• Kay

Day 181 Back to the Sea

8 April 2012

Martin's Hut to Colac Bay

Start 7.15am

Finish 11.55pm

Distance 17km

Total 2820km

Steps 28022

Ascent 192m

Descent 617m

A short but lovely day. I want to really savour these last few days and not wish any day to end because I am too tired or hurting.

My recent habit of starting at about 7.15am each morning is just practical, not really by design. As it is dark each evening by about 7.30pm and it's cold in this neck of the woods, I'm tucked up in my sleeping bag and falling asleep by 8pm. The net effect being that I wake up about 5.30am. There is no point getting up at that time. Other than the significant risk of seriously annoying your fellow hut companions, it doesn't get light enough until about 7.15am to start walking. So over the last few weeks I have managed to get more sleep (gales in tents the exception) than I have ever had before, and as I am writing this at just past 7pm, my eyes are drooping.

After that long explanation the upshot is even though the time and distance I walked today was short, I still started early. I will do the same tomorrow, probably starting a little earlier so I can catch the sun rising over the sea.

It was primarily tramping through beautiful regenerating beech forest today with an abundance of luscious tree and ground ferns. The area is a historical gold mining area and much of the trail runs alongside gold water races. The hut we were in last night was originally a miner's hut. Although there were still a number of muddy patches these were less intense than yesterday and less numerous. There was only a little climbing and the rest was a gentle descent to the coast.

Colac Bay

There were a few kilometers of road walking to Colac Bay, however with the promise of a proper meal at the pub this felt like not too much of an issue. I arrived at the pub ravenous and thoroughly enjoyed an enormous plate of fish and chips and a pint of lemonade - food and drink I wouldn't normally choose or enjoy, however I think my body was craving the fuel.

I am at the Colac Bay Campground. Basic but entirely adequate for my needs - hot shower, a flushing toilet and a bed with sheets. I am eternally grateful that I arrived early and could have a lingering shower as later this afternoon a group of school children of about age 12 arrived for their school camp. Luckily they are all in tents and I'm in a room (alongside the teachers). Ear plugs will be needed nonetheless I am anticipating.

Colac Bay is a lovely tiny seaside village with a gorgeous beach which I went for a walk along (go figure!). I get to walk almost the length of it tomorrow on the way to Riverton. It was a stunning afternoon and evening with a cloudless sky as I watched the sea and seagulls.

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