The Great Ocean Road – Great Otway National Park

This was part of our adventure that almost did not happen.

We were on the way home and decided that what would a weekend traveling around The Great Ocean Road if I could not find a waterfall.  Just as we were discussing this very point there was a sign – Waterfall turn off 300 mtrs.  Handy!!!!

So we did indeed turn off and headed down the road looking for the falls.  It was actually quite a long way down this road and it was raining and extremely overcast and around 3pm.  Eventually and thankfully there was the car park. There was two to choose from and knowing that I had already been walking all over beaches and rocks all day I chose the smaller falls – Triplet Falls.

I was determined that my restricted mobility was going to stop me as I certainly challenge my “new normal” on a regular basis (for good or for bad).  We had time and it looked so lovely in the area and it had stopped raining.  So we set off.  We crossed paths with other walkers and they seemed to be negotiating the track quite easily and it was only 1km to the falls.  As I began to step down each step seemed to be laughing at me. I am just a little vertically challenged and could not just step, step, step..  I was doing a little step – together dance.  100 steps in my husband looked back at me and shook his head and asked for the second time if I wanted to return to the car park.

It could be said that I can be a stubborn person and I was determined not to be beaten by the walk because at the end there would be a wonderful waterfall.  Finally after persisting and taking the time to admire all the beautiful surroundings with trees, moss, ferns, and a huge lack of fungi (yes, I actually found one!!!) there they were!

I was so very happy if not already feeling the effort that I had made my body go through to get there.  I stepped to the platform and then it became extremely apparent that the lower section of the falls were almost totally overrun with trees and plants and the water could hardly be seen at all.  I looked to the right and there were steps, yes more steps and they seemed so much steeper than the others. I sent my husband up them to see if I could go any further.

In a word, no.  I was devastated. I had pushed through every barrier to get there and found that I could not do the last set very tall of steps to make my way to the top of the falls.  If I did, I just knew that I would not make it back.

So we set off and headed back along the track.  It really was a beautifully constructed and thought out track and the beauty was not lost on me at all.  There were a couple of times I needed to stop and suggest very strongly to my hips  and legs that it was not that much further and there was no hope of being carried out!!

When we made it back to the car park I was still disappointed that I could not reach the top of the falls and that the way the bottom was overgrown that I could not get a good picture (there was a steep track off the main area but it was waaaay too steep for me to have made it back up). But that being said, the area is magnificent and well worth exploring and the best thing is that I actually was able to accomplish a walk that I would never have thought I could have done (and yes I did pay for it later and the next couple of days, but that is what it is about in the life of a turtle). It goes without saying that I miss my fitness and I wish I could somehow get it back, but I know a certain drug or two that delight in stopping that from happening, but am happy that I can still compromise and just keep on moving 🙂

As I look again at these pictures I am still so very happy that I did not just say “no, it will be too hard, lets not go”. The size of the stumps from a bygone era made me a little sad. Such huge stumps and you could just image the entire area being covered with these massive trees before logging.  There was a few but I was unable to show the extreme size with my camera.  The height of the younger trees give some indication of just how tall they all are.  Beautiful, just beautiful.

Cheers, Sharon

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