Following our night in the bush away from Colin and John we had another short climb and then a forest descent before we emerged at South Cape Rivulet. Colin had come to meet us and we learned he had sent out search parties until quite late in the evening. We never saw or heard any of this as we had been tucked down next to a small, noisy stream and had finished dinner and were in bed by 7pm. Above is Sue, very early in the morning just after we arrived at South Cape Rivulet. The tide was well out, Colin and John were concerned the previous evening because the tide was in and the flow higher. It could have made for a difficult crossing.
South Cape Rivulet can be a difficult river crossing but fortunately the tide was low and the water only knee deep. (On picture, it is the furtherest bay) It was running quite swiftly and there were some deep holes but we felt for them with our feet moving slowly,avoiding the really deep sections.
The views of the seas along this section of are truly stunning, best of all, South Cape with its distinctive sudden drop-off near the end. At one point three Shy Albatross soared over head as we walked along the beach. The track crosses a series of beaches and headlands until steep steps lead up to Coal Bluff overlooking South Cape Bay and Lion Rock. Just past Lion Rock the track reaches the last beach on the South Coast Track. Due to close proximity to Cockle Creek the track from here is well constructed and obvious. From the eastern end of the beach there is a climb up and around the rocky headland with a view across South Cape Bay, then traverses the coastal scrub and heath of Blowhole Valley to the road head at Cockle Creek.
The last couple of hours felt like hell as we trudged towards Cockle Creek. After all the hard yakka we had endured over the last six days this section was probably the easiest but the pressure to reach the END weighed heavily in our minds. There was a lot of duck boarding and this proved pretty hard on our feet as we had been used to walking on much softer (read mud here) track.
We started to meet day walkers about an hour out from Cockle Creek and were overwhelmed by their perfumed smell and cleanliness. Phew, some of it was strong as we passed them. It was quite strange to see others who were clean and fresh looking.
Cockle Creek is a great place. It is a very small, spread out hamlet with a few houses, a Rangers Station, public phone and a few tourists. We all straggled in (Colin first of course) and slowly started to acclimatize to people, different noises and smells.
We had arranged our own bus back to Hobart and he turned up right on time. We had thought that the normal bus service was finished for the year and were surprised to see the bus waiting when we arrived. We were happy to have our own bus (for about the same price) and were back in Hobart well before dinner. Enjoyed a really nice hot shower and then a great feed at the Shippies pub in Battery Point
It is a great Pub, right in the middle of Battery Point. The beers etc all went down pretty well as we sat around debriefing ourselves and enjoying the sense of achievement of completing the South Coast Walk.
At Cockle Creek….Colin, John, Frank and Sue – happy to be out, maybe sad it was over…..