Wilsons Promonotry, Walking, Darby's Saddle
That done, I settled on the 6km walk from Darby's Saddle to Lookout Rocks and Tongue Point. Sharpes Lookout was also on this trail via a small detor. The walk took about 3 hours in total, I took it very easily. I took my small herd of marsh flies for a stroll, you might say. Damn.
The trail winds it way along the side of Darby's Saddle, through forest and heath, occasionally giving glimpses of the view ahead of islands, blue water and rocks.
The main feature of the entire park is that claim that it has many 'moods', well, I cerntainly found a taste of them on this walk. In the space of a hundred metres, the forest would change from plesant, vibrant and sun dappled carpet of ferns under splendidly large old growth trees, to gnarled and twisted trunks arching over the trail, hiding a dark and evil looking trail covered with needles from the trees. Of course the difference was what side of the mountain I was on - the more exposed side was the harsher environment.
The view from lookout rocks was abolutely amazing, I stopped to rest (it was quite a climb!), had something to eat and decided to head back. The lookout also afforded a view of the trail ahead to Tongue Point and it didn't seem to hold the same splendor this magnificent spot did.
After freezing my ass of the previous night, when I got back to camp I set off back to Foster for some supplies, and most importantly a warmer sleeping bag.
I spent the evening watching the sunset at Whiskey Bay.
I headed generally south, with no specific objective in mind. I took the loop road that runs out to Cape Conran and Marlo before returning to the Princes Highway again at Orbost. Cape Conran offered some excellent views of the ocean, punctuated by an extremely jagged and rocky coastline. There were a couple of 45 minute walks from the car park, but I decided to give them a miss.
I stopped for lunch in M, at the M Hotel. It looked absolutely boring from the outside, and getting to the inside didn't change much. Still, the beer was cold, and the food cheap, prompt and tasty.
I stopped in Orbost for a few minutes to look at the maps and books. I spotted Wilsons Pomentory and some other national parks. I was undecided about giving them a miss and heading straight to Geelong so that I could do the Great Ocean Road fisrt thing in the morning.
After a fair bit of procrastination, I settled on a two night stay in Wilsons Prom, after reading the writeup in the Lonely Planet. I plan to do some bushwalking and drive up to the mountains nearby.
On the way, I stopped briefly at the Tora Wind Farm. I had to look twice to be sure that I'd seen a wind turbine looming over the hills as I rounded a bend. Magnificently huge and serene at the same time when viewed close up.
When I got to the Tidal River campground at Wilsons Prom, it seems almost every single surfer that owns a combi van had found it already. I was driving at 10 km/hr but it still was a bit too fast for the surfboard toting crew. The sunset made up for it, and the view of the surrounding peaks - the promise of more in the morning.