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Day 29: A(ngle)Sea of Missteps

Sometimes we have good days, and sometimes they’re not so good. Today wasn’t really all that bad, but more than a few things happened that certainly curtailed the incredibly high spirits I had been maintaining.

Things looked good this morning, waking up on the beach to a beautiful sunrise and starting the day with an ocean swim. I made my way out of Eastview and reached Airey’s Inlet, about 5 km away, in good time. There, I sat at a cafe with a hot drink (and for some reason I also ordered fruit toast, even though I’d already eaten breakfast) while I charged a few devices. The previous day whilst in Lorne I had updated my phone and tablet to the latest operating system and it seems to be draining their batteries very quickly, even if I’m not using them.

This is also when I realised that two posts about Threatened species (Leadbeater’s Possum and Mallee Emu-wren) that were scheduled to be posted while I was on the Great Ocean Walk failed spectacularly, and I couldn’t retrieve the text for the Leadbeater’s Possum article.. I was also planning on using this time to write some postcards, but when looking for them and my map/pencil case I realised I no longer had them! The last time I remember having them was in the cafe in Lorne, so I called them up. They were there and thankfully one of their staff, Chrissie, would be passing my way in the afternoon.

So I left Airey’s Inlet and started making my way to Anglesea, when I noticed my front-right type was completely flat. It had been flat when I retrieved it from the IGA in Apollo Bay after The Great Ocean Walk, but it stayed pumped for at least a few days. Arriving in Anglesea I didn’t mean to stop, but a sign saying ‘Winner: Australia’s Best Pies’ is not one you pass by easily. So again, I stopped. And ate a delicious chicken parmigiana pie, Australia’s Best Pie. It was pretty great.

A few hundred metres down the road I stopped at a service station to inflate my tire again, when three things happened: 1) I realised my tyre valve had come apart and the tube would need replacing, 2) The tools I had brought along could not take apart my wheel, despite my best efforts, and 3) After a quick text conversation I realised my good friend Sasha, with whom I lived and worked in Canada had passed by mere metres away from me while I was behind the petrol station and we had missed each other!

So I continued on with the flat tyre and hoped to catch up with Sasha later in the day, closer to Torquay. Not long after, my phone needed charging again! I plugged it into my trolley’s solar setup and continued on. After charging it about halfway I plugged in the tablet and continued. Not long after that I realised that the tablet was not charging and again, the solar battery had been drained. This was the first time I’d used it since being injured and it was just not storing enough juice, despite today’s bright sun!

As a result I may have to rethink my current technological setup and amount/form of communication. This could be a blessing in disguise, as sometimes it certainly is a distraction from being out here (and I think a contradiction in my message about reconnecting with nature that I have not yet addressed publicly). I may ditch the solar and opt for less communication we’ll see.

Approaching Torquay, Chrissie met me on the side of the road and handed over my lost postcards and pencil case. She also offered me a place to stay in Barwon Heads and join her and her friends in drinking wine and dancing around a fire, which sounds great(!) but I already have other arrangements.

I also stopped for ice cream. This certainly brightened my mood, but it was also around this time I lost contact with Sasha, whom I had been planning on meeting this evening. Still no word from her!

Then, after a 32 km day, I got too close to Torquay, which has made finding an appropriate campsite difficult. I’m setup on what looks like a quiet country backroad, but I’m told is a busy thoroughfare in the morning. Rosie told me this, who stopped to see if I was ok, then came back after I’d setup my tent to say that I could stay with her and her partner if I was not comfortable here. Talk about a Rose in a thorny day! Mark also stopped as he’d been in one of the work crews I’d passed along the Great Ocean Road a few days previously, and saw my trolley on the side of the road. We had a jocular conversation and he donated the the cause. Thanks Mark!

So all in all, it wasn’t a bad day really! Maybe I just need some dinner. Do I talk about food in this too much?

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