Prologue: Getting to the start…
A few weeks before I actually started this walk, I had a bit of a false start: I caught the bus down to Cape Jervis on Sunday afternoon for a Monday start, and the weather turned overnight from light rain to wild storms and I had to beat a hasty retreat.
This time, I had a better plan: I would travel down on the early Monday bus (6:45am) – the bus doesn’t run if the weather is lousy and the ferry to Kangaroo Island is not running, so less chance of getting stranded at the start again. Easier said than done though, the counter jumper at the bus station wouldn’t sell me a ticket for the early bus, and claimed that the only bus I could get on was the afternoon service.
Back home on the web, I easily purchased a $24 seat on the 6:45 bus and was duly handed an orange pass at the bus station on Monday morning. On arrival at Cape Jervis, I realised that if I just cleared off without handing in the orange pass there might be some angst while they searched for me, so I handed it to the bus driver as I collected my pack and said “I don’t need this” to which he replied, “yes you do, you need it to get on the ferry” He was somewhat taken aback by my response: “I’m not going on the ferry” Apparently the morning busses are charter services, and only intended to carry tourists to the KI ferry. It seems I just drove a truck through a rather large hole in their system. haha. After my screwing with their system, this may not be an easy task to repeat in the future, but if you keep quiet there is no reason you couldn’t buy a ticket on the ferry as well, but just not get on it… This whole episode caused me much amusement at the start of the walk.
Day 1, Monday September 12 2011
Near Cape Jervis and the start of the Heysen Trail
I couldn’t find any potable water at the start, so I added another bottle from the ferry terminal to top up my supply to 1.1L and started about 9:20am on a clear and cool day. The beginning was uneventful with walking through pasture and coastal scrubland with good views across Backstairs Passage to KI and the diminishing ferry that I was somehow supposed to be on. Destination for the day was Cobblers Hill and perhaps Eagle Waterhole depending on progress. Once I warmed up, I was walking in a light thermal top. Had Lunch at Blowhole Beach where a surfer ran over to me asking to have a cut on his shoulder doused with my precious water. The only other people I saw during the day were a couple of old ladies walking their dogs on a lonely beach in the middle of nowhere.
Kangaroo Island seen through the Casuarinas. Deep Creek Cons. Park.
After arriving too early at Cobbler Hill I decided to top up my water from the tank (70% full) and move on to Eagle Waterhole. On arriving at Eagle Waterhole I found an even more full watertank and a school group occupying the prime camping area, but I found a nice quiet spot behind the shelter without much trouble.
Scarp pitched at Eagle Waterhole.
The Campsite was well treed, and having taken up an interest in hammocking, I had a good look at the tree spacing and decided there would be no problem finding a spot to hang a hammock here. Walking around, I was swooped upon and dive bombed by one of the resident maggies! Also surprised to find phone reception here, and a walk up the hill from the campsite gave very good reception. So much for isolation!
Cooked up a dehydrated meal on the new Jetboil Sol (works brilliantly, and very economical) and retired to peaceful sleep once the schoolkids had quietened down.