The Heysen 74: Ocean

Monday, November 21, 2016 – 21 km

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Today was special because it was my arrival at the ocean! After however many kilometres, I’m about to start the final section of the HT, and everyone says that it’s beautiful. I was planning to bypass Victor Harbor, but I realized that the sunscreen I was gifted is three years expired, so I decided to walk into town via Three Gullies and Jagger roads. I’ll walk out via the longer Heysen spur trail along the ocean, which I expect to be more scenic.

Mostly road-walking today. Another dog ran off a property and started barking two feet from my legs. The owner called it back and told it ‘What are you doing? That’s not good’. A+ FOR DISCIPLINE. THAT WILL MAKE IT BEHAVE DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME. In a portion of trail through fields, I saw a partially buried echidna – cutest and most underrated of Australian animals – and a big black snake.

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The most scenic part of the day was the walk into Victor Harbor through Encounter Bay and those exciting first glimpses of the beach. Light rain fell, welcome because of the heat, but no substantial precipitation until after I arrived at the caravan park and pitched my tent. Victor Harbor has three caravan parks and I’m staying at the beachfront one, which is huge. I wandered in through a side gate and had to hunt for the office. The wind is strong today and I appreciate how the employee took that into consideration when assigning me a site.

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Walking to the town centre, I got stranded when the rain began in earnest. I was wearing my rain jacket but it’s a mess now, with the waterproof layer coming off everywhere, and I had left my poncho in my tent and my sunbrella in Adelaide. I sheltered at the grocery store until the rain lightened to a drizzle.

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Stunning sunset

By the way, I discovered in the logbooks at Myponga Conservation Park that a southbound thru-hiker passed me! I think the trail name was either stampercamper or scampercamper. Not sure whether they passed during my rest day in Mount Compass or during the night. One logbook said ‘Day 39’ so they’re moving quickly. It’s so late in the season that I wasn’t expecting anyone to be on the trail behind me.

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