A note from Ben: Hi Guys, this is day 2 of Adrian’s trip to Wilsons Prom, Click Here for day 1; or enjoy day 2!
It was a very quiet night, absolutely no noise, no wind, dead quiet. I had heard horror stories from other bushwalkers of hungry possums and critters literally getting inside tents during the night in search of food items, so I slept with the torch and machete close at hand. Maybe it was my snoring that frightened them away, well alleged snoring – my wife claims I do…..
I awoke around 0730 to a glorious sunny day, light wind with some loose cloud. Breakfast was porridge and sultanas accompanied with coffee. Very nice indeed. As my foot was still aggravating me a little, I decided not to continue on to Roaring Meg or South Point but instead to go back along Telegraph Track and stay at Oberon Bay campsite which was only some 5.5 kms west. It was longer to go back that way rather than along Telegraph Track to Tidal River but Telegraph Track was all uphill, this wasn’t. I could take my time getting back too as I wasn’t expected home for another two days.
The track quickly turned to sand
The track quickly changed at the junction from a granite based road to a soft, sandy track which made it a little harder to walk along despite being relatively flat. The vegetation changed dramatically too, from scrub to mainly ferns and tee-tree in the swampy areas. I met a few people coming the other way, so I had a bit of a chat and swapped track notes. I arrived at Oberon Bay campsite in a couple of hours, which I was happy about, set up camp and had a nice cup of tea, mmmmmmmmm. I was at this point getting a little worried about my water situation. I had brought 3 litres with me in Army canteens as I was told water would be available in most places but it did need to be treated. Oddly though, the only shop (which is in Tidal River) on the entire 50,000 hectare peninsula had run out of sterilising tablets and wouldn’t have any for another week, despite assurances beforehand that they had plenty. I wasn’t at the stage just yet of looking at drinking my own urine though
. There was a “Water” signpost pointing to a flowing fish filled creek so I took heart and grabbed my empty bottle. There was another sign next to the creek that said “Do Not Drink” . Mmmmmm, bit of a dilemma here. So I filled my bottles and set about distilling something drinkable from this yellow fluid from the creek
filtering the boiled creek water through my pants
I boiled the water twice then filtered it through the legs of my hiking pants (the legs unzip to make shorts so don’t stress about where the water went through). Despite this it still tasted “plastic and creamy” if that makes sense, somewhat akin to bore water. Urine was starting to look attractive right about now. Still, it was better than nothing, but I decided to keep that water for the last day. If I was going to get crook, I didn’t want it to be tonight, out here.
“filtered” creek water – yummy
I walked down to the beach and I immediately fell in love with the place. It had everything, mountains, surf, clear water and an ambience that words simply cannot describe. I would have to say that at this stage, it has to be my favourite cove. I walked the length and breadth of it, some 3 kms or so in total and had a bit of a splash in the water. It was easy to just sit and take in the presence of the place. Huge granite boulders like Easter Island statues, sat perched high up on the mountain over looking all those who stay here and waves that created the most amazing patterns. And warm!! Port Philip Bay at this time was still around 16-17C but this was like standing in a spa, easily low 20’s.
pools around the granite rocks
It is a serene, pristine place. Flat sand, water pools around hill-borne rocks and no shells. I walked the entire beach and found only one shell! Just walking around here inspires feelings of peace and tranquillity. Sure, other ocean beaches do that but this one somehow feels different. I liked this place.
I spent most of the day exploring the beach, the rocks and dabbling in the water. I met a Swiss couple who had never physically been on a beach before. Switzerland, being a landlocked country, simply has no oceans and they had never felt sand before and obviously knew nothing of the flies. They inquired about them and if they bite. Flies here are like small Cessna aircraft with teeth and love the taste of me at least. This couple had neither insect repellent nor sunscreen and obviously knew nothing of an Australian summer for that matter either. But that is forgivable for a tourist. I have a combination of insect repellent and sunscreen that works very well so when I returned to my tent I emptied some into a small left over zip-lock bag and gave the tube to them.
Later in the afternoon, dinner was a simple affair with water and now gas rationed after using most of it to kill off anything nasty that the water may have held. Some “Uncle Ben’s Chinese Style Rice” (very economical in terms of both water and gas usage) and a packet of Safcol tuna thrown in. Very nice. It’s amazing the pre-cooked and non- refrigerated stuff that you can get now.
I did plan to go to the beach to watch the sun set and to see stars without light interference but that went by the wayside when the clouds set in. Still, I had the trusty book and the rest of the red to compensate. See what tomorrow brings.
Note from Ben: Thanks for reading Day 2; Adrian will be back in another week or so with day 3!
For those of you whom are unsure about water treatment, the brown colour in the water is tannin from upstream vegetation; as long as you boil the water and allow it to cool, and filter the larger debris out of it you can safely drink the water. Alternatively you could chemically treat with a variety of available treatments or even use a charcoal and ceramic filter like I do. The charcoal filter helps mitigate some of that strong tannin taste that many people find unpalatable.