Friday, 9 December 2011

Werribee Gorge

I rarely head out west to hit the trails but today I decided to check out Werribee Gorge for the first time and did the 8km circuit track.

This really is the wild west! The terrain is the complete opposite of everything out east. The ground is rough, rocky and ragged. The trees are not dense and there is little shade. It was 30 degrees today but I seem to be doing better walking and running in the heat lately so the temperature didn't really affect me. I wore my racing flats and they were perfectly suitable.

I had to backtrack a few times in the first couple of km as there are lots of unmapped trails and at times the actual trail wasn't clear. At one point I was certain I was following a trail, but while trying to scramble up a dry creek bed and crawling on all fours up a grassy cliff that was probably home to many snakes, I decided I had to turn back. It was just as hard sliding down. Once I was back on the real trail it was much clearer the rest of the way.

The geology is really amazing here. There are lots of information signposts, that I don't usually read, but these were interesting. They describe how the rocks are shaped and some of the Aboriginal culture. 

Needles Beach looks like a great swimming area
There are some great lookouts along the way and you can even see the city skyline from one. The trail is quite runnable until you get to the river. From there you have to rock-hop along the river bed. What is not mentioned in my guidebook or the Parks Vic notes is that you do have to do some horizontal rock climbing. Some of it REALLY took me out of my comfort zone! That was a great surprise!

Hold onto the cable but who knows where your feet are supposed to go.
I didn't really run much of the way as I still have about a month to go til I am allowed to run properly. At times I settled into what has been my slow jog for much of this year, but it was so awkward I had to run with a proper running gait and could do this pain free! Now THAT'S good news! Still wasn't 100% for the run but of the bits I did run, it was feeling much more natural and proper.

There are some more areas to explore around here so I'll be back again soon.

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