I've never really gotten into the whole culture of doing silly things for community organisation fund-raising, but for some reason, I ended up acting as part of the support crew for a bunch of work colleagues doing the Oxfam Trailwalker event over the weekend. The set-up is fairly simple: you have a team of four, and they have to walk 100km within 48 hours, covering a route that goes from Ferny Creek in the Dandenongs, along the Warburton rail trail, over Mt Donna Buang to Marysville.
In the end, the two teams I was supporting covered the distance in 40 hours, and they lost four people along the way to hypothermia-induced exhaustion, tendon injury and mysterious sudden onset vomiting. The fastest team, which was the Royal Ghurka Regiment who had flown in for the event, did the 100km in 11 and a half hours.
The whole event has instilled a new respect for Victoria's countryside in me. Sure, Victoria's fairly flat - until you have to walk up Donna Buang, which is only barely a mountain. Victoria is not a cold climate - but 0 degrees in frost and mist at 4 in the morning is cold, no matter how many cups of SES coffee you drink. And feet are really fragile if you don't use them all the time. Blisters, I've seen my share...
But for all that, there are some incredible bits of country to explore. There are some fantastic 20km walks around Dom Dom saddle that just cry out for a weekend jaunt.