Day 22 – 22nd April

The legs are not quite as sore today. We have had a couple of bus loads of boys staying at the park, even though they did quieten down at night they have made big messes in the toilet block every day.

We started off a bit earlier today, we headed back up the road we came down last night, the sign at turn off from the Great Ocean Roads says to Beech Forest. We stopped at Hopetoun Falls, which is our favourite, does have a quite few steps so is listed as Moderate, only 1km. There is a viewing platform 20m from the carpark where you can see the falls but it’s best to do the walk as they are amazing. The falls fall into a pool which then flows down over mossy rocks, surrounded by tree ferns. Very pretty falls, we got a lot of good photos going to be hard to choose. There were lots of fungi on the walk to so we got lots of photos of them including some tiny little blue ones. Why oh why are they always so low to the ground? I took a plastic bag to sit and kneel on but I still get muddy. We have worked out the falls are taking us 2-3 hrs to complete by the time we stop and take photos of things along the way, we still walked over 9kms today.

Mossy-Rocks Hopetoun Falls

Next we stopped in at the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk; we didn’t do the walk as we didn’t have enough time as at this stage we were having so much fun checking out the free things, we have heard it is very good though. We had lunch there Fish, Chips and Salad was very nice.

Triplet-Falls

From there we continued 3km’s past the Tree Top Walk to Triplet Falls, a 2km loop, moderate walk but with loads of steps. There is a recommended direction for the loop, which starts downward, with steps and boardwalks, the falls is towards the other end of the loop, the climb back out is rather steep up steps, where you follow the creek along. It is if fact shorted to the falls to go the opposite direction if you only want to see the falls but you would miss out on the whole walk, which again is very pretty through spectacular rainforest along an old logging line. Again lots of fungi, which had us just about lying down on the rainforest floor with the leaches and mud. People walking past must have thought we were nuts taking photos of what they can’t even see as some of the fungi were tiny. It rained just as we were finishing the walk; we had a quick cuppa at the car before moving on.

Pixies Parasol Ghost Fungi Fungi-3 Fungi Fungi-Family

On the way back to the van we stopped and checked out a few free camps along the way ready for us to move to and have a few days break over the Anzac long weekend, to avoid the crowds on the roads.

We had done some washing before we left and hung it out on the clothes line set up at the front of the van on the A frame. We thought we would be faced with wet washing when we got back, when we pulled in the washing was gone, first thought was someone took our clothes, but our nice neighbours had brought it in for us and had it lying flat underneath their annex, very kind and thoughtful of them.

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Day 21 -21st April

Wow, ouch. Yep that is how we are feeling, mostly me as my calves are very sore from all the steps yesterday. They are ok once you are moving and the muscles have warmed up but when you have been sitting in the car and then get out and walk ouchhhhhhhhh.

We were a bit slow off the mark this morning enjoying sitting back having a cuppa. We then headed up into the Otways; the plan was to go to at least 4 waterfalls in the area. Ha we made 2, there is just so much to see on the way. There is a loop you can do from Skenes Creek, which back a few Kms up the Great Ocean Road, you then turn inland the road does a loop and joins back onto the Great Ocean Road further up from here at Lavers Hill, then back home. Well that was the plan.

Stevenson-Falls

First stop was Stevenson Falls, which is a bit further up, which meant we had to double back. But we had read the falls were great. There is also a camping area there, where vans can get into. Wow what a nice area, the drive there was beautiful, through tall trees, ferns and winding road, felt like we were driving in a rainforest. The camping area is one of the best we have seen for a while, from there it is either a 1.1km walk or you can drive to the falls day area, we drove. From the day area it is only a short walk on level ground to the falls. Lots of trees and ferns, it’s such a lovely walk.

Magic-Muchroom-2

In amongst the base of some bushy pine trees we spied the same red Fungi we had seen in the Mansfield High Country area, only these were much better and lots of them. They start as round red balls with white bumps on them and then open up to big flat plates, some quite large. They are like something you would expect to see in Alice in Wonderland. We have just looked them up and they are Amanita Muscaria, commonly called Fly Agaric or Fly Amanita. They are not native to Australia; they were accidently brought in with Pine Plantations and are referred to as the Quintessential Toadstool, the little ones are called buttons and the white spots can wash off in heavy rainfall. I should point out there are poisonous to eat and are farmed for its hallucinogenic properties ha maybe that is why we were so happy when we saw them, the real Magic Mushroom.

Magic-Muchroom

I had soaking wet and dirty knees by the time I had finished. The falls were great with plenty of water going over them into pools below. We spent several hours there all up, we enjoyed lunch back at the day area before heading back down and rejoining the loop road, which takes you to the Otway Fly tree Top walk.

Beauchamp-Falls-walk

Next stop was Beauchamp Falls, a 3km return walk, listed as moderate difficult in the walking rating, Stevenson Falls was easy. It’s 1.5km all downhill on a very well maintained track. Again lots of fungi to see, some we hadn’t see before including one that was growing up a tree that can only be described as they look like Stalactites, never seen anything like it. We think it is a Tooth Fungi, or other names, Coral Fungi, or Icicle Fungi. Apparently it’s edible and delicious like Lobster and can be used as a rice substitute, but I’d check on that before you start munching in on it. The walk is another pretty walk with tree ferns, moss, fallen down trees with moss, and lots of tall trees but it is steep in places and the last bit is straight down with stairs, does have hand rails and they do help as the steps were wet and slippery. It is worth the walk as the falls are wonderful. The viewing platform is up some more steps, we also worked our way down to the bottom of the falls to take some photos. It was 5 o’clock so we moved it back up the track at a reasonable pace, trying to beat the dark, stopping to take pics of a few fungi, gave us a break. By the time we got back to the car we were hot and puffed.

Beauchamp Falls Tooth-Fungi

Mycena Family

We took a short cut back home straight down joining back up with the Great Ocean Road, not completing the loop YET. Plan tomorrow is to go back up the short cut and rejoin where we left off.

We came home with sore bits, Chris is now saying ouch too, covered in a bit of mud from kneeling in wet rainforest floor and sitting on wet muddy rocks, but as Chris said we were as happy as pigs in mud, we had a ball, and that is what it is all about, can’t wait for tomorrow after a nice rest that is.

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