The second day of our walk was Wednesday April 27th. We drove two cars to Glenaire along the inland part of the windy Great Ocean Road and parked one car. Drove back in the other car and down to Cape Otway along an even narrower and windier road. Parked at the shop there and the four of us set off.
After about a hundred metres we had a view down to the lighthouse.
Not long after we passed a small cemetery. The early part of the trail was inland and through medium height shrubs. It was quite up and down in places but as it was a bit inland we didn’t have views of the ocean very often which was a bit different to the previous day.
When we could we stopped and took a few photos.
The wind was quite strong and combined with the loose sandy path made it slow going. Occasionally sand blew in our faces. At one point a group of three very heavily laden young guys passed us but not long after we passed them again as they took a rest. Our walk continued along the top of the cliffs.
After what seemed ages, probably two and a half hours, we came to the Aire river escarpment.
We had an interesting view of the Aire river, which had stopped to form a billabong just ten or so metres from meeting the sea. Inland it wound its way to a bridge which seemed quite close.
However as we walked through arched shrubs blown together by strong winds over time it became quite evident that the two kilometres indicated on the map was pretty accurate.
On reaching the bridge we discovered that it was quite a recent addition. One section for vehicles and the side for pedestrians.
We crossed over just as a 4wd came the other way.
A school group was camped by the side of the river. We stopped for a lunch in the visitors section under a canopy which didn’t give us much respite from the ever present wind. After lunch the track was a steep steady climb, sadly through loose sand at times. Either side of the track was heavy shrubs. At times we were afforded excellent views to the rocky points below us.
Eventually we began to descend quite sharply. The trail became a boardwalk.
Finally it flattened out somewhat but we were still above Station beach.
At one point it looked like we would be on the beach but the trail moved parallel and above it steadily rising again.
A lot of the time we couldn’t even see the beach but above us there were some spectacular rock formations.
We finally made it to Glenaire carpark, where we had left one car, about 15:15, just over the five and a quarter hours since we had started the 16.6km walk. Our reward was another view of spectacular coastal scenery caused by the ever present crashing of the waves on the land.
We were foot weary but pleased to have finished.
After driving back to Cape Otway carpark to collect the second car we drove back towards Apollo Bay. We stopped at Mait’s Rest, a lovely fern gully with an 800m circuit walk.
Sadly due to the lack of recent rain many of the ferns were dropping dead fronds, totally different to the last time we had visited back in 2013. Back then it had been a day of drizzly rain and the gully was a vibrant green. After completing the circuit we continued our drive, arriving back at our apartment just in time for a cup of tea or a beer, depending on our preference!