Walking the Belgrave to Ringwood Rail Trail

After adding a number of walking bloggers to my reading list, I have felt more motivated to expand my blogging to small excursions and not just big holidays. Also, being from Melbourne, it’s nice to write about and promote my home town.
I have walked the Lilydale to Warburton rail trail many times and I like the idea of rail trails. In Victoria they are usually decommissioned rail lines where the tracks have been removed and all that is left is a nice, wide track through the countryside. I recently discovered that the train line that passes within a kilometre of my house is accompanied by a rail trail that stretches for 20km, so this morning at 8:30 I walked to the local station and caught the train up to Belgrave then started walking back home.

There are a few small hills along the way, but otherwise the trail is fairly flat after the first five kilometres.

The path mostly sits between the rail line and the road. Some places are more sheltered from traffic noise, at other times it is right by the busy Burwood Highway.

I couldn’t say that there are masses of things to see – some native birds, some bright graffiti, and I was most impressed with the giant lyrebird mural along the side of the Belgrave supermarket.

Some parts of the walk are leafy and open, some are grey and industrial. It gave me a good opportunity to see the new station at Bayswater, which is kind of impressive if you like architecture that reminds you of a futuristic communist suburbia. At least they gave over some walls to bright murals.

I stopped at a cafe in Ferntree Gully for some caffeine and was sad to find that my soles stung when I stood up.

This is always my problem with long distance walking – I never get muscle pain, there’s never any long lasting aches, just sore soles that feel much worse after I’ve given them a rest and then have to go on. Later on I stopped at a park bench to eat my tin of tuna and took my socks off and rubbed my feet properly. This definitely helps but feeling sore after only 10 km is a sign that I really need to step up the training before I get to the U.K. next year if I want to make the most of it.

A New Mission!

Here Comes The Planet is being repurposed like an old milk bottle. But instead of cutting it into a funnel or a mini greenhouse for my tomatoes, I’m going to use it to promote my People Projects. There’s going to be a new project every so often (I’ve been doing lots of thinking on my drives to and from work) and the first one is my campaign to help my brother and his fiancee get married! For FREE! They are finalists in a radio competition and to win they need to get the most votes. People vote by sending an sms (only one per number) to 191300 reading ‘Wedding Michael Nikki’.

My goal is 1000 votes (apparently 713 won last year) and I’m going to do it by harrassing everyone I know – and lots of people I don’t know. Tonight is White Night, a festival in Melbourne where all kinds of things happen all over the city all through the night. I’m figuring the crowd will be in the mood for interacting with strangers and that stranger should be me. I’ve made a cardboard sign and I’m ready to roll. If you can help by sending a text please do so (and get every phone in your house busy!) and leave a note here so I can keep count!

My brother, years ago, helped me out when I was low on cash and got me started with enough money to buy my first sewing machine and so this is how I can help him out and do something he’ll hugely appreciate. He and his fiancee Nikki are raising a family, building a house and running their own business. They are wonderful people who deserve to win!


Photos to come tomorrow of me humiliating myself in the city!

Changing Times

Yesterday I threw a ‘welcome back’ bbq for myself and Luke. A chance to catch up with people we hadn’t seen yet and hear what everyone has been up to while we’ve been away.

The answer was fairly plain – breeding.

I’m used to kids age 5 and up, I find small children both hilarious and confusing. After I put my dog in the bedroom for a nap, telling the boys (who had been throwing the ball and chasing her for ages) that she needed a rest, I found them climbing on the stairs calling out ‘Doggy! Doggy!’  and looking for her between boxes nowhere near the bedroom. Then later the boys were digging through the esky like little hobos searching for food in a dumpster, stuffing ice cubes into their mouths like it was chocolate.

People ask ‘how was your trip?’ and we say ‘good’. How do you describe nine months of experience in a passing conversation? Really, I just want to catch up on what’s been happening since left and now it’s *almost* getting back to feeling like we’ve barely been gone. It’s funny how some people say ‘you’re back already!’ and others feel like we’ve been gone an age. Somehow it manages to feel like both. Despite social currents altering somewhat since we left I feel just as close to all my beloved friends. It’s like relaxing back into a giant beanbag, being home. Secure and comfortable and warm. Lovely!

Home! But Not The End!

So we’re back in sunny Melbourne and I have many, many thoughts to write on the joys of being home, and a half written post about New Zealand – and everything in between. The blog is certainly not done and dusted, although goodness knows how many people will keep reading now our journey is officially done. Although we’ve not spent much time on it over the last 3 weeks or so, what with all the moving from place to place, we’re both feeling quite motivated to keep going. Think of Christmas to New Year’s as a small hiatus for us but we’ll definitely be back, I’m hoping at least once or twice a week. I’d like to record my thoughts about Melbourne and all the things we do here (for the sake of our new and old foreign friends who might be interested), and, for the sake of dispelling rumours, how very infrequently we even see spiders, snakes and sharks, let alone are consumed by them*. There’s also documenting the process of going back to work after a year off and then we’re hoping to do a bit of travelling around Victoria. Not to mention the fact that Luke still has many months of video to edit. Africa is up next!

So don’t abandon us just yet – there’s plenty of people to meet, places to go, and life-sized cardboard cut- outs to admire. You’ll see!

*My friend Sarah went to the beach with her mother the other day and, she tells me, they were both pursued vigorously by a pinchy  crab but it was less than hand sized so it really doesn’t count. I’ve barely seen any spiders at all in the week I’ve been back. Barely any!