Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Secret Is To Know When To Stop: Sandy Point to Roches Beach

Sunday in Tasmania was another of those days with a seemingly endless series of weather warnings, bushwalkers, mariners, even sheep, were warned that the day would be full of wild weather with strong winds, snow, hail, and thunderstorms. If I am not camping out, I love being out in bad weather. There is something stirring about wandering the hills or coast in strong winds, lashing rain, and dampening fog. Not wanting to drive too far, I chose Seven Mile Beach for the days walk and went out well equipped for miserable weather. 
Parking at Day Use Area #3, I wandered down to the deserted beach and walked the seven kilometres up to Sandy Point. No-one was about, not even the usual dog-walkers within the usual ten minutes of the parking lot, the wind was wildly blowing out to sea and dark clouds scudded over Mount Wellington. As I was walking back, I noted a prominent hill at the south end of the beach - Single Hill - and decided it would be good to also walk down there and hike up to the top for a view. So, I ambled the other four kilometres down to the south end of the beach, passing a few dog walkers near to the various car parks. 

 Lonely beach

At the south end of the beach, a set of stairs led up to a nice relatively new looking track so I figured I should follow this track and see where it led. The track climbed slightly and then wrapped around the headland below Single Hill eventually reaching Roches Beach. It was all delightfully pleasant as the weather, apart from 25 knot winds, was really quite benign. My feet, however, were starting to get a bit sore as I was wearing, as is usual, a pair of worn out shoes with the soles falling off. I found a memorial picnic bench and sat for a few minutes to rub my feet and drink a thermos of green tea before thinking I should amble on back as time was slipping away and I had been walking well over four hours. 

 Rainbow over Seven Mile Beach

Back on the beach, a rainbow was hanging over one lonely boat moored under Single Hill, a threatening grey cloud loomed over head, and the beach was entirely deserted, even near the parking areas. I strolled back, partly on the beach and partly on a sandy track immediately behind sand dunes. At one point, I did wonder if I had somehow missed the parking area, but, on reflection I realised I had simply walked much further than I remembered, so I ambled on until, six hours and 30 kilometres after starting out, I wandered, somewhat footsore in to Day Use Area #3. Sometimes, I start walking and don't know when to stop.

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