On Christmas morning Dries joined me in my adventure for a month.
He flew to Melbourne where we stayed in a shitty-ass hostel (did I mention this already?), anyway a hostel I wouldn't recommend. So after 2 nights there we took the train to Eltham, a suburb of Melbourne about a 40 minutes from the CBD. In Eltham we have some connections (through Dries) where we were welcome to stay 4 nights. Such nice people, a beautiful house, a good bed to sleep in for us, delicious homemade fresh food we even went to the beach and the jungle. It was great.
A magnificent sunset in a small town
This year I was homeless on new years eve. We didn't book a hostel (everything was booked full anyway) so we ended up pitching up our tent at the Rosny view point in Hobart.
Hobart harbour (left), Thé famous bridge of Hobart (right)
|Hobart's grand finale firework of 2014|
The first day of the new year we spent buying food for our just planned 7-day hike. Freez-dri packages in the outdoor shops and muesli-bars, sweets, instant noodles, cuppa soups, sweets, crackers and anything else we needed to survive our hike. (Good thing at least some of the shops were open on new years day!)
It's a 8 seated plane were you can feel everything and see everything, from all the little nobs and buttons inside to all the beautiful views outside.
This is how our South Coast Track adventure began.
(with a expensive but B E A UTIFULL flight that is)
Day 1 Melaleuca to Point Eric (Cox Bight)
Jan. 2nd 2015 13.4 km
After an one hour flight over the coast line we landed on a lonely airstrip between the mountains in the pure wilderness. After sorting out the gas (you had to buy it from the company because you weren't allowed to fly with gas or fuel) and signing in onto the hiker logbooks we crossed the airstrip and started our first day in the warm Tasmanian sunshine.
Which looked a bit like this.
After about 4 hours of rough nature a and blinding sun we reached the beach and so our first campsite.
It was gorgeous. As I'm not an experienced hiker at all the many ups, downs, flooded walks and especially the 20 kilo's had really started to test me already.
Oh and as my hiking boots aren't the best (in the slightest) my feet were completely soaked after about 10 minutes of walking through the flooded broad walks. This didn't really lift my spirits either.
Anyway the view was a real treat, we set up the tent (Loewii, pictures will follow) right at the edge of the forest so we had a nice view of the ocean.
Fun fact: Cox Bight - Captain Cox in the brig Mercury anchored there in 1798
Day 2 Point Eric - Louisa Creek - Louisa River
-10.5 + 6.3 km
It was a hot day. With a total of 310m climb and 290m descent I had a hard day.
In the morning we walked the first half to Louise creek, climbing over the Red Point Hills and wading a few creeks. The sun had come out entirely by the time we started to exposed climb so the temperatures climbed higher and much faster than us.
They advise to treat water if in doubt of safety, we forgot to buy the treatment tablets so we just put it in the hands of the world haha! (and only drank from the good flowing and safe looking streams)
Great views and endless walking on the, often flooded, broad walks.
The last few k's after a long hot day we walked over the broad walks toward Louisa River with the great Ironbound Range looking down on us. If you look good you can see the steep exposed path nearly all the way up.
Our first wildlife!! This little fella (a Wallaby to be precise) was nosing round while we were cooking our beef noodles. It hops a bit like a Kangaroo but is much smaller and has showers arms.
Day 3 Louisa River - Little Deadmans Bay
We prayed for clouds for the next when we went to bed the other night. But by the time we were settled in and ready to go to sleep it started raining.
By 6 o'clock the next morning it had stopped raining and left everything cool and damp behind. We packed up everything and walked out of the forest to see the sky was completely clouded, just as we had asked for. It was the perfect weather to climb the 905m high Ironbound, this didn't make it easier although I didn't start hyperventilating as I did yesterday constantly on the climb. My hart did seem to have some difficulties maintaining a steady beat. It was a hard long climb but thanks to the weather bearable in the end. By the time we reached the very top of the range the sun had come out giving us the ideal reward, a magnificent view. A particularly vegetated little part of the climb.
Once we were up there, it was all worth it. Every drop of sweat (which could have filled multiple rivers, trust me) and every little curse because yet another top had just appeared from the clouds to cross. Every minute of the 4 hour climb.
And than the descent came. Wow, I thought I had suffered on the climb I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS.
Sooooooooo the descent started out fun (I prefer descending over climbing anyway)
THIS, steep muddy and hard. It was alright for a while actually, keeping in mind that the steeper it went the quicker we would be at the end. WRONGOOOO
After about 6 hours of descending (what felt more like 6 YEARS) we were so sick and tired of the same constant view of a few meters in front of you and spirits were very low. It was mentally very tiring because you had to focus so hard with every step you did as to not to sink ankle deep in to water or mud or slip and possibly break something. The rain forest was beautiful but even that beauty added after hour n° 3. My spirits sank lower than my foot each time it disappeared in the mud again and again because the lack of concentration and nutrition's.
Dries charged through the path, me hobbling behind both equally exhausted.
After descending at the dreadful speed for 1km an hour (more or less) we finished the last kilometer in about 20 minutes.
Fun fact: Deadmans Bay - Named by Franklin in 1885 when he found a dead seaman on the shore. The seaman was one of four whalers who, earlier that year, attempted to walk from Port Davey to Recherche only one succeeded.
presenting Little Deadmans Bay, at last
Day 4 Little Deadmans Bay - Prion Boat Crossing - Osmiridium Beach
9.4 + 3.9 km
After yesterdays I-almost-died-day we needed a chill day. So we took one (and all the days after that actually).
We slept in and didn't leave the campsite until about half past 10.
The first 9.4 k's to Prion boat crossing were quite easy going with some pretty views ------------> , nothing to dramatic. The last 4 kilometers to the boat crossing were beach which we did barefooted so our feet could get some fresh air and our boots (well mine mostly) could dry.
Prion boat crossing over the New River
By the time we reached the crossing it was noon, so we crossed the river and ate a beautiful Spag Bol
The man in the picture here with the inflatable boat and fishing rod is Dean. Dean is our personal hero. The man had done the track twice already (the first time he had dreadful weather and the second he took a wetsuit and snorkelling gear to go fishing for their christmas dinner). This time he was on his own and packed an inflatable boat and fishing rod. His backpack weighed 23 kilo's without fuel or water. oh and on top of that he had HUGE blisters on both of his heels since day 2.
So when we took of again in the early afternoon to walk to Osmiridium beach he inflated his boat and set of on the river to row up to the lagoon to see if he could catch some fish. What a hero.
The last few hours to Osmiridium Beach were muddy, very muddy which sucked because you have to really concentrate. You can't just walk right through the mud, even if you don't mind the wet and very dirty feet and legs because of the mud holes. And trust me you don't want to get stuck waist deep in mud after having dodged the mud for the past few days. It didn't happen to us, but a german couple had gumboots with them so they could just charge right trough the mud (poking with a stick in front of them to see how deep the mud was) the guy hadn't poked well enough apparently because the next second he was waist deep in mud. So yeah, dodging the mud was our best option.
<-- here you can see the little fresh water stream finding it's way toward the big ocean.
|Again a beautiful view over the mountains at sunset.|
Day 5 Osmiridium Beach - Surprise Bay - Granite Beach
4.8 + 3.1 km
We're both getting overal exhausted
We're starting to feel it's day 5. Although we didn't do a lot of kilometers (not at all actually) neither did we have to go big climbs (180m and a few little one which ad up to 250m in total) nor did we have to battle our way through the close vegetation, we just felt like the end of that day couldn't have come to soon.
At Granite beach there's a fresh water waterfall though.
Just what we needed, a shower. The campsite was a few 100m above the waterfall comfortably sheltered by the trees again. And at the top of the waterfall we had a great view over the entire bay.
We got treated to a absolutely grand sunset over the bay with the noise of the ocean sucking up the rockes. A very peaceful and calming noise somehow.
Day 6 Granite Beach - South Cape Rivulet
This morning we woke up earlier again (7 instead of 8/9 ;) because of the second range we had to cross today.
The South Cape Range in less dramatic than the Ironbound but nevertheless more of a range.
With a total of 715m to climb and descent it was more than enough for day 6.
The climb came quick and was steep, very steep. It was hot again, the sun had come out and on the steep climb the forest didn't really do it's best to keep us shelter from the harsh sun.
We we're glad to arrive at our last campsite after about 7 hours of hiking.
The cape turned out to be a beautiful place for a last camp in the total wilderness cutoff every possible maner of society.
|It's not about the destination, it's about the journey|
|such power in those waves, absolutely magnificent|
|The joy of the Southern Ocean in January|
|clear, pure, beautiful, ice cold water|
|Again a beautiful sunset in a entire different way|
This Wallaby was every so friendly to pose nicely for the camera for us.
Day 7 South Cape Rivulet - Cockle Creek WE SURVIVED
January 8, 2015 11km
The last day we did at an easy pace but it was raining.
It hadn't rained during our whole time on the track. Well once during the night just when we needed it but never really during the we had the perfect weather to do the track everything when we needed it.
Anyway we started the day with a light drizzle which was fine. We walked along the beaches and headlands doing one last climb of about 150m up to Coal Bluff which gave us a last splendid view of the South Cape.
After Coal Bluff we headed back down through the sometimes extremely muddy forest. Back on the sandy beach we reached Lion rock.
Fun fact: Lion Rock -Named in 1915 nu the geologist William Twelvetrees after its resemblance to a crouching lion.
|A brave surfer in the cold rain on the east end of South Cape Bay|
We passed over the beach and climbed up onto the cliffs where we had the last view of the Southern Ocean.
As you can see, it was still raining, but in the forest the rain made everything look beautiful and alive again.
As you can see, it was still raining, but in the forest the rain made everything look beautiful and alive again.
|WE CAME, WE WALKED, WE SURVIVED|
We walked up and over mountains, over flooded broad walks and little bridges, we passed creeks and rivers, we got burnt of the sun and had an ice cold shower under a waterfall, died a few times and got all pumped up again by simple good food, saw some wildlife and survived the nights in Loewii
but most of all we saw some absolutely breathtaking views and sunsets.
Of to the next great adventure.
xoxo Lizzie (&Dries)