Well, we did it!! We walked from Red Hill to Bentleigh, 65km over two days (you can read about why we walked 65km in my previous post here). We’re sore and have some freaky blisters. I am also a little sun-burnt (despite reapplying sunscreen diligently!) and have some seriously strange tan lines. But we feel great!
I am completely overwhelmed with the amount of support our friends and family have given us. We have been able to raise over $2000 already, with some more donations to come. This will all help Baan Dada get closer to building the Technical School. Thank you to everyone who donated and supported Ben and I. It means the world to us, and the money has gone to a great cause. Well done team! I have such admiration and empathy for the amazing Baan Dada workers and kids, who walked for more than 10 days! Lying in bed last night, I could not have contemplated walking another 30+km this morning.
Fuel for Walking
As soon as we came up with the idea of doing this walk, my mind switched into menu planning mode. Is there anything more fun than menu planning? I wanted food that was high energy, high protein for the amount of exercise we would be doing, and which wouldn’t sit heavy in our stomachs. It was also important to keep our fluids up, especially with the weather being warm.
I decided we should start our mornings with eggs, wholegrain sourdough toast and avocado. Great fuel to start the day!
For lunch I made natural peanut butter and jam sandwiches. On the first day I had peanut butter and banana, but this didn’t sit so well in my stomach – shocking, I know, as I usually love this combination.
You all know how I love to make my own muesli bars, however I had a big bag of fresh dates to use up, and felt like trying something new. I recalled some Power Bars that I had bookmarked to try months ago, and decided now was the perfect time to make them (recipe link here – Camilla Saulsbury’s Fruit, Seed and Nut Power Bars).
These are really delicious. They remind me of IXL Apricot Fruit Bars, however they taste far more natural. They’re super soft, with the occasional crunch of a seed or almond. Some natural sugar from the dates and apricots, and some protein from the almonds and seeds – they’re the perfect light snack to give you a burst of energy.
I also made some Power Balls for another light, quick energy snack. I blended up some fresh dates, pecans and almonds with a dash of vanilla extract, pure maple syrup, fresh grapefruit juice and some chia seeds. This made a moist date/nut paste, which I made into three different flavours. I will post a recipe soon once I work on the measurements a little – they were a bit too moist for my liking.
Some I rolled into balls then added flaked almonds.
With others I added a touch of ground coffee and then rolled them into balls. We both enjoyed this coffee flavour the most. They were really rich and intense, yet light and happy at the same time. I only wish I made more of these!
For the rest, I added a touch of coconut, formed them into balls and then rolled them in more coconut. This gave them a flavour reminiscent of rum balls – healthy rum balls, who would have thought!?
Lastly, I packed us some apples and water (which we refilled frequently).
How To Get Really Big Blisters 101
Here is a non-food related (although I won’t be held accountable if some food chatter sneaks in) recap of our walk. We actually had a lot of fun. We talked and laughed a lot, and were blessed with beautiful weather – blue skies and an agreeable, yet sometimes overzealous sun. Some dear friends met us along the way too, which was fabulous.
Speaking of friends, Ben made one early on in a tiny beetle who hitched a ride on his finger. We called him ‘Gob’ after the Arrested Development character.
John rode all the way from Elwood (70km!) and met us in Red Hill. Pure champion! He walked with us for a few km and then rode back home (ouch!).
Jackson joined us for nearly 10km, which was great – he’s always tremendously entertaining. When mum collected him, she further proved her brilliance by bringing us Frosty Fruits.
Coconut water! Young coconut water contains some electrolytes (and is delicious!) so I thought I would pack a bottle. Honestly this isn’t my favourite brand, however it was the only one I could find at the store with a screw top (i.e. not a can). This one had some sweeteners in it and tasted quite artificial. I prefer the four-packs I get from the Asian supermarket.
Mum joined us for the final leg of Day One from Mornington to Mt Eliza, setting an undoubtedly perky pace (when we our stride was decidedly less chipper). Her high spirits carried us through to the end point, where we met my friend Emma and Louis (her new, adorable, teeny tiny puppy). Unfortunately I didn’t catch a snap. This may be a good thing, as seeing his precious picture may have overwhelmed you lovely readers and sent you into a cuteness-induced conniption!
Due to our Mt Eliza lodging plans falling through, we ended up sleeping back in Red Hill at my parent’s house. This was, in fact, wonderful, as dad had decided to show his support by greeting us with a refreshing mocktail (mango nectar, soda and mint) and putting on a delicious spread, quinoa salad included (he used lemon rind in his quinoa salad, which was a great addition).
Happy dance after having completed Day One!
Mum had made a delicious bolognaise to help us refuel. It is made with pork and veal mince, and has a fairly laborious cooking process. It is completely worth it though. I will look for the recipe to share with you, as it is the best bolognaise I have ever had!
The next morning we walked from Mt Eliza to Bentleigh, via the Bayside suburbs. The beach in Frankston is surprisingly beautiful – so very far from the bogan-esque connotations that are inherently summoned when one thinks of Frankston. Our good friend Debbie joined us for an hour from Frankston to Seaford, which was lovely.
Snacks of Power Bars and Power Ball – they somewhat melted and became sad and limp in the bag, but they still tasted delicious and did the job!
Just to really make sure we developed some good blisters, we made a detour and ended up heading into Beaumaris, adding an extra ~5km to our walk. We got distracted talking and weren’t paying attention. Pure genius. Great job 🙂
Finally, at ~7pm we bounced, nay hobbled, through our door and were home. But not before I detoured to the supermarket to purchase ingredients to make my lemon, tuna, chilli, garlic pasta. I am aware that this behaviour is not normal, and that most people would not bother going food shopping after walking close to 40km. What can I say, I wanted to cook my pasta?! I did, however, sit on a chair in the kitchen whilst slicing and sautéing 🙂
We had a lot of fun walking (and menu planning!) and can’t wait to visit Baan Dada in 2 months time to see how all the fundraising initiatives have come together to make this dream come true. Thanks again to everyone who supported us, you are all so special and fabulous.
I’m considering doing many long walks in the future, if only as an excuse to make and eat Power Balls 🙂