Start: Colac Bay
Finish: Martins Hut
Disclaimer: severe lack of photos today due to the heavy rain.
After a beautiful rest day yesterday I woke up feeling refreshed and almost brand new, which was good considering the long day through the infamous Longwood Forest ahead of us.
The day started with a trudge along the road in the rain, no path this time, literally along the road, until the start of the forest track.
The track started off lovely, weaving through the forest but then quickly turned to mud.
The mud had begun.
We knew it was quite a way to the first hut for lunch so we decided to power through, helped by the fact that we were wet and cold due to the unforgiving rain.
But those KMs turned into a very long time and I was starting to get very impatient and frustrated when I saw a flash of a building through the trees.
We practically ran there, bursting open the door to find a dirt floor and a dark and damp 2 person hut.
Not wanting to linger because we were cold, we had a quick snack before heading off again.
I was still feeling good and positive at this point and when we came to a plank across a gully a few metres down my excitement increased, what an adventure this was!
Filled with adrenaline and knowing there was no other way across I slowly made my way across, Jacqui following behind me.
We took some photos then I took off again, filled with energy and a general pleasure to be doing this.
But then, more mud. We tried to avoid it the best we could but once you’ve sunk in past your knees there isn’t much point trying to navigate around it.
At this point, I started to get frustrated, I knew we had to descend down to Martins Hut but we weren’t descending yet, and then we came to a river crossing. No-one had mentioned a river crossing in the notes.
And due to the rain, the river was flooded. Shit!
Excitement and dread combined, I gingerly waded in, finding the shallowest bit to cross.
After high-fiving we set off, but could soon hear fast moving water again. I prayed we didn’t have to cross another one, but of course we did, and this one was scarier.
A series of waterfalls, too strong to cross at the shallow bits but too deep to cross anywhere else.
For the first time today I felt unsure and scared.
Were we best to turn around? Did we want to pitch our tents in the rain? Or was I just hesitant because I haven’t done many river crossings before?
So across I went, opting for a shallow but strong bit, using my two poles I took it slow, bracing against the onslaught of water.
And then I was across, and then Jacqui was across.
Still reeling from the adrenaline we made our way to yet another river crossing, but this one was easy compared to the last one.
But still, Martins Hut seemed to be avoiding us, the KMs came and went and still no hut.
Eventually, after a steep and slippery descent we came to a DOC sign, except Martin’s Hut wasn’t on it. Which way do we go?
Thankfully, I checked the other side and Martin’s Hut was only 100m away!
Jacqui took off running and I quickly followed.
Getting to the hut we were saturated and cold and priority number 1 was warm clothes. We stripped, got into our dry clothes and enveloped ourselves in our sleeping bags, hoping our warm breath would help warm us up.