You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘beach’ tag.

At long last, the final pictures of our journey out to Western Australia.  There were many reasons to fly to WA for our campervan roadtrip:  the weather, the coast, the abundance of trees found no where else.  But you know us, and knowing us as you do, you had to know there was a hike in there somewhere.

For the past three years, we have tortured Kristin & Damiano with tediously long day hikes for which we are typically underprepared  had the pleasure to share our love for the outdoors with our best friends and have seen some pretty beautiful terrain — from the open plains and a wispy Fairy Falls in Yellowstone to a 2-day excursion up Mt. Chirripo through rainforest and sub-alpine ecospheres and knee-deep in mud.

We had our reputation to live up to.  So it was with that in mind that we set off to WA for a week’s worth of adventuring and a day’s worth of tramping on part of the infamous Aussie Bibblumun Track.

The Bibblumun Track is a 1,000 km long distance trek from the suburbs of Perth to the far South East coast of Western Australia.  We conquered but a piddly little 12kms (we think).  See, we didnt really bring a map and estimates of the portion from Peaceful Bay to Conspicuous Cliffs ranged from 10-15kms.  Also, we were a little short on water.  And Dami didn’t have hiking boots.  And our (new color filtering) camera ran out of battery they day before so I had to lug the big ‘un all day.

In short, a typical fantastic four hike.

But oh what a beautiful little stretch of the trek it was…  Read about the journey on the out and about page and experience the beauty of Western Australia, from shrub to sun to sea.

Advertisements

Last weekend, we spent some down time for our fifth wedding anniversary in our favorite spot in Melbourne — Mornington Peninsula.  With Bentley in tow, we headed down to Rye Beach for some R&R.

Among the weekend’s activities: golf at St. Andrews Beach, strolling on the sand, multiple rounds of competitive ping ponging courtesy of the “table tennis” at our rental house, wine tasting and champagne sipping at the Cups Estate, catching the panoramic views up at Arthur’s Seat, snapping shots of the sculpture work of William Ricketts (a Richmond native famous for integrating Aboriginal imagery into his works) and getting reacquainted with the finer points of our Sony Cybershot HX1, testing out manual aperture and shutter speed and playing with variable color filters.

A few photos… on the photos page.

Week 6 coincided with a lovely Valentine’s Day weekend in the remote and rugged town of St. Helens, on the southernly edge of the Bay of Fires Conservation Area.

Week 6:  Beach tramping in the Bay of Fires
Distance: 8-10kms (4 hours)
Grade: Moderate
Weight: 3kgs

An afternoon hike in the Bay of Fires was the perfect “us” weekend moment – 4 hours of sand, surf, brush, beach, blazing our own trail in the sun. 

The Bay of Fires is known for its rugged coastline, white pristine sandy beach, turquoise waters, and orange lichen stained boulders.  Needless to say, gorgeous but challenging hiking terrain.  We beat the beach by spending much of the trail in the brush that took the place of normal sand dunes, and side detours through and to a large inlet lagoon.

After our exertions, we sat down at a bayside cafe for a drink and leisurely reading session.  Happening to be in the right place at the right time, we watched a school of dolpins play in the surf (and surprise a surfer!) in the shallow waters just 10 meters off the beach. 

It was a lovely weekend in St. Helens, and reminded us all the reasons we love the great state of Tasmania!  Full pictures on the out and about page.

For Week 5, we went back to Mornington Peninsula.  Steve to play golf; Claire to continue the hiking challenge.  There’s a ~30km coastal walk along the southern end of the peninsula, so I set out from the golf course towards the coast and just kept on trucking. (Full pictures)

Week 5: Cape Schanck (golf course) to St. Andrew Beach / golf course
Distance: appx 15 kms
Grade: moderate
Weight: 10-12kgs

From the golf course, I set out for a familiar landmark – the lighthouse at Cape Schanck. Just 3kms in, I arrived there around the boys’ tee time, so figured a side jaunt down to the beach and back up would help lengthen my overall time and simulate a little elevation change.

From there, I followed the water’s edge on the cliffs for a 7km stretch to Gunamatta Beach.  The brush offered a welcome respite from the blistering midday sun, and the trail was a challenging mix of soil and sand.

I had some company along the way — no humans to speak of, but dozens of monarch butterflies flitting along the path.  The path looked like no one had passed this way in a long time, other than perhaps the wayward wombat.  So I was forced to adopt a robot walk through the thickest brush, to avoid spiderwebs to the face. It’s a technique I perfected in college, in the back woods of Rocky Mount NC, when trips home for the weekend usually involved me patching the fence or clearing brush from mom’s 5 acre homestead.

As the path grew more sandy, my legs grew more tired. Hiking in sand dunes is no easy feat.  Finally, I broke out onto one of the most beautiful beaches I have seen in the greater Melbourne area.  Extremely hot and due for a bit of a break, I dropped the pack and went for a swim.

The last leg of the journey would continue on the beach.  Good grief, more sand.  As the sun set on a beautiful day, I only wished I had the legs to go further (the coastal walk extends another 15 kms or so to the tip of the peninsula at Sorrento).

Miraculously, though I was thoroughly exhausted Saturday night, I only felt slightly stiff on Sunday.  All this practicing is paying off!

Week 4 was a (delightfully enjoyable) hiking let-down.  A holiday weekend (with Australia Day on Thursday and a vacation day reserved for Friday), we had originally planned to go to Snowy River National Park, no the Victorian Alps, no Snowy River National Park…

With much indecision, and soaring temperatures for 4 days straight, we went… to the beach.  After our very hot excursion at Werribee Gorge, Steve was feeling a bit hiked out.  And it was, as he put it, “stupid hot”.

So on Friday, instead of hitting the road for another hiking adventure, we did a nice 15km bike ride down the coast of Port Phillip Bay, from St. Kilda to Brighton and back.  And on Sat, we rounded up Kelly and Adam and escaped the heat of the city, fleeing to our favorite ocean-side beach on the Mornington Peninsula.

Sure, it wasn’t the most active weekend, but when it so hot outside you’re sweating standing still, hiking is just no fun…

Turns out the old adage is false, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.  On a gorgeous sunny hot Saturday this weekend, we took off for the beaches on Mornington Peninsula.  The coast on the eastern of the peninsula catches the Arctic winds, but on a hot humid day that seemed like the right place to be.

It was a day of firsts for our little dachshund–he learned to swim and dig!

This fine Sunday, my husband took his wife and his dog for a walk.  We were both in great need of a little exercise and R&R.  So we took off for Airey’s Inlet, a quiet and remote coastal expanse only a short drive (<2 hrs)  from the city, at the beginning of the Great Ocean Road.

It felt human again to have the sun and wind on my face, and hear the calm crashing of waves.  And Bentley, oh Bentley was beside himself.  We walked up and down the coast for 3 hours, til our tired little pup nearly gave out (he slept the entire ride home, and is snoring next to me now).

Yep, it was a pretty great day. Full pics on the photos page.