Not For the Faint Hearted: Erskine Falls to Lorne River Walk, Victoria, Australia

in Haveyoubeenhere29 days ago

Three years ago we went on a family walk from Erskine Falls to Lorne, without any idea that soon my father would suffer a heart attack and a journey with cancer that would have us all saying our goodbyes. This disease reduced my strong and fit father to a shell of his former self, weak and breathless. This year he finally will go off the drug trial that got rid of the cancer, and at 74, has made a remarkable recovery - so much so that today he walked 10 kilometres along a very difficult track through the bush, retracing the Easter walk we enjoyed before he got so badly ill.


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Dad and Jamie looking at the majesty of the rainforest


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A rare picture of me

To be honest, we all forgot how difficult the walk was - all we recalled was that it was beautiful and worth doing before the winter came as it would be far too slippery to even attempt. We have seen many a group of people turn back at the first river crossing because jumping across slippery wet rocks is not for the faint hearted. Kudos to my 72 year old Mum who DID it, despite lacking confidence and having wobbly legs because she was nervous. There was a LOT of Jamie and Dad helping Mum across. There's at least ten crossings to negotiate, let alone moments on the track where we had to climb over rocks and fallen trees. But Mum never says she can't, ever.


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Jamie helping Mum over yet another stream

The first 3 kilometres are fairly slow going - believe the board when it tells you it's a 3 hour walk to walk 8 kilometres. If you are at all unsteady on your feet or have no grip on your shoes don't even attempt this walk! All and all, it took us bang on 3 hours, although we had two rest stops to drink water, take photos and eat cashews roast almonds and organic raisins. I reckon the first 3 kilometres took two hours - the rest was easier going and we hit a much faster pace.


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We didn't read the sign before we left.

After the worst of it, the track does get easier and it's downhill too. We walked on quite a warm day, but it's cool and shady in the forest with towering eucalyptus and tree ferns. I kept thinking of how amazing it was that both of my parents are still 'yes' people where they'll challenge themselves even though others wouldn't. Mum said you have to both know your limits but also be willing to push pass them as well. Still, I was really feeling for her as she'd been sick with an ear infection and wasn't as fit as she usually is.

I have to say that if someone asked if I'd do the walk next week, I'd probably say no - it was exhausting and we all had very sore legs - nothing a beer wouldn't fix! However, it was pretty special, so if I was pushed, maybe I would go again.


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My parents near the end of the walk


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Now if you remember me telling you about Dad's cancer at the start of this walk, and his heart attack, you might be amazed to know that he also had a hip replacement. He kept up a great pace but the last two kilometres were a real push and he was much, much slower as his hip was hurting. Whilst it's 8 kms from the official start of the journey to the end, it's a kilometre or two on either side, walking into town at the end (where we'd parked the other car) was 1.5 kilometres from the official end. My Fitbit read 9.8 km by the time we got to the Riverbank Cafe below - a nice and quiet end of town. Whilst Jamie was keen to get a burger, I think my parents were about to cry (not really, but they were exhausted) so we had a coffee and an expensive toasted sandwich. A nice toasted sandwich with good ingredients, but $16 is a big much in our books for a toasted ham and pickled sandwich. That's the coast for you!


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Riverbank Cafe, Lorne

I texted Mum when we got back and both had an afternoon sleep on the couch.

'How are you feeling, Mum?'

'Ouch, my legs. Ouch.' came the reply. I hear that, Mum!

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Inspirational, remarkable, and just downright heartwarming.
Your parents are remarkable.
After reading the first few lines, I thought your Dad had passed, he's one tough cookie.
What a splendid place to take a walk or better yet an exhausting hike.
The picture of your parents on the bridge, with them both standing upright, is a great shot of them.
Being that over here in the states we still use our very antiquated form of measurement, I wasn't sure how far 9.8 km was. Well, with a simple click of the mouse I learned that 9.8 km is equal to 6.09 miles.
Now I'm even more impressed!

What a great time you must have had, an outing that I'm sure you will cherish more every day.

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Without exaggeration, this is one of the nicest posts I've read since I'm here. So emotional with so strong will and team (family) spirit. I adore how your mother is like a lioness and dad is a lion. Not an easy hike, but you all dealt with it without a fuss. (Maybe) I am too subjective, as I really adore those green places, just like the Erskine River walk is.

It's always beautiful seeing people hang out like this, breaking down your personal barriers. I was really enjoying it while reading, thank you for that.
Be well and have a wonderful day 💚

That's the kindest comment .. Thank you so much! It's so sweet of you to say. We had a lovely time... I can't help but think we are making memories together as they won't always be fit enough to do it. Mum said quietly at the end she didn't think she could walk a hike like that again. But she was very stoic and did it with a smile.

Mum said quietly at the end she didn't think she could walk a hike like that again.

If she went alone she probably couldn't. It's all up in our heads, a great motivation and great company makes everything a lot better and easier. You are rich, truly rich. Not everyone has the opportunity of a family, or even better, a family full of love and incentive.

But she was very stoic and did it with a smile.

Yup... That's the definition of a word "mum" I guess 😊

We are really, really rich - I am so grateful. A lot of my friends totally love my parents because of who they are, and I can't believe how lucky I am to have them.

That's just beautiful. Stay yourself and be well. Wish you all the best

I’d want to be doing life like your parents when I am their age —to still be saying yes and walking a 10km trail. 🙌🏼

ME too! It's why it's best to start practicing now, right?

Since last year, I've tried doing runs/jogs and even though there are still times that I feel lazy going out. I've seen the huge difference it made to me, physically and mentally. ☺️ I wish I've been more active in the past years, I wish I could've spent more time outdoors and enjoyed the beauty of trees, skies, and more. But I'm good now, I'm doing it now, and I want to do it until I'm old. You and your family is such an inspiration! 🙏🏻

What a beautifully lush forest. It looks like it was a great trek! And your mum and dad are real troopers for going along.

Oh it's so lush down there. Funny how people flock to the coast or just take the main roads and never see the crazy, thick forest in between! None of us are walking without pain today haha!

I’ll take the forest over the beach any day!

Hiya, @choogirl here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made it into our Top 3 in Daily Travel Digest #1168.

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That was such a beautiful place! I'm glad you all survived it, even if a bit sore....

Good morning @riverflows. I have been meaning to shoot you a line for a few days now. I read the article I think 2-3days ago when @thebigsweed told me about your incredible hike with your folks. I really admire their attitude and stance on keeping on. We are the same way, our motto is ya gotta keep moving, use it or loose it.
Such a beautiful place to hike though.
Nice post, have a lovely day.

This one makes way more sense @thebigsweed, thank you.

Not sure how to properly respond to this one, Miss. Flowing River but the current took me away for sure! Right outta the gate I was prepared for heartbreak talking about your father only to immediately take a turn for adventure and excitement.

Excellent write up, congrats on the reward.