By Peggy Soo
A chilly start to the day on Sunday 30th April, Achilles Melbourne joined Trail Bus to Werribee Gorge on Wurundjeri country (and a tight border with Wadawurung Country to the south of the Werribee river).
We met the crew of Trail Bus to do a fabulous hiking adventure with the choice of 8km and 5km courses. Both courses consisted of hills, lots of rocks and a bonus rope scramble for the longer course.
After a quick coffee stop and a safety briefing, we broke into two groups. The longer course consisted of VIP’s: Peter S, Maddy S, Jenny B and Max M. Guides were Jez, Erika, Jackie, Aiden, Emily and Rhiannon.
5km group consisted of VIP’s: Peggy S and Janice S. Guides were Nat, Amanda, Robin and Theresa. We also had one guide dog and two young children. One child was carried by mum or dad on their back with a specialised hiking pack.
Both courses started together for 2km with a nasty hill at the beginning. After the walk up the hill we came a cross our first spectacular lookout overlooking mountain ranges from Ballarat over past Melbourne CBD to Dandinong Ranges. The climb up the hill was worth the effort.
As we went on our separate courses, we came across some challenging terrain which tested our concentration and patience. Even more so for VIP’s where guiding needs to be more descriptive of where to put your feet and which side of the track to walk on. Guides also found this to be a different experience where they need to be more aware of surroundings and placement of feet. At times we did find ourselves on narrow paths on the edge of a cliff face. Where the group doing the 8km course had a river crossing and climbed on various rocks, at one point having only a rope to cling onto on the edge of a rock cliff.
We celebrated our achievements by being met by the Trail Bus crew with chips, coke and fruit. We can’t forget the lunch at the pub for long-awaited pizzas.
Achilles Melbourne had conquered Werribee Gorge with smiles and great achievement. Thank you to Trail Bus your planning, transport, trail equipment, and making sure we were all safe. Thank you to Achilles Melbourne and Bupa for an opportunity for some of us would never have been possible without your help and support.
With courage, we conquered and made it through the Gorge!
[this hike was sponsored by Bupa as part of Achilles Melbourne's hike/bush/trail program]
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