To finish up my recovery period I headed over to Wollangarra's Open Day in Victoria with my mum Dora and our friend Jane.
Wollangarra is a pretty special place. It's a non-profit outdoor education centre that provides an opportunity for young people to develop a connection with the mountains and nature in the Victorian high country whilst hiking and contributing to hands-on conservation projects.
It's also a working property complete with sheep, chickens, vegetable garden and the young people that go to Wollangarra get to be involved in all aspects of running the place. What Wollangarra doesn't have is electricity, internet, phone reception... distractions from making real connections with the people and places around you.
Needless to say, Wollangarra's Open Day (their biggest fundraising event of the year) is filled with interesting and incredibly culturally rich people from the local community and even from afar. There was music, porridge eating contests, demonstrations on sheep-shearing, fruit-tree grafting, mountains of delicious food and plenty of fun. I hadn't been to Wollangarra for over 7 months, so for me it was a bit like going home.
I discovered Wollangarra because I was looking for a place that helped provide the missing link between our city lives and the natural world. I've now been lucky enough to see and experience the amazing things that Wollangarra provides for young people first-hand, which is why they are one of the charities for which I am fundraising.
I'd highly encourage a visit if you can, or even better, send your children there when they turn 13 years old!
Two days after Open Day and I'm lying in my tent on the side of the road about 10 km outside Heywood, Victoria. It's my first day back on the bitumen after taking some time to heal my torn shin muscles and I'm eager to work my way back into a good rhythm. In the New Year I'll come back and finish the leg I missed out between Kingston SE and Heywood.
Thank you everyone for your support thus far - I don't think I would have made it even here without your kind words and encouragement!