South Cape Track 2020
South Cape Track 2020 - Food Planning Wednesday, 6 January 2021
South Cape Track - Day 6 - We really are there Saturday, 2 January 2021
South Cape Track - Day 5 - Are we there yet? Saturday, 2 January 2021
South Cape Track - Day 4 - Beaches Saturday, 2 January 2021
South Cape Track - Day 3 - The Ironbounds Saturday, 2 January 2021
South Cape Track - Day 2 - River Crossings Friday, 1 January 2021
South Cape Track - Day 1 - Up and Away! Friday, 1 January 2021

South Cape Track - Day 5 - Are we there yet?

Saturday, 2 January 2021

If you didn't look too closely at the map, day 5 looked easy. Just 13 or so kms with a nice finish at South Cape Rivulet.  Unfortunately Paul had looked closely at the map and counted that we had nearly the same amount of climb to do as on the crossing of the Ironbounds.  Oh Dear.

We started off with a short and sharp 200m ascent of the ridge behind our campsite. A bit of a heart starter but we were at the top after about 20 sweaty minutes and had an easy descent to Granite Beach to follow.   


The tide was in, so after we stopped to collect water about 2/3 of the way down the beach, we had to walk on the huge round rocks the rest of the way, hoping a rogue wave didn't catch us.


Granite beach has a cool waterfall dropping over the cliffs to the rocky beach below:

But with the crashing waves we weren't too keen to hang around and admire it, so we followed our path up the rocks, passing the source of the falls on the way


We passed through the large and nice looking Granite Beach Campsite (where we would have camped if we were taking an extra day), then started on our second and highest climb of the day - another 470 metres up and over South Cape Range.  


Again it was steep and exhausting but we were making good progress until about a kilometre from the top, where we hit the mud. Endless, deep, energy sapping mud.  And it didn't stop at the top. 


I did notice the colour of the mud changed from time to time. From the peaty black mud, the to the clayish brown mud (which we had experienced a lot of on the Ironbounds descent), to the sandy coloured mud of actual streams. 

An hour later we'd made it a single kilometre further and we sat exhausted in a creek waiting for satan to come and greet us as we were clearly in hell.


It was around this point we asked each other how much we would need to be paid to turn around and walk the 5 days back to Melaleuca. The agreed fee was $20000 each, which, at this point, was quite reasonable.

Thankfully, just 10 minutes after this point we climbed up a little and out of the rainforest (which was actually really really pretty but hard to enjoy!) to a spot where we could stop for lunch without sinking into the depths of the quagmire.  We agreed that we would forego lunch on the final day (and cross our fingers that Clare would come in with food), so we could have extra rations and it was fantastic. Probably the only thing that gave us strength to complete the rest of that days hike!

It wasn't all peachy from there as we still had more climb and more mud to contend with, but we had some bursts of pleasure with as section of boardwalk through a flowery open section (see how happy I look),


and some descents which didn't involve mud.  The last ridge was a real killer, with our energy completely sapped we were down to resting about every 10 minutes.  Check out Rob's face:


It was hard to stop ourselves from grabbing the hikers we passed on their way IN and begging them not to go further! Instead we just wished them well and let them through - they had their own adventures to live!

..and then finally. FINALLY, we made it to South Cape Rivulet. Never had a rivulet looked so good.


We waded across the river, dumped our stuff, washed our gear,  and set up camp in the trees beside the rivulet.


Jett and Paul looking pleased with themselves as they have nabbed Jon and my chairs. 

Everything was so lovely and peaceful. 






It was so good to be done. Not just done for the day, but almost done for the hike. We had a peaceful evening with the last of the Strive dehydrated meals and dry 2 minute noodles. We were pretty much down to 1 breakfast and a few snacks left for the final day but nothing was going to stop us now.