Two Christmases ago I was given a deck of cards for walks in and around melbourne. Hahaha, have you just gone “huh?”? Â I have had that reaction several times. Well, it is a box with 32 cards and on the cards are trails ranging from 9-19kms, complete with maps and text describing each trail and they are colour coded into seasons for the best time of year to walk them. Last Sunday with its gorgeous spring weather I picked my first card!
The card took us to Warrandyte State Park which was roughly 30km north east of the city. It was going to be a 15km return walk along the Yarra from Stiggants Reserve to Blue Tongue Bend. I had planned for us to have a picnic lunch/snack on our walk and decided on making some sausages rolls. The making of the sausage rolls started the night before with the assembly of the puff pastry, a fairly involved process as it turns out – with the rolling and folding of the pastry every 20 minutes for 4 times. It was roughly noon the next day before we set off (after I finished baking the sausage rolls).
It was Father’s Day here last Sunday and with the beautiful weather, it appears that many people too decided to go on picnics and walks. About half a km into the walk we came upon a canoe competition that was being held by some school. It was quite interesting for I have never seen, except on television, a canoe obstacle course. It looked hard!
After about 2km we more or less left the people behind and it then started to feel more of a hike than an afternoon in the local park. Our walk took us on some sealed and unsealed tracks, some fairly wide and some other narrower tracks, along some roads, but mainly meandering along with the river by our side. We saw wattles in bloom and some kind of cherry blossom in bloom which were very pretty and many gum trees. There were signs for wombats and apparently the trail would take us along the ecology of kangaroos, wallabies and platypus – but we did not see any. We did however see a few sulphur crested cockatoos.
We were walking rather slowly enjoying the view, chatting and taking photos, it was at least 2 hours into the walk and we had roughly covered 5km. By then it was getting close to 3 o’clock and we we getting hungry. The track then was quite overgrown with only a narrow walking path. We had been choosy with our picnic ground, rather too choosy it turns out. When I spotted a space right by the river that we could stop for our picnic we were all very glad to stop. Out came our homemade sausage rolls, homemade profiteroles, coffee and strawberries which we very quickly wolfed down.
After our picnic we walked about 2 km further to a very big picnic ground called Jumping Creek. It is actually a very nice one, complete with bbq stations and wood, seating, toilets and even a playground. We still had about a km or two to go before we would reach our intended destination. Since it was getting a little late and as we were all already a bit tired we decided not go all the way. So after having spent about 20 minutes enjoying the scenery at Jumping Creek we turned around and walked back the way we came.
The return walk took only about an hour and a half since we stopped less. By the time we got to sight of the car we were all very glad indeed to see it. We had covered about 13km and about 20,000 steps. It was a lovely day out. I really enjoyed the sunshine, the fresh air, the trees, the birds, the exercise, photo snapping opportunity and the food too (even if I do praise my sausage rolls myself). Now I am eagerly waiting to pick out the next card from the deck!