Thursday 1 January 2015
We are starting the new year with the THE BIG WALK!
Officially it’s approximately 15 km – but we suspect it’s more!
H is finding the back pack makes him feel top heavy and he wanders about like a drunken sailor, so he will definitely do more than 15 k’s. Ben has it all figured out being the experienced walker that he is, and he shows us how to adopt a relaxed slightly slouched movement, little happening at the top end but giant strides at the bottom end.
We had a rather disturbed nights sleep as the wind has picked up and we are not used to the slapping of canvas, also that sleeping bag was way too hot. In the morning we wake early to a slightly overcast day. After an enormous breakfast of pancakes and a debrief on todays walk we pack up, load up and hit the beach still heading south.
We don’t get far before we head over the sand-dunes edging the beach and walk though a series of marsupial lawns. These areas are kept clear by the wallabies and wombats that emerge from the bush (usually at dusk and dawn) to feed on the grass shoots. We haven’t seen much by way of wildlife so far, apart from birds. They don’t like the heat so they nap during the day when we are about. Sounds like an excellent strategy to me.
Back on the beach we are told to set our own pace and keep going until we get to a creek “Deep Water”. Luckily it the dry season and the creek is down to a foot of water over the sand. It’s boots off to get across and we stop for morning tea. Every time we stop Ben or Marissa pull out a block of chocolate or a bag of cookies. I’m coming to the realisation that there is no chance that I’m going to lose weight from all this exercise – in fact I’m beginning to suspect the opposite will occur. But the cookies are so good, there is just no saying “no”.
The walk continues during the rest of the morning – broken by detours around middens, rocky outcrops and shell coves.
Then it up the sand-dunes and over Eddystone Point for lunch in a cove under the Eddystone Point Lighthouse.
Its now straight up the Bay of Fires Beach in bare feet for a few more hours. Its the last stretch to our home for the next two nights at the Bay of Fires Lodge. Its very exclusive – you only get to stay here if you walk here. But to get there we need to do the slog up the the headland to the Lodge. Its been a long day, its pretty hot and this last 500 metres nearly does me in. But is well worth the effort at the top we are greeted by Sara the lodge manager. After a welcome drink, a hot foot bath and a brief run down on the lodge facilities its off to our room. I can’t tell you how good that bed looks after hiking over fifteen k’s with a back pack!
After that all that is left to do is grab a quick shower and a nap before a few pre-dinner drinks. The lodge’s main room is a long thin rectangle with the deck overlooking the beautiful Bay of Fires, there is a lounge with a fireplace, then the kitchen/eating area. A long table on the right (a table for 25+ no less) and the kitchen benches on the left. Tonight there is a full house – a group of 10 that got here yesterday and will leave tomorrow, their guides, our group, Sara the lodge manager (I love Sara – she always has something yummy baking in the oven), and Cecelia (the goddess of all things spa – more about that later). The atmosphere is relaxed, casual and cheerful. Sara and the guides are working at a million miles an hour whipping up our feast.
A beautiful haloumi and chickpea salad, chicken wrapped with prosciutto, roast vegetables and couscous and for desert, a pannacotta! All delicious and the wine keeps coming too. I’m sitting at the end next to Cecilia who is drumming up business for the new spa which she runs. She is booked out tomorrow but we come up for a special treat for me – can wait! Its just my style.