Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Day 27 - Deep Creek NP

It was cold last night … down to 5C … but we seemed snug enough. There was a light sprinkle of rain but not even enough to settle the dusty site we were in.

The benefit of holidays was amply demonstrated during our first few hours, with a book each and several cups of tea before we even got to a breakfast of bacon and eggs!

Somewhere deep into the morning, we set of with packs for what we figured would be a big ask of Sue’s bag but determined to give it a go. We were off along the track to Deep Creek Cove, the turn back point for a 6.4km return trip down from the ridge we were on, to the sea. Walking through the bright yellows and pale pinks of a variety of wildflowers and stunted, shrubby trees burnt by bushfire sometime in the last few years, things started out easily but within a kilometre, the track was sloping down and had degenerated into a rough collection of rocks. We persevered for another seven or eight hundred meters until Sue turned back and I went on in case there was something to see other than the constant view of Deep Creek descending on our left and the Southern Ocean on our right.

With no change after another half a kilometre, I turned back too. Two aged Adelaide types - I christened them Jocko and Millicent - rubbed salt into our wounds as we sat gasping by the track, ascending past us with their $600 walking shoes and ski poles and cheery greetings. They named flora and fauna as they walked on until out of earshot. My arm being what it is these days, all the rocks I threw missed.

Back at camp, rather than waste the day, we took to the park roads to find a place for lunch. Tapanappa Lookout was our first choice and a good one at that. We ate in the car - there were no picnic tables or viewing platform or signs for that matter - and looked east along the coastline toward Boat Harbor Beach (that’s how they spell it) from our elevated position on the exposed heights at Tapanappa.

After lunch, our touring took us the Pages Lookout and then most of the way to Boat Harbor Beach, accessible by walking track or 4WD track. I made it to the top of the switch back section of the road, less than a kilometre from the end but Sue drew a breath at the top of the extremely steep track and had one of those Man From Snowy River moments but chose to stay with the experienced riders. As a result, we didn’t go further. It was a pity as the Forester would have handled it and I was looking forward to testing out the “descending mode”, where the vehicle crawls down extreme slopes at walking pace. As a younger man I might have argued but testosterone bows to my wife’s happiness these days. In her defence, it was bloody steep!

I had sought the reassurance of the staff at the ranger headquarters for this track and another which leads down to Blowhole Beach but both our visits were confronted with a locked door and staff members on the phones at desks inside: the difference between a Conservation Park and National Park I guess.

The middle to late afternoon were spent of Kangaroo Island research and getting blogs up to date. The first leg of our $540 return ferry ride awaits us tomorrow.

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