10 March 2010


well, tomorrow we are off to the uk! we've had a busy and slightly stressful preparation period: d has been writing a wedding speech with his brother via email and skype, j has been finding a wedding outfit (buying a suit and shirt, having them altered, finding shoes and a belt, a cravat and pocket square, cufflinks and socks). so, it was nice on sunday to go for a day-long walk with g from the merri creek in thornbury to epping station. it was the longest walk we'd done since we got back from the uk last october, and it is good to know we still have 20km in us!

all our photos of the walk can be seen here, and g's photos are here.

the route itself was a bit of an experiment. i had seen a thin green strip running diagonally across the melways, and decided to check it out on google maps (satellite view) to see if it looked walkable. it did. it was marked as 'pipeline' in the melways, and i noticed that there were a couple of seemingly interconnecting pipeline tracks around. i decided to trace these to darebin creek, then wind north with that to epping station. we weren't sure if we'd be able to follow the planned route, but we were looking forward to trying! you can see the route map here, but i'll attempt to embed a version below, too.

g has a new camera, which he was experimenting with on the walk. he took some lovely pics!

j and d near merri creek, photo by g

we started off by the creek, which was flooded after the epic hailstorm the day before, then found the start of the pipe track near murray rd.

merri creek in flood
merri in flood

start of the pipeline
g and d at the start of the pipe track

it was raining very lightly so we didn't stop for many photos before we got to reservoir station and grabbed a bite to eat from the bakery. it was interesting to walk this way through a suburb, cutting diagonally across streets and blocks. it was kind of like walking through a grassy/weedy alleyway. after the station we turned onto cheddar rd, which has an extremely wide middle part with very little on it apart from a bike track and a few trees and street signs. looking straight ahead we could see distant hills, and felt the yearning to walk right out of the city (which we almost did!).

straight out of the city
cheddar road bike track

after a while we turned off cheddar road to follow the line of what might be a different pipe (not sure) north east. this was a much wider and more open space, with large suburban gardens backing onto it. a lot of residents have reclaimed the edges of the space for vegetable gardens, herbs and flowers, and fruit trees. i took a couple of figs, and we chewed on a leaf of mint as we continued on.

d admiring a garden in reclaimed space
reclaimed space

meandering track
the track along the pipeline

garden leaves, photo by g

as i mentioned, this was an interesting way to see the suburbs, and to chart the progress from new apartments to 70s brick units to houses with ramshackle gardens to industrial estate. we continued under the transmission lines and soon came to norris bank reserve on darebin creek. we didn't take many pictures there, which is a shame because it's a lovely little park. we stopped for lunch there.

transmission lines, photo by g

space // suburbia
space // suburbia

after lunch, we followed darebin creek up to the ring road. it's amazing how similar in feeling the creeks are when they pass under the ring roads. we've now hit that road on the merri, moonee ponds and darebin creeks! we saw a bit of wildlife around here - including a rabbit and a white faced heron.

white faced heron, photo by g

under the bridge: seven beams
under one of the many bridges!

the sun had come out before lunch, and by the time we reached north of the ring road we were pretty hot. this didn't stop g from messing about for a bit on the play equipment!

g on the play equipment
g is proud of his achievements!

thistle head macro
thistle head

as we drew closer to epping - and after we'd had a bit of a rest across the creek from lalor - the cloud front we'd admired for much of the day (see the bottom of the photo "space // suburbia" above) drew overhead, the temperature cooled, and we felt a few spots of rain. we hobbled to epping station and hopped on a waiting train. our walk was over! (except for the bit where we had to walk another 2km home from the station because the bus left just before we could catch it!)

the after shot: d, g & j
the after shot!

all in all, a great day! i'm now really interested to see if there are other pipe tracks around melbourne to check out. they make really useful corridors for walkers, and because they're straight you also cover a lot of ground quite quickly.


now, we must finish packing!!! next blog will probably be from london!

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