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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.

Dave and Holly, our Kiwi friends, heard us profess our hiking mission over dinner (and vodka) and decided to join along this week.

Claire the vicambulist, spreading the word of walking one person at a time.

Week 3: Werribee Gorge State Park – circuit walk
Distance: 10 kms
Grade: moderate to difficult
Weight: appx 6-7 kgs

It was a hot one today in Melbourne.  A top of 34, and a series of unfortunate events put us at the trailhead just before midday. The walk was mostly exposed, and moderate in grade, up and down the gorge cliffs.  But although it was incredibly hot, there was a soft breeze, and it was a good, varied trek.

Not more than 20 minutes in, we spotted an echidna.  Score another one for Claire & Steve’s adventures spotting furtive Australian fauna!

(getting a closer look)

(if I can’t see you… you can’t see me… right?)

We also brought Bentley (bad idea). It was longer and hotter than we’d judged.  Plus, as we discovered, the trail involves several sections of scrambling, including one with a “handrail” to assist.  It took a 3-man handoff shuffling the lil’ pup like a football to get him around the bend…

(note the wire affixed to rock ledge)

But in the end, sweaty and breathless (and nearly out of water) we completed the circuit.  We rewarded ourselves with some snacks and a well-earned cold beverage.   All and all, it was a challenging but good hike for week 3.

(a tired lil pup gets a lift)