27 February 2009


So, here's the map!

View Larger Map

Green pins are our accommodation (with dates), green markers are other lodgings in the area.

19 February 2009


we have paid off the tickets to the uk! yay! we're flying with etihad via abu dhabi, leaving melbs on 9th of september, arriving london on the 10th; leaving london on the 14th of october and arriving back in melbourne on the 15th. we dealt with the people at flight centre in lygon court again, and they were fantastic as usual. our customer service person (millia) was even lovelier than our last one! yay!

we are definitely walking part of the southwest coast path, from land's end to plymouth. we have booked most of our accommodation for the fortnight of walking, with only the last few nights to work out. we will be starting on tuesday the 15th (training it from london-penzance, bus from penzance-land's end, then immediately walk about 9km to porthcurno), and probably walking into plymouth (heh) on wednesday 30th september. we will probably have 2 days of rest (ON SUNDAYS, HAHAHA!) in that time. once we have our bookings finalised, i will make up a google map for you all to perve on our walking plans with envy.

what else? hm. i have added a few more links for you in the sidebar over there --> ... i'm testing out dontforgetyourtoothbrush.com, and it's ok, but i need to have a fiddle and see if i can customise the lists a bit more.

8 February 2009


There are lots of bushfires in Australia - mainly in Victoria - that started yesterday. There are now 66 confirmed dead and hundreds of homes and buildings lost. J’s parents are OK - most of the fires are over 100km away from them, although they are getting occasional blackened leaves on the wind, so they are keeping the sprinklers going (embers can cause spot fires). Fires are still burning in many places, including places where friends and friends' families live.

Yesterday (Saturday) was the hottest day in Melbourne on record (46.4 degrees), and actually the hottest on record for any Australian capital city. It was like walking through a fan-forced oven, because there were strong northerly winds (hence the massive bushfires tearing through the forests and literally burning whole towns).

I hope that you are all OK, and that your family and friends are safe. And while you’re at it, spare a thought for those people hit by extreme flooding up north.

Please consider donating time, clothes, money, bedding, and food.

* Red Cross Relief Centres

* ABC news updates

7 February 2009


Some of you at some point have expressed an interest in walking with us. Our walks range in length, but although many of these ones are quite long, they are not (usually) extremely challenging in terms of hills or terrain. We walk at a reasonable pace (i.e. not extremely slowly, but definitely not speedily), and I stop to take a lot of photos. The main point of these walks is to have cups of tea out of a thermos, and consume delicious picnic food in lovely settings.

If you would like to join us, these are the walks we have planned. You will likely need to arrange your own transport, but if other people are coming they might have cars, etc. ANYWAY. Here is our plan until June, which may change. If you’re interested in joining us, leave a comment here with your details, or email us.

Sunday 8th February
Thornbury – Coburg Lakes Reserve (Return)
Walking along the Merri Creek bike path: flat, sealed
Public transport available halfway and at other points if you need to stop
Afternoon walk, leave at 3pm, afternoon tea at Coburg Lakes
BYO water, tea and a snack

Sunday 15th March
Maroondah Reservoir (nearly Circular)
View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com
Walking along dirt roads: unsealed, some steep hills in the first half
Private transport needs to be arranged
All day walk, leave Melbourne around 8am
BYO water (for whole day), tea, lunch, snacks

Sunday 29th March
Thornbury – Western Ring Road (Return)
View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com
Walking along the Merri Creek bike path: sealed and unsealed, flattish
Public transport available near path at several places
All day walk, leave around 9am
BYO water, tea, lunch, snacks

Sunday 26th April
Kinglake West – near Hazeldene (One-way)
View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com
Walking along dirt roads: unsealed, hilly
Private transport needs to be arranged for drop-off and pick-up
All day walk, leave Melbourne around 8am
BYO water (for whole day), tea, lunch, snacks

Sunday 10th May
Federation Square – Thornbury (One-way)
View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com
Walking along the Yarra and Merri Creek bike paths: sealed, flattish
Public transport available to most sections of the route
All day walk, leave Feddo around 9am
BYO water, tea, snacks (BYO lunch advised, although there are places to eat along the way)

Sunday 24th May
Olinda Walk o’ Doom (Circular)
It ends with an enormous, enormous hill. And we will jolly well defeat it. It’s actually not as long as these walks, it’s just that the first time we attempted it was the first long walk we did together and it was 35 degrees or something. And there was this hill. This huge hill.

Sunday 7th June
Two Bays Walk, Dromana – Cape Shanck (One-way)
20km/26km (depending on progress)
Walking along paths and roads: sealed, unsealed, boardwalks, some long climbs
All day walk, leave Melbourne very early
Private transport needs to be arranged for drop-off and pick-up
BYO water (for whole day), tea, snacks, lunch

Sunday 21st June
Thornbury – Rosanna (One-way)
View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com
Walking along Merri Creek path and Yarra trail: sealed and unsealed, flattish
All day walk, leave around 9am.
Public transport available at a few points along the path, including end
BYO water, tea, snacks, lunch (advised, though there are a few places off-path to buy)


If you want to join us, you will need to bring the following things. This list may seem very serious business, but you do not want to be caught without these basics.

Water. It’s really important to have enough to last you either the whole walk or until the next water-point. For a full day walk without any water points, you will need AT LEAST one litre, with more waiting at the end. Carrying two 600+mL bottles is advisable.

• Good, broken in walking shoes (cross trainers or sneakers are fine, sandals only on city walks, hiking shoes or boots are excellent so long as they’re broken in)

Appropriate clothing (jeans aren’t great, and be aware of thigh chafing if you wear a skirt or dress)

Appropriate weather-specific gear, especially on long, remote bushwalks – what you carry is all you have (minimum in all autumn walks: raincoat, scarf, beanie; sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen)

• Bandaids for possible blisters, and consider bringing a small first-aid kit on remote walks (painkillers, any specific medication you might need)

High energy snacks (nuts, dried fruit and chocolate are the usual recommendations)

Lunch! This is clearly the most important bit! Usually we bring a thermos of tea (please BYO tea or coffee!) and a variety of tasty vegetarian morsels to share. Leftovers, legume-based salads, potatoes, rice dishes, quiche: all these are delicious. Let us know your dietry requirements, and remember your cutlery!

Enthusiasm and willingness to talk about random shit, a camera, your phone so you can text people and say you're eating lunch on a mountain or something.

• A sense of your limits, and confidence in voicing them. There is no shame in having to stop to rest – in fact it is very important. We always pause at least once or twice to “look at the view” when we’re going up a hill! If things are getting absolutely too difficult, there is almost always the option of a shorter route, catching public transport, getting your chauffeur to pick you up early, calling a taxi, or turning back.

Water. Don’t forget it, or I won’t let you walk with us. *Bossy/serious man is bossy/serious*

. . . I don't think I've forgotten anything! Yay! It would be fun if you can come along!

3 February 2009


we have (3/4 of) our tickets! we just have to pay the remainder in the next 2 weeks. can i just say that once again we received stellar service from the carlton branch of flight centre. seriously, every time we've been there over the last year or so, they have been friendly, happy to help and clearly doing their job well (for instance, getting us a flight with etihad for less than i could find online, and only slightly more than thai airways - nothing against thai airways, but it will be fun to try out a newish airline).

we'll be in the uk for just over a month, which (as i mentioned earlier) will include the wedding on the 13th of september and the birthday on the 11th of october. AND it will include 2 weeks of walking on the southwest coast path! yay!

this walk will be different in a number of ways from the ones we've done before, not least in that it is approximately 3 times as long!

  • the thames path was very gentle, and followed the river from the source to oxford, through landscapes that changed over the walk mainly through the size of the river. however, the increasing size of the waterway, the different locks and townships, and the floodwaters that joined it as we got further downstream, definitely gave the walk a strong sense of progression. it was idyllic and a very good first walk.

  • the ridgeway involved more hills and valleys, longer days, and a bit more planning. the landscape was varied, from the first half a day along the thames, to wheat fields and farms, through woodland and parkland, along ridges (of course) and past various ancient earthworks. although there was less of a sense of a slow evolution of landscape, the various viewing points (bledlow ridge, wendover, ivinghoe beacon) gave us a lot of satisfaction, as we looked back on how far we'd come. it was also enjoyable to walk with friends - something we hope to repeat a bit with the southwest coast path.

    we expect the coast path to be tougher, with a lot of upping and downing, possibly more severe weather (especially wind blowing off the sea), and some longer days. it will also be a test of our endurance, although we will make sure to have a couple of resting days and shorter (10km-ish) days in order to break up the harder stuff! this will also be the first time we will need to really coordinate with other modes of transport - namely ferries to cross a number of rivers. there is also one creek that needs to be waded, and that can only be done an hour each side of low tide. barring that, there is a 1 hour detour around the creek, which isn't exactly ideal for us on a 22km day!

    on the plus side, the coast of cornwall is generally well supplied with villages, refreshments, accommodation and public transport. we will be there in mid-late september, when most of the school holiday crowds have gone but summer timetables are still in action (also summer prices for b&bs, but never mind). because the path often follows the tops of cliffs, we expect that the views will be lovely, and even if there is not a real sense of changing scenery, we will have a sense of purpose and achievement when looking forward or back over the bays and headlands. the map nerd in me also enjoys the fact that we will start at the westernmost point of mainland england (land's end), and also take in the southernmost point (the lizard).

    anyway, i'm sure you'll hear more as the trip draws closer. until then, we have a lot of training to do! we've already booked in lots of sundays with SJ, who walked the ridgeway with us, to do walks around melbourne. fun times!
  • 2 February 2009


    so now we start planning the next adventure. d's brother is getting married in september, so we will be once again flying off to england for some time away. we are going to find us some tickets today.

    we'll probably be gone for a month again, with the wedding at the start and d's ma's birthday at the end. and in between? we have decided to walk a BIG section of the southwest coast path, from land's end to plymouth. that is approximately 250km/155mi! it will take us about 2 weeks, and as soon as we've got plane tickets booked we are going to start finding accommodation. HOW EXCITING IS THAT?!?!

    i'll update again with more links and info later!