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Saturday, 04 April, 2015

After a lot of deliberation during the week, mainly down to the state of the weekend, I decided to bite the bullet and hit the coast for a two night Easter camping trip down in Eden, NSW. My original plan was finish work at lunchtime on Thursday, drive down to Eden for a night or twos camping and then make my way up the coast to finish up at Narooma on the Sunday night before returning to Canberra on Easter Monday. However, at the start of the week the Easter weekend weather forecast for most of the South Coast was shocking, with heavy rain predicted from Sydney all the way down to just north of Eden. As the week progressed the forecast for Eden at least was looking favourable for Friday, Saturday and maybe Sunday, so that how I found myself leaving home early of Good Friday morning and driving the 3 ½ hours to the South Coast Holiday Park, Eden into which I booked a two night un-powered site for my tent and I.

The campsite was pretty busy with most if not all the powered sites taken, but I as allocated an excellent site not too far away from one of the toilet blocks and camp kitchens. In fact I was surprised to see how big the site was, as I easily got my tent and car on the pitch with lots of room to spare. Once I had set up camp, something that is taking longer and longer as I seem to have accumulated quite a lot of gear these days, I went over to the lakeside and unpacked the SUP so that I could take it out for a spin. It was a beautiful evening, a bit grey, but little or no wind and quite warm and I was having a ball paddling across towards the other when I noticed what I thought was a plastic bag just below the surface. SHIT! Not a plastic bag, I fecking great big Jelly Fish! Then another and another, jesus there was hundreds of them. All of a sudden I lost my confidence and it seemed my ability to stand up on the board, something that is fundamental on a SUP, was gone as I froze not wanting to fall in. Somehow I managed to paddle through to the other side and all I had to do then was work out how I could get back without encountering them again!

This morning I woke up early, something to do with being in bed by ten and the sound of all those sodding birds at dawn. My plan was to go for a swim in the sea, have breakfast and then go for a hike in the Ben Boyd National Park just down the road. Being the lazy git that I am I decided to drive the few hundred metres to the beach and I was glad that I did, as I realised that the sea was dead calm and having the SUP in the boot I couldn’t miss an opportunity like this, so I unpacked the gear, set everything and dashed into the sea. The first time I stood up I fell off within a few seconds, mmmm I’ll have another go… same thing and again and again. Bloody hell, what’s going on, I had no problem last night on the lake, but today on flat, calm sea I can’t stay on the board for more than a few seconds. Finally after an half an hour or so I was able to stand up and paddle for a while before the very slight swell had me off. However, the longer I was out there, the better I got and although I wasn’t fully confident at the end, I felt that I had had a great work-out and had learnt a lot.

Back at the campsite I used the excellently equipped camp kitchen to cook up a full English for breakfast. Then it was off in the car to drive 30 minutes or so down the coast deep into the Ben Boyd National Park to Boyd’s Tower which is at the northern end of a 30km hike along the coastline known as the ‘Light to Light’ (the Green Cape Lighthouse is at the Southern end and Boyd’s Tower is at the other). Working out that I had around five hours of daylight left, I clearly couldn’t do the whole lot so decided to walk to Mowarry Point, which was around 7km away and then return to the tower. Just in case I was in a bit of a rush later, I took a quick look around the tower before I left. Turns out that Mr Ben Boyd was a bit of a dreamer back in the day, as he envisaged this area to be a major whaling and fishing region, which is why he had this massive tower which seemed to serve no purpose other than being a lookout point for spot the migrating whales as they passed up and down the coast on their bi-annual migration to and from their breeding grounds.

The start of the track was back at the car park and I was soon walking south along the coastline, stopping every now and then to take a picture or two. I was expecting to see a few other hikers along the way, especially as there were so many cars back at the car park, but the first people I came across were at Leather Jacket Bay, about 4.4km down the track. Now, let me paint you a picture! about a km from the bay I started to pick up some sort of beat, at first I thought it was the sea crashing against the rocks in one of the bays I was walking past, but then it became more distinct and I could tell it was defiantly music. As I got closer I could make out an Aboriginal groove to the beat and it was bloody loud. Gradually I could make out the shape of a few beat-up cars, min and camper vans with various bodies hanging out in or around them. Finally, as I came out of the tree to cross the creek into Leather Jacket Bay I was greeted by a group of three young men who offered me a beer and we were soon chatting away like old friends as they told me all about the three day camp they were having and all about the Light to Light hike I was on.

Upon leaving the camp, I continued along the track till I got to the beach at Mowarry Point where I had lunch sat on the rocks with only a couple of seagulls for company, fantastic! By this time I thought it best to head back to the car as the light was fading and I didn’t want to be caught out walking the last few Ks in the dark. All up I walk around 14kms in a little over 4 hours, I bit slower than normal, but I did stop quite a few times to take in the views and have a chat with a few people along the way. I can see why the guide says to give yourself two days to complete the full Light to Light hike.


Posted April 4, 2015 by yermandownunder in Observations, Out and about, Travels

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