16. Loch Maree – Supper Cove (Dusky Track 4/8)

Sunday, February 26: Sunny throughout

Tramping 15.0 km

Supper Cove Hut (Doc)

Keas were heard playing on the roof & calling at night and in the dawn. There was also a bit of snoring during the night, and I don’t know how much sleep I got. In any case everyone was up and about around 7:30, which also had to mean me. My stuff was not particularly dry, and I had had no time to wash anything yesterday, so after my breakfast, and being reassured that everyone was going to make it, I pushed off on my own at 9:30.

The first two hours were pretty much up and down, around the rockfall that caused Loch Maree. After that the track became very flat and mud-free for a longer stretch, which I used to crunch the kilometres. After about 2½ hours through this section (and beginning to wonder whether all had stayed at Supper Cove) I came across the Canadians, who said they had three hours behind them (I don’t know how they do it. From that point onwards I had another 5½ hours). After the relatively good part it was swampy for a considerable distance and I first met the Dutch couple followed by Jack & Nico who were taking a break at the riverside. I gave Jack his Raybans and he was happy that at least one thing had found its way back to him. I accepted a hug as a reward, then I had my lunch of two muesli bars and the remains of the currants.

Traversing the swamps was only interrupted by numerous three-wire bridges and a number of stream crossings that had no bridges at all. Time seemed to drag on, but finally I reached the beach @ around 4:00. Now the question whether to take the high road or the low road. I first tried the high road, which went up very high indeed over jumbles of boulders forming caves, then it came down to the beach. Wanting to get to the hut as soon as I could I attempted walking along the sand, but the further path was still under water. So it was back via bush bash to the track and more than an hour until I reached the hut. Plenty of stuff to wash and dry here, and I may soon make a start.

First of all, collected some firewood, then got out of the wet stuff. Lit the fire, got some rice cooking (¾ cup of rice + 1½ cups of water, still a little grainy, but much better than previously achieved). Together with the instant noodles, that was a sufficient meal. There is coal here, but it is difficult to get the stove to transition from wood to coal, so I may well have to collect some more firewood. Sprayed insecticide, which did reduce the number of sandflies significantly.

Apart from a toaster, the place also has a sink so some reasonable washing can get done tonight, as a last resort. Hat, pack, towels & boots are already drying. Found an extra gas bottle which I used to heat water for washing the clothes (such a luxury! warm water) and boil some water for drinking.

Down to Dusky Sound. GPS quality: 30/30, coverage: 100%, download: Loch Maree - Supper Cove GPX (1026 downloads)
Can’t see map? Click here!

Set the camera up to do the shadow moving up the mountain in the sunset until the batteries run out.

Noted that the tide was coming in @ 7:30. A boat turned up just at dusk but set no one ashore (yet, and it is already dark. The generator is still going, though). Collected some more firewood (there is enough of it) and I hope my things dry tonight.

What countryside! Enchanted forests wherever you choose to look, the magic light as it changes during the day. The toughness of the walk.

Moths are beginning to drive me half crazy by flying into the headlamp. Applied some polidocanol to the inner ankles which had been bitten to bits in Loch Maree, especially on the right. Will have to try a bracketed pan with the camera before I leave. HDR.bas takes up a lot of lines, but perhaps it can be used as a stopgap for the moment.

Dusky Track, half done.