I feel like it’s been a little while since I head out for some kind of adventure, so I decided to go up to Healesville yesterday. I have a couple of other places in mind I want to check out, but the weather was forecast to be hot, so I decided that Donnolley’s Weir to Mt St Leonard and back would be something nice and short. I don’t know why I thought that.
When I arrived at Donnolley’s Weir, it was 18°C and raining. I slapped on some sunscreen anyway, and started walking. There is really only one way to go, and that is up.
You basically follow Road 11 to the top, but occasionally a walking track kind of runs parallel and you can walk up over some hills instead of around them. I did this on the way up, because it seemed quite nice at the time.
After a while, the Bicentennial National Trail veers to the left, and you follow the trail going up a little steeper.
The sun was out now and it was getting pretty hot. And the horse march fly things were out biting me. I have been attacked by them so many times this summer!
The trail gets steeper, and when you think you are nearly at the top, it gets crazy steep. And then when you think you really must nearly be there, it gets super crazy steep. And then you realise that although you can see the sky through the trees, you shouldn’t get your hopes up until you can actually see the tower at the top.
I don’t think I’ve ever moved so slow in my life. The last kilometre to the top took nearly 30 mins!
Once I got to the top, I climbed the tower, because that is what you do when you see a tower. The last time I was here I nearly slipped because the stairs were iced over. This time I nearly slipped because my calves wanted to cramp. Then I sat underneath the stairs in the shade for a bit.
Someone was working in the building next to the tower. I was really hoping they’d step outside, because I would not have hesitated in asking for a ride down! But they didn’t, so I realised the only thing left for me to do was to walk straight back down.
It was pretty slow going down the very steep bit. And it wasn’t particularly pleasant. But then I reminded myself that it does get better and less steep. I also decided to stick to Road 11 so I didn’t have to go up and down some extra hills.
It was so hot, and I had drank nearly all my water. This is really unusual for me. It was now 37°C and there’s not much shade up there. It was uncomfortably hot.
Then a cyclist came past.
And we smiled that crazy smile that only crazy people do, when we are doing something crazy that no one else is crazy enough to do.
I kept walking downhill, and he went on uphill.
Some time later he passed me on his way back down. He went to the bit before it gets crazy steep. A quick crazy chat and we both continued down at our own speed.
It was about 18km and took me nearly 3 hours to walk up, and 2:15 to walk down, with around 1600m cumulative elevation.