Racing Through Wilsons Prom
Foster Travel Blog› entry 34 of 117 › view all entries
March 16th, 2007 – by: dan2105
We had spoken to the park beforehand to arrange a night's stay in the Lighthouse Keeper's Cottages, halfway on our two-day trip. It was meant to be a good place to chill out before another hard day's hiking the next day. To get to the Prom, as it's known to Aussies, there isn't much in the way of public transport, and none to Sydney, so we chose to rent a car for a couple of days.
Driving the Nissan compact was the first time I had driven an automatic. Unsurprisingly, it didn't prove much of a problem. Neither did getting used to Australia's roads, although getting used to giving way to cars behind you when turning right at crossroads took some getting used to, as did the strange voice giving traffic information when gridlocked in tunnels around Melbourne centre. There was also a couple of comedy moments where hitting the indicator actually turned into a rapid flurry from the windscreen wipers.
We were told it would take about 90 minutes to a couple of hours to get down to the Prom on Australia's southernmost coast. Perhaps because of the Grand Prix, it took us close to five hours. This already meant we were going to walk very fast if we were to get to the lighthouse, the halfway point, before it got dark.
At around seven we were storming through the kilometres but still struggling to beat the sun. As it got darker, we weren't even too fussed about the kangaroos that were leaping around the trail either side of us.
After a 6:00 start, we took a slightly different route, going via Waterloo Bay. We had to catch a bus at 9:00 that night and knew that we had to get going quick and hope there wasn't too much traffic if we were to make it. Walking across the sand was hard enough, but with the bulk of our camping gear on my back and on what turned out to be a wet, cold and depressing day, it seemed a very long and hard return leg. With blisters all over our feet and feeling exhausted, having walked 48km in under 24 hours, we were happy to get into the warmth of our Nissan, this time with a couple of German women we had met on the way back who wanted a lift to Melbourne, one of whom was cultivating a remarkable moustache but was also keen to pay for our petrol on the way home.
Arriving with plenty of time before our overnight bus, we thought there might be a cruel twist when our bus hadn't arrived after half an hour of waiting. Luckily, our Desperate Dan lookalike driver was just trying to stress us out a bit before the highly unpleasurable overnight journey up the coast.
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