Wednesday, January 2, 2008

St James Walkway - Day 5

Well this is it, the last slog to the end....well its not that much of a slog but it sure as hell is going to feel good to get it done. The last day has greeted us with and absolutly beautiful day, the sun is beating down and the sandflies are swarming. We all decide to get going early morning, we say our last goodbyes to the family from the West Coast as we will well and truly beat them back. The walk today is in the trees a lot which makes for easier walking with the hot day, every swimming hole looks so good and I can just visualise jumping in there pack and all!. After only a short walk we make it to the Magdalen Hut swingbridge (Magdalen hut approx 20mins in the opposite direction to the way out) so we carry on to the Boyle Outdoor Education Centre as per plan. The walk is more like the first day in the forest, climbing over logs, crossing small streams. We stop on a log and have some scroggin overlooking the Boyle Valley and river, the view is so amazing, its going to be weird to get back to civilization again. We cant stop long as the sand flies are out in full force and dont seem to be bothered by insect repellant (or they are finding any tiny bit we have missed). We walk further until we reach the last swing bridge of the trip and decide now is a good time to have some lunch, a big feast to finish all the remaining food before the last push to the carpark and the end. The last part of the walk was fast as was mainly on a well graded track before emerging into a makeshift campground the the last stroll to the carpark and signage. Well thats it, we have done it!!!! YAY! I think this was such a fantastic trip and I would love to do it in the winter time with the snow everywhere :o)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

St James Walkway - Day 4

Day 4 started like most of the other days, awake early to the sun coming in, others in the hut moving around. We all got up much the same time, had the usual breakfast and repacked everything. Its amazing how much lighter the pack starts to get as you eat your food (amazing how heavy some muesli and pita-bread is). Anyway after mashing everything back into the pack we made a move for it. The day looked like it was going to be amazing again, the sun was out and starting to dry all the dew off the ground. We started crossing the grassy flats dodging cow poo as we went, not long into the day we were beginning the ascent of the Anne Saddle (1136m) whuch was pretty gentle really compared to other tramps we have been on. We passed the other 3 nearing the top of the saddle, stopped for a brief photo and continued the steep and hard on the knees descent. Once on the Boyle river side it felt so good to be on the flat again, this valles is pretty much identical to the other side of the saddle. We stopped shortly after by a side stream for some lunch and a good drink, one you sit down its so hard to get moving again (especially for Emma as she was really feeling the pain of the blisters today). After a nice long lunch we got moving again and before we knew it we had reacked Rokeby hut (a small 4 bunker) which may be ok if you REALLY had to stop in an emergency. Rokeby is where we were going to spend tonight fefore completing the rest of the walk in another 2 days, however decided to continue to Boyle Flats hut and complete it in the normal 5 days. The Boyle Flats hut was not far away from here and was so inviting to tired trampers, we even met a couple who were running the St James Walkway in a day! Soon after arriving at the hut we decided to go for a swim and a wash in the Boyle river below the swingbridge, even though it took your breath away it was so nice to swim around in the large water holes. The rest of the night was just the usual playing UNO by candle light and talking the night away.