Heat stress is your biggest risk

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February 17th 2010
Published: March 2nd 2010
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Day 297 - Coles Bay

We would like to wish our lovely Uncle David a Happy Birthday today. You’re a gem Uncle David and we hope you have a great day. Love from both of us x x

What a beautiful morning to wake up to, clear and bright and just what we’d ordered! A chap camped behind Tony & Jane came over last night for a chat and to give us some walking instructions which included the ‘fact’ that Freycinet national park didn’t open its gates until 8am. We thought it strange but didn’t argue and were happy to use it as an excuse for a lie in, we hadn’t had one for a while. However, as we passed into the national park this morning we realised we had been misled as there are no gates to keep you from gaining access so had we felt the need we could have been up in time for the sunrise over Wineglass Bay! Ha Ha!

No matter, we were off and running by ten past eight having signed the walkers register. The morning had all the potential of being glorious as the sun was still rising above us. We’ve packed only the essentials so again Darryl is laden down with gallons of water ‘just in case’ plus of course our lunch and our swimmers. The poor lad should be neighing as he walks!

It’s quite a hike up to the Wineglass Bay lookout but it’s worth it for the view. We have a bit of a clamber across rocks looking for the perfect picture, Jane and Tony do well to get a good position and Darryl of course is straight up on the highest point he can find while I hand him the camera! It’s not just the bay but the whole surrounds which are stunning here, very impressive and a great place to pitch a tent for the night if you can be arsed to carry everything with you.

At this stage I was still toying with the idea of climbing Mt Amos when we got back early afternoon, it was just a 3km steep climb and the mountain towered above us as our backdrop to the lookout position, the view over Wineglass Bay from the top must be tremendous. Something to think about!

The walk down to Wineglass bay itself is very steep and quite rocky underfoot, we were glad we weren’t coming back this way! We met two young hikers with huge backpacks coming up towards us; both were taking it slowly but still smiling. The girl remarked that getting over Mt Graham was tough and from that comment I knew they’d done a huge walk along the peninsula track which probably would have meant a few nights camped out - awesome. Bless her she was struggling now and still had a long way til she reached the top of this track. What an achievement though, good on her.

We enjoyed a bit of a wander around the bay when we finally made it down. There were a couple of tents pitched on the sand, it’s an awesome place to spend the night under canvas with just the sound of the sea and the wildlife for company. Lush. The colours are just glorious this morning but we’ve been told that Hazards Beach is even more beautiful so we continue our walk.

Well who would have thought it, Wineglass Bay upstaged by a mere beach but Hazards was just gorgeous this morning. We wandered along it looking at the sea life washed up along the beach, some very curious looking creatures and plenty of great shells. The water was a bit chilly but we stripped off for a swim at the far end of the beach and joked with Tony as he struggled to come to terms with the temperature. Had there been any cricket to listen to we could have tuned it in on his nipples!

The swim was great and very refreshing, eating lunch with such a perfect view was great and the visit from a cheeky wallaby was a treat too. All in all a very successful walk, but it wasn’t over yet and when Tony spied a sign saying it should only take us two hours to get back to the start he turned up the pace.

There was 6km left to do of this undulating walk and with Tony & Darryl out front myself and Jane tried our best to keep up with them but it was hard work. The sun was beating down and I was hot, walking fast and a teeny weeny bit riled that Darryl was leaving me so far behind ….. so I yelled, just the word “Darryl” and then explained to Jane that this was my pet hate - being left when walking! Out in front the cry was heard by Tony who asked Darryl if he’d heard it. He replied that he had and that there was a possibility I wanted them to stop!! Ha bloody ha! Grrrrr, sizzle etc. They did stop and we caught up which gave me the chance to vent for a mere second about the fast walking but then they were off again.

I was sure it wouldn’t be Tony striding out in front, or if it was I thought it would be because Darryl was poking him with a stick from behind telling him to hurry along! That was just wishful thinking so I could get away with yelling at Darryl, Jane would need to deal with Tony!!

In good faith what was actually happening was Tony attempting to keep within or slightly in front of the timing for the walk. The last sign had said 2hrs to reach the car park so he was trying to get us back within that time. But I was hot, the sun was beating down and I was struggling to keep up walking over the rocky surface. What a princess!

We eventually got to the end, there was a fair amount of laughing and joking around when we did and my childish mini tantrum (which I pretty much shared all to myself - thankfully!) was taken in good humour.

Down at the visitors centre we got our national parks passport stamped for all the parks we’ve visited so far, there were quite a few which was pleasing to see. Darryl was roaring with laughter and pointing at one of the information boards which suggested that ‘Heat Stress’ was a visitors’ biggest risk when walking. Why Darryl was pointing at me and laughing harder I just couldn’t understand!!

We bought some postcards, one of which is the view of Wineglass Bay from Mt Amos. Long gone are any thoughts of climbing up that this afternoon. No will power, clearly!

Instead we dropped Tony & Jane off at the caravan and we went off to Honeymoon Bay for a bit of a snorkel. The sun was still high in the sky so we figured the water might be a reasonable temperature, it was in places but pretty chilly in others! We saw a bit of marine life though and ended our visit by chatting to a lovely lady. She had a beautiful English accent and told us she was from Gloucestershire (in the UK). That’s pretty much where I’ve been brought so asked where, Amberley was her response and she even knew my old primary school in Uplands, Stroud. When we told her we used to live in Cam she even knew our old road, she used to do Victim Support in that area. That made us laugh even more, we thought the dodgy ones actually lived in our road - we didn’t know many that needed Victim Support put it that way! Bless her she was a gorgeous lady, Sara Mason is her name and she was on a big trip but sadly it is to scattered her husbands ashes. He died a year ago so the trip is to combine a visit to her children in Sydney and then a flight over to New Zealand to scatter his ashes in their special place. We wish her well on her journey, she’s a strong lady and maybe we’ll see her back in Amberley sometime.

Darryl had an appointment with some fish that needed feeding so I dropped him back off at the caravan so he and Tony could go find some fishy friends down at the beach.

Myself and Jane went back out to Honeymoon Bay in search of Darryl’s well worn hat which he was sure he’d left there after our snorkel - luckily it was still there balanced on the rock! It would have been a shame for him to have lost it after all his hard work of wearing it in.

The trip to the lighthouse was great, the views were good and there's a clever measure of different mammals along the boardwalk - you can see just how long a whale is for example! The place was a bit swamped by a huge group on a tour but we managed to see what we came for and then headed home. It’s great spending time with Jane, she’s a lovely chatting lady with lots of stories to tell about her friends far and wide plus of course her two daughters Kat & Em. The apple of her eye though is beautiful grand-daughter Chia, Kat’s daughter, who is an absolute delight and very bright for her young 4 years. By the time we’d finished for the day Jane’s pedometer reading was 18’472 which is apparently what you should be doing every day! Crikey - we need to pick up the pace! Ha Ha.

When we returned to camp I hot footed it to the beach, hat in hand, so Darryl could put his mind at rest. Sadly there hadn’t been many fish to feed and even fewer to catch although they had managed to lure a spear fisherman a few times!

Over dinner we chatted through our plans for the coming days, we’re heading to Hobart next and we wonder if we can do a day trip to Port Arthur to save travelling time. We’ll see how we go.

We would almost have managed an early night tonight if it wasn’t for me strumming on the guitar (in the caravan!) and catching up a bit more on the blog. At least the clock didn’t strike midnight before our heads hit the pillow!

Dar and Sar

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2nd March 2010

Blogs from Caroline and Andy
Hi, Reading your blogs now that Caroline and Andy have cut back on theirs....I have withdrawal symptoms. Don't take heat stress too lightly as I was in hospital on intravenous fluids in USA after feeling very unwell....Severe heat stress the doctor said. We are going back to USA in May....Yellowstone Park.....it snowed the last time we were there in the month of May. Wishing you safe travels and carry on enjoying your wonderful adventure. Your photos are brill. S & J
2nd March 2010

You are your mother's daughter!!
How strange that I should have a similar problem getting left behind!!! xxx Mum K
4th March 2010

Thank you
Hi both, great to hear from and glad we can keep you entertained while Caroline and Andy are slogging away working in Canberra. Good on them, they're certainly living the dream in more ways than one now! Enjoy Yellowstone Park, how exciting. We'd love to see the photos if you have time to create a blog - it's a great way to share. Take care and hope to catch up when we return. Dar and Sar

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