Our 65km Walk

November 22, 2010

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.

Day One

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!

Day Two

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.

Our eats were pretty much the same over the two days – see, I can’t help myself mentioning the food! Lunch was more Peanut Butter and Jam.

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 showered, stretched, ate and then….slept…

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 🙂

Heidi xo
  • Hannah November 22, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Congratulations a hundred times over! And a special round of applause for writing about this so that it seemed like nothing but fun 🙂 Can't wait to see the revised power ball recipe – the coffee ones in particular sound amazing. Amazing like you and Ben, really!


  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) November 23, 2010 at 7:45 am

    What an EPIC adventure indeed!!!!! I love everything about this – the adventure, the cause, and the thoughtful energy food! You have given me some great ideas for my 'food' to take on my half ironman race…and I would love to see your powerball recipe!

  • Michelle Chin November 23, 2010 at 8:46 am

    The power balls look very cute! If you coat them with cocoa powder they turn into truffles!

  • onika November 23, 2010 at 11:02 am

    congrats!!! what a great walk. saaaaa far!! haha i walked from mornington to mt eliza one night many years ago when we couldn't get back tomy friends house… it was AWFUL! but we did not have snacks (we would've loved maccas haha) and we were drunk… seriously what a great job, you must feel very proud 🙂 xx

  • wikigirl November 23, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Wow Heidi that is amazing! I'm seriously impressed with you both 🙂 I spy a new muesli bar recipe, I know what I'll be doing today haha my bf loves it when I make your muesli bars, he practically devours them. Hope you're having a lovely week!

  • Honey @ honeyandsoy November 23, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    You are amazing, Heidi! What a good cause… and thanks for sharing the experience and all the snack planning (very important) that went into the walk!

  • Chanel11 November 23, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Holy crap woman! You go girl! I'm tired just think about walking for that long, but I am a lazy spud person.

    A few other things I wanted to comment on:

    I am in love with your peanut butter, banana, jam etc sandwiches – they are also my favourite sandwich to make, although sometimes I substitute the nut butter for tahini when trying to be more 'healthy'

    Love that you called the bug Gob, am in the process of getting a little birdie and was considering the name Buster…

    Yes, meal planning is super fun, not only do you get to make a list, but it's a list of things you will get to eat

    Just saw that you were commenting on my blog whilst I am in the middle of commenting on yours – freaky!

  • Heidi November 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Hannah – awe thank you! That is so nice, you're far too kind 🙂

    Lisa – ooh yes you would need lots of energy for that! amazing! I hope to get a recipe up soon.

    Michelle – yes! I thought of adding chocolate to some. Truffle ones would be yum.

    onika – haha, yes late night 'walking by necessity' adventures are somewhat less fun. You need snacks!! Thanks, lovely.

    wikigirl – thank you! and your bf clearly has fabulous taste 😉

    Honey – thank you! and you're very welcome, I had fun!

    Chanel – freaky indeed! thanks for your comment, lovely! I will definitely try jam and tahini, snap! and oh my goodness I adore Buster. He is so strange and sweet and brilliant 🙂 I think it would make an excellent pet name 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Well done Heidi! What a wonderful cause and thankyou for taking us along with you (and I do love an Arrested Development reference 😛 )

  • laurak November 23, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Wow, what an effort! Well done to you both, you are good souls!
    I think nut butter just about makes any sandwhich, although I sometimes find too that with banana added it can become surprisingly dense. My latest obsession is nut butter and sprouts…try it!
    Looking forward to the upcoming recipes, I love home made snacks!
    Laura 🙂
    ps I am forever quoting AD, such a great show!

  • Xiaolu November 24, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Wow you guys are troopers! I can hardly imagine walking that much in a month (but I need to exercise way more than I do hehe). Your treats look great too. Can't go wrong with PB & J.

  • Heidi November 24, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Lorraine – thank you! And how good is Arrested Development 🙂

    Laura – nut butter with sprouts, yum! I will definitely try that one, thanks!

    Xiaolu – hehe, thank you 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Anna Johnston November 24, 2010 at 9:23 am

    I'm so seriously in awe of your achievement, thank you so much for taking us all along with you on this inspiring walk, I love the cause & so impressed with your contribution but I've got to know how you managed to make this look like so much fun? Well done to you both 🙂

  • Angela (the diet book junkie) November 24, 2010 at 11:22 am

    congratulations Heidi, that is AWESOME!! looks like you had beautiful weather (and delicious food!) thanks for sharing about the coconut water, i've been searching for it EXCEPT in the nearest Asian supermarket. (duh.) will have to check it out! 🙂

  • Boredom Abounds November 24, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Wow, what a fantastic effort, congratulations!

    And walking the bayside beaches is a good choice – there are some beautiful ones down that way (I'm a born & bred Bentleigh girl myself actually, but my favourite beach is Aspendale. So serene!)

  • Heidi November 24, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Anna – thank you so much! It was actually fun, I swear 🙂 the last 2 hours were so tough though!! not such fun then…

    Angela – yes, Asian supermarkets all the way! thanks for your support too.

    Boredom Abounds – High five for Bentleigh girls! (I'm calling myself one now, even though I didn't grow up there!). I think at Aspendale we were charging through just praying we were in Mordialloc already. Now I wish I payed more attention! But yes, the beaches are beautiful – a very scenic route.

    Heidi xo

  • grace November 24, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    impressive, and i'm not just talking about those power balls! this is truly an awe-inspiring feat–hats off to ya!

  • Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear November 24, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Congrats!!!! awesome that you walked 65km!

    and those bars and power balls would make me walk far too, yummy!

  • Ashley November 24, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Heidi, just amazing work to the both of you! 🙂 Congratulations and it's wonderful to hear how much money you've raised!

  • The InTolerant Chef November 24, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    I'm seriously impressed! I don't know what I'm impressed with the most though, the walk or the power balls.

  • Myriam @ Detours November 24, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Wow, congrats for the walk, Heidi – that's a massive effort, thank God for these delicious muesli bars 😉

  • Kath November 25, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Whee you did it! That's so great! 😀 And you took so beautiful pictures! Also looks like you had some perfect fuel for the walk. 😉

  • Rosa's Yummy Yums November 25, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Congrats! Great food. Very energetic and delicious.



  • Anh November 25, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Omg! You guys rock! I know how far it is, but hey great job again! 🙂
    Ps: I loveee your meal planning!

  • Iron Chef Shellie November 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    WOw!! that's insane! Congrats =D
    And what yummy treats you had along the way!

  • Heidi November 25, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Grace – awe thanks!

    Anne – oh yes, those balls did help!

    Ashely – thank you, we're over $3000 now!! Can;t quite believe it.

    InTolerant Chef – why thank you! hehe.

    Myriam – thank so much, and yes thank goodness for the food! We definitely needed the fuel 🙂

    Kath – yay! we considered not taking the camera, but of course we ended up bringing it along for the ride 🙂

    Rosa – thank you!

    Anh – thanks 🙂 the meal planning was so much fun.

    Michele – thank you!!

    Heidi xo

  • Emma @CakeMistress November 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Wow, congratulations on you fundraising and for completing that giant walk! Can't wait to see the recipes for those power snacks. Especially the healthy 'rum' balls and the coffee ones 🙂

  • Carly Findlay November 28, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    The snacks look great!! I want to make everything on your blog
    Great to see you completed the walk – congrats :))

  • Spencer @ Moo-Lolly-Bar November 29, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Congratulations! That's a really great achievement. Well done.