Monday, 16 November 2015

Day 16 - Tidesong to Mackenzie Bay (TA 391) 22km

It started raining during the night and I woke to a grey, drizzly day. Thankfully, Hugh had offered to drive us around the estuary so we didn't have to start the day with muddy, wet feet. Road walk to start with, then a lovely bush track, more road, paddock then on to the Ocean Beach for 7km.

I could just see Alex and Harriet up the beach and the rain was hanging around the peaks and hiding the mountains we had to cross later in the day. The tide was nearly in and I was glad that we hadn't left any later as it would have forced us into the really soft sand. As it was it was getting a little hairy going around the rocks. I got to the first headland and I could see Alex and Harriet climbing up it. It was only when I got closer that I could see how steep it was. The first part was sand without many handholds except for some grass on the side. Alex came back and took my pack to make it easier for me (THANKS ALEX) and I slipped my way up until there were some rocks which made the climb easier. Because I was wet, I was now covered in sand which made everything gritty. - hands, poles, shoes, all over. I was being a bit of a Princess about it, but the more I tried to wipe it off, the more frustrated I got so I just gave up and crunched my way up the next beach.

Another headland, another climb out, but this one not so hard.

Then there was lots of up, some more up, some steep, gnarly down, more up, a little more up and then up! Apparently there were 956 stairs according to Harriet.  I was counting them in bundles of 50 - 50 rises before I could stop and pant and bend over to get weight of pack of my shoulders.  Not sure if there were 956 but there definately were many multiples of 50!

We were essentially walking in the clouds and the track was wet and slippery. Without the rain we would have had views to die for. It's a shame because I think, despite the stairs, this was my favourite forest track so far. It was interesting to walk - a lot of variety - shrubs, forest, grass lands and some really cool rocks.

It seemed an age before we reached the final summit then there were what seemed like a 1000 stairs to descend!

Once out, I texted Dougie, the man whose place we were staying at, to let him know we were on our way and then, with the sun finally trying to come out it was a pleasant stroll around to Mackenzie's Bay.
Because it had been raining and we were all very wet, Dougie let us sleep in his studio - very cool.
I was pleased with how my pack coped with the rain. Everything was dry inside except for right at the bottom where things were a bit drippy - probably shouldn't have squirted it with the hose to get the sand off though!

Pigeon xx

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