Monthly Archives: August 2014

Salomon Series Run – Olinda, Dandenongs

It was a cold foggy morning at Olinda in the Dandenongs last Sunday for the third race in the Salomon Trail Running Series.

Foggy winter morning in the Dandenongs

Foggy winter morning in the Dandenongs

I was doing the long course, 21km, and we were the first wave of runners to go.

The run was due to start at 8.30am and everyone waiting for the start was rugged up in their pants and puffer jackets until the very last moment.

Thankfully it didn’t take long to warm up when we were finally waved away.

It was a pretty tough course.

There was a lot of steep descent at the start and in the early kilometres. The course seemed to just keep going down and down. I kept thinking “what goes down must come up” so I didn’t go too hard, thinking I’d try and keep something in reserve for the climb back to the finish.

The trails were pretty good – a mixture of wide dirt track, fire trail and single track. They meandered through tall trees, ferny gullies and past gentle streams. I had to keep reminding myself to look around and take in the scenery every now and then instead of watching the ground all the time or heals of the person in front of me.

I was able to run at my own leisurely pace for much of the run. But when the climbing started, it certainly slowed everyone down. Long queues of runners (well, walkers actually) formed on the single track sections with few chances to overtake.

It was a little frustrating at first as I’m pretty good at hills but then I thought there was no point stressing about it. It was a nice day to be out and about and used the opportunity to get my breath back.

As much as I enjoyed the run, I was glad to get to the finish when I did. The juice was running low. But I was happy with my time – 2 hours 16 minutes – and I’m looking forward to the fourth and final race of the series at Anglesea in a few weeks.

The end!

The end!

A walk in the Bunyip State Park

I’ve been looking for new places to walk around Melbourne and while scrolling around Google maps came across a big patch of green called Bunyip State Park.

A quick Google and I found the Parks Victoria notes for the park and it looked like a place worth checking out.

For those unfamiliar with what a bunyip is, a mythical Aboriginal creature, here’s what the Parks Victoria notes say:

The legend of the bunyip

Beware of the Bunyip, a dark furry animal with a round face, small ears and fiery eyes that glow in the dark!

 According to the Aboriginal people, the Bunyip or “Buneep” (as spelt on early maps which show the river, first cattle run and township) is a spirit that punishes bad people.

Local Aboriginal people believed the Bunyip lived in the swamps of the Bunyip River, and therefore avoided the area. Many early settlers, believing this story, never pitched their tents near a ‘Bunyip hole’. People were also careful not to make ripples when collecting water. This upset the Bunyip.

The park is about 65km out of Melbourne and about an hour drive from the city through outer suburbs, small towns, farmland and then forested bush.

We didn’t pick the best day for a walk unfortunately. It was cold, drizzly and the sky just low grey cloud. But it was possibly for the best as the track notes said the area is used by trail bike riders and as we didn’t see or hear any, maybe the weather had kept them away.

It looks like one of the main features of the park is a collection of large, smooth rocks called the Four Brothers Rocks. Apparently there’s a nice view from them but when we got there the cloud was still low and thick and we saw nothing but grey.

It would have been a nice spot for lunch but it was cold and the ground and rocks were wet and it was drizzling so we decided to carry on walking.

Anyway, we had a nice day wandering along foot tracks and dirt roads and I’m keen to go back and explore more. Plus the many tea houses with coffee and cake in the Dandenongs on the way home are another attraction and temptation.