Marathon walking

It was not in a single burst or even a single day but my Fitbit record confirms that our efforts in the Lamington National Park while staying at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat last week amounted to the equivalent of a marathon (42 km) or more of walking. Majella and I certainly felt it even if Laura took it in her stride and went back for more on the following day.

This was the next step toward completing Majella’s ambitious project of completing the walks described in a book by long-time friend, Laura Ryan. We started with the shorter and easier walks and then, after a break for other activity, stepped it up a little with Laura as guide in July.

Sometime prior to that Laura had suggested that tackling the longer walks out of O’Reilly’s would best be done with an overnight stay. She went further and a few months ago she arranged 3 nights accommodation for Wednesday to Friday of last week. That would allow us 2 full days of walking on Thursday and Friday and additional possibilities for Wednesday and Saturday if we wanted.

We made an early start from Toowoomba on Wednesday, paused for coffee at Canungra, and wound our way up the mountain to O’Reilly’s where we arrived just a bit before Laura around 11:30 am. Once Laura arrived we checked in, ate lunch in the cafe, and then enjoyed the Birds of Prey show. That included close encounters with owls, a kite, a kestrel, and an eagle.

After the show Laura led us off on the Morans Falls Track. That was an easy warm up for what was to follow but, while it is described as a 4.4 km walk, my Fitbit suggested that we walked a bit more than that by the time we got back and completed the necessary wandering for dinner, which we enjoyed in the restaurant. Our distance walked nn Wednesday was 8 km or so according to Fitbit.

Early next morning we were up and out for the early morning bird walk at 6:45. We enjoyed the Regent bower birds, rosellas, king parrots, whip birds and more before breakfast. After breakfast we headed off for the Toolona Creek circuit. The posted distance is 18 km, mostly on narrow tracks that zigzag at a gentle angle through a climb of 450 m or more.

By the time we were done we had walked more than 20 km over the day. Most of that was on the circuit but moving about the resort to see the birds and eat meals added to the total. We certainly deserved a rest and enjoyed a substantial dinner with dessert.

Friday morning we tackled Box Forest circuit. It is listed at 10.6 km but by the time we added the Tree Top Walk at the start and other necessary movement for the day, my Fitbit had clocked up 15 km. That got us to the marathon total or beyond.

We enjoyed the experience and felt a real sense of achievement in completing those walks. Our last afternoon included some rain that we mostly dodged but which added to the quality of the sunset.

On Saturday morning we departed for the Tweed to visit Majella’s parents and then headed home. We have packing and other preparations to make for our USA trip. Laura was off for more walking and later in the week heads off to walk across Scotland.