Parkinson’s Down Under; the trek to the lighthouse at Wilson’s Prom.

The lovely daughter likes to set an annual challenge to keep me on my toes. This year it was to be a trek to the lighthouse at Wilson’s Prom, three hours drive out of Melbourne, staying overnight and returning a different route. “How far” I ask? “About 12 miles” she says, “each way”! Three of us set off carrying everything we needed from food to bedding.

A rest at Oberon Bay

A rest at Oberon Bay

Having heard so much about snakes I quickly found a stick to bang each step to send them on their way; it didn’t work perfectly as we saw 5 brown or black ones slither away! We trekked along beaches, across streams, thick forests and up steep long hills seeing black wallaby’s which blended in to the vegetation.
The views were magnificent.

The views were magnificent.

Black wallaby.

Black wallaby.

After nearly 8 hours we staggered up the last hill to the glorious setting of the lighthouse and collapsed into comfy chairs. Lovely daughter set to making tea for the oldies then cooked a delicious dinner and revived us with wine she had carried all the way; we needed it! We slept in bunk beds that night but sleep was reluctant to come as we could hear noises INSIDE; very strange noises too. Around 4am I suddenly worked out what it probably was, we had left muesli bars wrapped in cellophane on the window sill and it was probably mice, first light proved the theory, rations for the day’s walk would have to be reduced. The park ranger gave us a fascinating talk about the history of the area and the lighthouse. We then we set off on a different track back, through forests to the most beautiful beach ever at Waterloo Bay for a reduced picnic and then a long afternoon walk. Checking the mileage for the whole journey it was actually 32 miles in total, incredible but an amazing and wonderful thing to do and I felt a huge sense of achievement.

We recovered quickly and enjoyed the rest of our Melbourne stay before the dreaded long flight back to discover it is Parkinson’s awareness week in the UK. I did an extra blog into a Parkinson’s Facebook page and had 50 viewings with which I was delighted. The slogan for the week is “up the friendly” to encourage the public to give people struggling with Parkinson’s more time and a helping hand. There will be lots of publicity this week on TV, radio and social media.

Hopefully Parkinson’s UK can help more sufferers, currently only 35,000 out of 127,000 of those diagnosed belong to Parkinson’s UK – no one needs to be on their own.

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