Day 3 was another rainy day with a number of muddy steep sections including one we crossed that was so bad we all ended up with muddy shoes and socks. I’m so glad we dried our socks out from yesterday! This walk was again undulating, although not as bad as it has been over the past few days. We moved along the base of a cliff face, close to the ocean, before we finally came out onto Johanna Beach and our second inlet crossing.
Knowing we had an inlet crossing today we were out of camp early and while we wouldn’t make low tide, we needed to avoid high tide to make the crossing as easy as possible. Gill and I have spent much of our lives in and around the ocean so have always been comfortable crossing inlets, knowing when, and when not, to cross. The Belgium hiker we met at the Aire River Campsite last night wasn’t familiar with inlet crossing so she joined us today. We realised the knowledge and skills in regard to the ocean and inlet crossings generated over many years that we take for granted isn’t something every hiker has. In fact unless you do coastal hiking this may well be something you have never had to deal with (cue new article and podcast for later in the year).
So after the longest beach walk of the trip we started paralleling the inlet and approaching the crossing point just as the heavy rain returned. After watching the wave patterns and water movement we realised the water wasn’t overly deep (less than knee level) but when a wave came through, it did so with force. This required us to pay attention and brace when needed. After completing our crossing it was a short walk off the beach to a nice seating area with views down the beach and the opportunity to remove half of the beach from our shoes that we picked up in the crossing. One thing of note here is that this was the first time I have ever felt the wind blow through my shoes!
We soon headed towards the car park and day area, and after what seemed like a long way away we eventually came to the Johanna Beach Campsite which was perched at the top of the cliff top looking out towards open ocean. There is one particular tent site that in the right conditions, would be the perfect site allowing you to watch the ocean from the tent but it would require little wind and warm weather so it’s more of a summer site. In our case we wanted a protected area out of the wind and picked one of the two sites close to the kitchen shelter which was under the Casuarinas with lots of pine needles which provided soft under-tent cushioning.
We spent much of the afternoon watching the tide rise and fall on the beach and trying to dry out our gear by hanging it all over the shelter. We did get some rain later in the night at around 12:30am but it was light, lasting only for a few minutes so we didn’t have to worry about packing wet gear in the morning. As far as the campsites go, this would probably rate as our overall favourite of the trip, complete with the obligatory family of Fairy Wrens.
Day 3 was another rainy day with a number of muddy steep sections including one we crossed that was so bad we all ended up with muddy shoes and socks. I’m so glad we dried our socks out from yesterday! This walk was again undulating, although not as bad as it has been over the […]