At some point that first night the baby stopped crying and I fell asleep. I can’t remember which happened first. Alana and I woke up and had our usual breakfast (OSM (One Square Meal) bar and bagel for me, OSM bar for Alana), and then it was time for my least favorite part of the day: packing everything up. We have some really great compact, lightweight gear. I love how little space my sleeping bag and pad take up in my pack, but getting them back into their respective bags in the morning is a painstaking process.
We woke up early (7:00) this morning, so that we could make a low tide crossing. There were two sections of track, one of which could only be used at low tide. The high tide track added an extra hour on to the walk. It was only three hours to the next camp site, so I’m not sure why we were so adamant about taking the low tide route. It was pretty cool walking across the estuary. The sand was dry and tightly packed in some areas, but squishy and moist in others. There were a few sections where the water was still about ankle deep. We had our sandals with us, so we didn’t have to worry about getting our boots wet, or stepping on crabs barefoot.
We made it all the way across and looked back only to see a massive group of day hikers coming across behind us. It seemed like today wouldn’t bring any escape from the human traffic. We wiped the sand off our feet before putting our boots back on and heading down the trail before we got bogged down in the incoming mob.
After the crossing we reached Torrent Bay Village. You read that right. Village. As if large crowds weren’t enough, here we are making our way past a bunch of people’s vacation homes. It was a strange feeling, but it wasn’t long until we were through and back into the forest.
We were making good time, too good time in fact. At the rate we were going we would get to the campsite well before noon. Alana decided we should take a side trip to Sandfly Bay of all places. It was only five minutes off the trail, but it was a very steep five minutes. We ended up on a bunch of boulders next to a beach. Fortunately there weren’t actually any sandflies, at least not where we were sitting. We had a snack and Alana lied down on a rock and proved once and for all that she really can sleep anywhere. I was feeling tired, but due to my paucity of sleepability I was forced to content myself with just sitting and enjoying the scenery.
About an hour later Alana woke up and was ready to start walking again. The climb back up to the trail was pretty brutal, but once we were at the top things leveled out again. We took another quick side trip out to a scenic lookout over the ocean. The view was really nice, but it was so crowded that we didn’t really have a chance to appreciate it. We didn’t pass many people on the way, but when we arrived and looked back there was suddenly a queue forming to take pictures and we were at the front. Someone was kind enough to take a picture for us, but then we just felt like we were in the way and headed back to the trail.
It was only another half an hour to the campsite after that. This campsite, Bark Bay, is right on a really nice beach. Unfortunately it is also overrun with kayakers, boaters, and day hikers. We managed to get a nice spot away from the crowds near some picnic tables though. The weather was really nice, so after we set up the tent we went down to sit on the beach. Alana spent the afternoon reading while I took a nap on the sand (I’m starting to take after Alana). At one point a family of ducks came over looking for food. When we didn’t have any for them they decided to join in on the napping.
When we were ready for dinner we went back to the tent only to find that a group of kayakers on a guided tour had set up a tablecloth, giant camp stove, and other utensils and things on both of the picnic tables. Alana was especially sour about this, but we made do and had a good dinner of Easy Mac and dehydrated peas. We had two bags of Easy Mac and one bag of peas each. There were a lot more peas than we expected and it ended up being more like cheesy peas with some noodles mixed it. It still tasted alright and now we knew to just use one pack of peas next time.
We ate in bitter silence while our neighbor’s hired guide cooked their food for them, wiped their mouths, and tucked them in. Ok just kidding, we had a nice dinner and the guided tour group didn’t have any screaming babies so we didn’t have any trouble falling asleep afterwards.