I’m ready. Eric gives me a lift to outskirts of Adelaide. I decided to follow his advice and hike part of Heysen trail he completed a week earlier. The hike supposed to take 3 days. I have my tent, sleeping bag, change of clothes, some food and plenty of water. The area supposed to be dry with an ongoing fire alert.
Eric drops me in a perfect spot The most of the traffic is heading south towards Victor Harbor. Withing few minutes, I am picked up by Paul. He went for a ride with his dog and plans to visit his brother in a nearby town. Paul decides to help me out, he changes his plans and takes me extra 40 km to my destination.
I am extremely happy. I hope to push today and complete hike within 2 days. I start early afternoon with several km long heritage trail. It takes me along the coastline to the King’s beach. The view is breathtaking.
I follow The Heysen Trail along the coast. Soon visible red marks direct me inland. I pass by a campsite and walk back towards the coast. I encounter another beach. Seals! No, only surfers in their black suites. Several fisherman are trying their luck. The sand is soft and the beach spreads through several km.
The time pass quickly. The day is hot. I replenish bottle in nearby campsite and drink a lot. I eat some nuts to push hunger away. A growl catch my attention. A sea lion is either calling me or announces a sunset. It’s already getting dark. The last hour, I walk in complete darkness.
Hitchhiking Tip – Head torch
This little thing saved my ass multiple times. Sometimes your phone is just not enough, especially when you try to find the right way using GPS.
I climb hills, go through random fences and wake up a bunch of sheep. I still have quite a bit of energy when I arrive to my planned campsite. It’s empty. No people, no campsite, Maps.me isn’t perfect. It’s late. I end up sleeping in a weird position at a 10 degree angle. I’ve walked 32 km! Only 30 km to go, easy.
My second day starts well. I welcome sunrise. I walk by waking up sheep and kangaroos with a smile on my face. I top up my water reserves using a nearby stream. Another 5 km of sandy beach. It’s a pretty place and deadly slow to cross.
The trail changes. Multiple hills and lots of elevation to conquer. At the top of a hill I stop for a rest. I notice a bunch of 20 dolphins playing in water and riding the wave like a pro. I am stunned.
It’s afternoon. It’s over 30 degree Celsius. The wind is punishing. I realise something while looking at the map. I was wrong. It isn’t 30 km left to complete trail, but 45 km. My plan goes to trash. I run out of water. Luckily I encounter a campsite and rainwater silos.
I already made 25 km and I’m far away from the nearest campsite when I run out of water again. I’ve been drinking constantly and eating unsalted peanuts to have some energy. It’s not enough. I’m exhausted and feel dehydrated after consuming over 4 litres of water in the last couple of hours. In front of me is the valley of death. The tormented forest is the victim of unforgiving sun. The trees are black and white. Maybe a fire went through this area? It feels like the nature around me is sucking moisture out of my body.
I reach the bottom of the valley. I know there is a campsite a couple of km up, but it feels so far. I want to rest, but there is barely any shadow around. I’m worried of snakes and watch carefully area around me. I find a stream. I am so happy my filter bottle is blue. I cannot see the yellow water, I am drinking. I close my eyes to not look at soil and a fly inside my bottle. The water is cold, refreshing and tasty. Fuck yeah! I’m saved. I can rest.
I’m walking up the hill and through a healthy forest. An encountered echidna is scared of me and digs in the leafy ground. Her sharp spines give her a good protection. A moment later i freeze. A bright, colourful reptile makes me sweat. Few seconds later it moves and I recognise a shingleback lizard. Soon I find a proper campsite. I quickly set up my tent and fall asleep immediately.
Last 15 km is flat and relatively easy. I am fed up of eating nuts and want something different. I am fantasizing about food, I can have once done with the trail. I want something substantial and dream of sugar rush. I move quickly.
The food in ferry terminal at Cape Jervis isn’t cheap. I feel that I earned it. A sandwich, a can of coke and a chocolate bar. I satisfy my cravings, organise and look for a ride. Two elderly ladies give me a short lift to the center of town.
The ferry just arrived from the Kangaroo Island. I hope to find a car heading back to Adelaide. It doesn’t happen. Not straight away. Troy was visiting Cape Jervis. 100 km to Adelaide in his company goes quick. I’m stuffing my face with more food and drink, we share some fun travel stories. He drops me off next to the beach. I can relax.