My friend and namesake Dan O’Brien met me at Fraser’s house in the morning. Dan has previously worked at Mittagundi, the sister organisation to Wollangarra, and was the one who had organised my massage the night before. Today he would be walking with me the majority of the day!
We left and mostly followed the Nepean highway for the morning, at one point finding ourselves on the actual shoulder-less highway for a kilometre or two. Luckily it was not too busy and as we were arriving in FrankstonI was able to get a rundown of the local folklore and history from Dan. He had also organised lunch for us at a local vegan cafe called The Dharma Hub, who were very supportive and provided a delicious green curry full of veggies to get us through the rest of the day.
Continuing on, Dan stopped at Carrum, around 20 km into the day and I continued on for another 8 km or so to finish in the bayside community of Mordialloc. I then caught a train back to Frankston, meeting Dan in the station from where we retraced our steps for the day and continued even further, finding ourselves at Peninsula Hot Springs for a good muscle soak and relaxation as the sun set. What a treat!
A few hours later and a bed awaited me at his family home in Frankston. Such generosity from an amazing man, it was real pleasure to be able to spend the day with you Dan, thank you immensely!
After a delicious breakfast Dan drove me back to Mordialloc to continue my journey, the last day of walking until I would reach Tasmania. The walking itself was easy and I would cover over 30 km today along the foreshore over very flat, well paved paths. I passed numerous people today, perhaps more than I have passed on any other day of the journey, but noticed the attitude of people change as I got closer and closer to the city.
People were no longer looking me in the eye, perhaps just a little curious about the trolley, let along stopping me to ask what I was doing. As I arrived in the city people no longer even looked at the trolley, it even seemed that at times people were trying to avoid any sort of contact with what could possibly be a crazy-person! A far cry from the towns I had passed through earlier in the journey. How can we make cities more community-friendly places? In my opinion, changing the city-landscape to incorporate more nature will go a long way towards doing this.
I arrived at Federation Square in the Melbourne CBD in the late afternoon and was picked up by my long-term friend Camilo. I would be staying with he and Ali for a few nights. Only when I arrived at their apartment and sat down did I realise that I was felt like my feathers were a little ruffled! Perhaps the transition from quiet country-road walking to the inner city had been a little too quick - despite it having been on foot!
I will be here in Melbourne for approximately one week, which will give me a chance to reorganise aspects of the journey. I’m desperately looking forward to finding myself in remote Tasmanian hills and forests, but also very happy for the chance to see my friends and supporters here.
Until next time, thank you for tuning in!