We awoke to a grey day, threatening rain which duly started soon after we began hiking. Under way by 10 am, we set off along the beach past the stinky seaweed and picked up the trail in the forest again. We crossed a slippery-looking little creek as it ran over smooth rock using a hand-rope for guidance (which wasn’t really necessary), and began our first uphill stretch.
Which was quickly followed by our first downhill stretch, through some mud, over a creek and into our next uphill. And that was pretty much the pattern for the whole day. The rain was light but with the tree cover, the mild temperature and effort of hauling our packs, we saw no need to wear rain gear. We figured that with quick-dry clothing we’d be able to dry off soon enough during any dry spells. The down side of the rain was that it made the slippery logs and roots even more slippery.
The forest seemed to alternate between areas of fabulous old growth and sterile second growth. As each up and down was over a narrow spine of land, it seemed that some were easier to get to for logging than others. We saw some fantastic trees and some truly awful areas of second growth. We stopped for lunch in one of the dips, where Merewyn entertained us with one of her poop sandwiches (she’s claims it’s almond butter…) and my pack was attacked by a rampant slug.
More up, up, up followed almost immediately by the next down, down, down. There was mud too, just to keep things interesting, but I was pleasantly surprised to encounter less than I expected. Eventually we came within sight of Chin Beach, first spotting the cabin up on the clifftop. We descended to the beach just as a large group caught up with us (we’d passed them earlier in the day). Our reaction was to get on to the beach as soon as possible and yomp along to grab the best possible camp spots we could muster.
We lucked out with a nice one just off the beach with a couple of logs on two sides, bushes on the others. A previous occupant had stacked up logs vertically to form a wind break of sorts. A little exposed, but it meant we could lay out a few things to dry in the breeze. Thankfully it had stopped raining, and our tent fly and pack covers were soon dry.
Near our camp spot was a big rock just off the beach where we spotted an otter fishing, and then where Andrew and Merewyn went for a swim. A nice spot to relax and spend the afternoon. John put his fire-building skills to the test again and right on cue, the sun came out. We cooked and ate dinner in the sunshine and life was good. The tide went out enough for us to get over to the otter rock and explore it, finding all manner of sea life in the rock pools.
The sun went down over the sea and we burned our fire well into the night. Time, eventually, to retire for the night and see what the next day had in store.