What a great day. Making my way out of Peaceful Bay, it was back into the sand dunes to the sound of pounding surf. A constant rumble of crashing waves on rocks creating a low drone in the background.
The trail wound every which way this morning cutting a narrow path through the thick coastal scrub. It was like walking through a hedge maze at first from knee high veg to a narrow corridor through veg over head height on each side. I startled some Kangaroos grazing just off to the side of the track. Amazing how they make their way through the thick vegetation. Plenty of prints are evident on the track though indicating they also use it as a thorough fare. Why wouldn’t they.
There were a couple of short beach walks to contend with against a backdrop of angry, churning surf, the white wash threatening to wet my feet as it raced up the sand, chasing me back onto higher ground. In places the rocky bluffs and cliffs jut straight into the ocean, the waves violently crashing down sending spray drift several stories high into the air.
The track turned inland and for the first time in days the wind backs off in the ears and the bird life that has been there from the start is vibrant and noticeable. Music to the ears.
Several sections of track had been worn down over time by the boots of thousands of walkers passing by in the sand, forming deep trenches hip to shoulder high. Others bits were lined with hessian bags and sand bags in and effort to hold back the erosion. It looked like war time trenches, twisting and turning. If I ever think I am sore or in pain or exhausted walking a track freely of my own accord, I can always form pictures of the hardships that the diggers of past must have gone through. I’ve got it easy, lest I forget.
It was great to be moving in land. The track surface gradually changes for pure sand, to sand with some rock to whole sections of gravel based track. The vegetation changes along with the soil moving from thick coastal tree tree and wattles into heathy areas with intermittent eucalyptus before entering even thicker forests.
The best change was to come after lunch. Continuing north the track moved into Tingle country. Massive girthed trees that hold there shape right to the top before breaking out into massive limbs reaching for the sky. Their buttressed bases a relic of the Gondwana age. Tingles are one of the oldest flowering trees. I was entering the area know as Giants and you could see why. Not only were the Tingles massive, even the she-oaks. I had never seen anything like it. She-oaks with girth’s up to 60 and just as tall as many of the eucalyptus back home. The undergrowth dense with cutty grass for as far as the eye could see. You would want full body armour to be walking track through that stuff.
Approaching the Giants Shelter there were many awesome examples of big tingle trees, quite few with hollows at their base big enough to sleep in.
I have Giants Shelter to myself tonight. My first shelter alone. I was thinking another north bound thru hiker Evan might arrived. He has been one day in front of me since the start and I keep coming across his entries in the shelter logs. All the south bounders I come across ask have I met him yet. While we haven’t crossed paths yet I did catch up to him last night in Peaceful Bay seeing his log entry just before mine. We are bound to meet up as some stage given we both seem to be covering bigger kilometres over most and similar days each day.