was a long slog along the 2 km of beach but well worth it in the end.
Sunshine greeted us on Sunday morning. After being dropped off we walked down the 4WD track to Milanesia Beach. This is a beautiful, secluded spot. A tiny white cottage sitting on a grassy slope looks like something straight out of Cornwall.
As the afternoon wore on and one hill became another and another and another, it seemed we had taken on a Sisyphean task. At long last, Deb and I were slogging up the very last hill. We set off zigzagging back and forth across the slope until a cooee from lee alerted us that we were indeed nearing the end. Just a little bit further, hurdle the last vehicle barrier and there we were; a glorious view, camp chairs and a glass of bubbly to celebrate!
All aboard the minibus for the drive to the Twelve Apostles! The wind had picked up and it was quite a struggle even walking against it, but we needed to get out tourist snaps so we persevered. Then it was back on the bus and our journey home began, punctured only by a stop for a hearty country pub dinner at the Gellibrand Hotel.
An amazing weekend of memorable views, great company, a real sense of accomplishment – AND all for a great cause, with $3,250 being raised for CNCF!