Wednesday 31 December 2014
Well, its finally here. The first day of our epic walk. We are being picked up at the Sebel at 7.50, so its up, and down to breakfast to fuel up for the big day. We meet Carolyn, Sarah and Susan who it turns out are also doing the walk. After a two hour drive to Quamby Estate its time to unload our suitcases and fill our back packs. Janet informs me that whatever I need for the next four days must fit in my back pack. The back pack which I must now carry. Right, maybe I don’t need all of this stuff after all. Even after a cull it still weighs 11.5 kilos, plus 1.5 kilos of water! We finally head off to Bridport for a short muffin break and then further into the country to the east coast where we say goodbye to transport and hello to Shanks’s pony. Yep, we are walking about 9 km’s today (probably about 12 the way I am wandering) along a beautiful white beaches and up and over red headlands, lead by Marissa and Ben our tour guides. Later on we find out Marissa from Michigan and Ben from Devonport are an item!
We stop for a late lunch of healthy wraps, fruit and chocolate and are soon loaded up again and on our way.
Ben is a teacher and marine biologist and is eager to share his knowledge of the local marine and bird life. But its the scenery that is the winner – beautiful blue sky, crystal clear water, pure white sand, red rocky outcrops. And we have it all to ourselves. Red, white and blue – amazing.
As the afternoon closes in its getting cool and I am pretty tired and the “are we there yet” starts. Its always another ten minutes or so! Eventually we are lead up the beach out of the wind to the semi permanent camp site known as Forresters Beach Camp. Its grab a cabin/tent unload the pack, hit the open air bush shower and grab a drink. It is after all New Years Eve!
There has been the occasional chat with our fellow travellers along the way, but this is the first time we can all sit around a table, wine (or beer) in hand get to know each other. What a great bunch of travellers we have with us. Different ages and back grounds, but everyone is friendly and I think we have made some great friends.
David and Miriam (our intrepid trekkers just returned from climbing Mt Everest)
Greg (who has been more places than Lucky Starr) and Meryl (Why are we stopping!)
Zalie (the leader of the pack always miles in front)
Susan (who puts us all to shame)
Carolyn and Sarah (the fun loving kings of the selfie and jump photos)
I am feeling a bit guilty for Ben (long and lanky) and Marissa (the pocket rocket) and Jenny (who had treked in earlier) have to prepare the dinner, make up table, organise the drinks while we watch. Oh hell, they are young I am old, I am on holidays and they are at work! Enough of the guilt!
The meal they prepare for us is pretty impressive given the basic kitchen facilities they have to work with. Starting with antipasta, then asian style buckwheat soba noodles with salmon and a fabulous chocolate desert to finish. All delicious!
Somehow a good dose of fresh hot chilli gets into H’s desert. His reaction (red face and sweats) is a source of amusement to our fellow hikers, but the guides are mortified!
Before we know it its 9:16 and we make a group decision to bring New Years Eve forward and have the countdown and crack open the bubbles that they have shipped in especially for the occasion. We have a 15 km walk tomorrow and no-one wants to face that with a hangover!