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The Great Ocean Walk

By Roni

Thursday, 13 July 2017

So, last week I went on a 3-day hike along the Great Ocean Walk from Johanna beach through to the 12 Apostles. It is quite easy to arrange a hike along the GOW, just book a campsite, pack your bag and make a 2-hour drive to The GOW from Geelong. The sites were amazing, the weather was beautiful and finishing each day’s 15km walk with a hot drink and a spectacular view of the coastline was incredibly rewarding.

Roni GOW five

But, I am not going to lie, my friend and I found it extremely challenging. To help you walk The GOW I have listed 12 mistakes that I sadly made that you should avoid:

Day 1, Wednesday:
• Mistake 1: Going to bed late. Due to my lack of preparation, packing, bad sleep habit and video games I got to bed at 5am and got up at 8am. Not a good start.
• Mistake 2: We didn’t pack properly. On our drive to Johanna beach, we bought food for the hike. This didn’t fit into our packs.
• Mistake 3: Don’t get lost. Yeah, we got lost driving to The GOW.
• Mistake 4: Not checking if your hiking bag works. My friend did the hike without the waste buckle for his pack and all I could do was laugh.
• Mistake 5: Not working on your fitness before the hike. Going in winter you will be met by giant, hilly slopes made of thick, slippery, muddy clay, soft sandy beach walks and hundreds of man-made steps, and as you may guess as a lazy uni student who does little to no exercise, this was a ‘shock to the system’.
• Mistake 6: Leaving late. We left too late and were setting up our tents in the dark.
• Mistake 7: Leaving even later! We should have left even earlier so nobody could steal our campsite. Yep, setting up a 3-man tent on a narrow track wasn’t easy.
• Mistake 8: Don’t wear a thick belt with a hiking pack. This might just be me but I did this and had bruised hips for the rest of the hike which made it really hard to carry a pack.
Day 2, Thursday:
• Mistake 9: Sleeping in. I forgot to set an alarm and afternoon is a bit late to start a day walk.
• Mistake 10: Not using waterproof bags. I brought a litre of milk which in accordance with Murphy’s Law spilt all through my pack. Ah, good times.
• Mistake 11: Don’t get trapped on the beach during high tide. Again, this was my bad. Even though I saw it was almost 5pm and the moon above us was almost full, I decided, “We’ll be right”.
Day 3, Friday:
• Mistake 12: Don’t lose your phone! After finishing the hike, we needed to call someone to pick us up and drop us off at my car. You can’t do that without a phone. As my friend’s phone was flat, I spent about an hour searching through my pack for my phone. Turns out it was rolled up in the tent.

So, there you have it. 12 mistakes to avoid when hiking. In retrospect, it was an amazing walk and I highly recommend it to everyone. I will probably do The GOW start to finish further down the line and I will probably be just as disorganised.

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Roni GOW three