This week involved hiking it in the city at Yarra Bend Park, the largest area of native bushland in inner Melbourne.

Week 7: Yarra Bend Park
Distance: 8km (walk); 8 km (bike); plus…
Grade: easy (walk); moderate (bike, but only because I suck on a bike)
Weight: 5-6 kgs

For week 7, Kelly joined me to train for her upcoming hike in Wineglass Bay. We decided to stay in the city, so she met me at our house and we biked 4km up the river to Yarra Bend Park, which is full of mountain biking trails also prime for hiking. We hiked for an hour north along the river to a mass colony of flying foxes.

Yep, each of those little black dots, every last one of them, is a native Australian bat, also know as the flying fox. Formerly residing in the Royal Botanical Gardens and surrounding wealthy neighborhoods on the south side of the river in the CBD, the flying foxes have been relocated here over the last 10 years by the parks services to a permanent home that is supposedly better habitat for them (and for Melburians).

The colony is so large we walked for about 10 minutes among trees this thickly populated. They are numbered between 30,000 and 50,000 depending on time of year. At the end of the colony, we turned back and did the return walk and bike back to my house, and Kelly biked it back to St. Kilda.

A few hours later, we meet some friends at the south side of the Yarra River (the bats’ former home). We enjoyed a lazy Saturday afternoon grilling and chilling by the river. Bentley enjoyed himself doing laps around the BBQ and making friends with other picnickers, showing his charms in exchange for stray sausage bits. It’s another 3km (one-way) walk down to the river, so all up it was a 14km walking day.

New Zealand here we come!