Day 15: Wednesday, July 4th, around Nanao. 6hrs
This day was just going to be about exploring the charming little town of Nanao. I had known from my last trip that there was no way I could both see the local coastline thoroughly and move onwards to the next train station on the same day. For one thing, there was a little hilly nature trail right next to where I had stopped last time that had coast views, and I couldn’t very well miss that. Then there was a fairly long shoreline, with a river to cross. So, on this day I thought I’d just check out Nanao. The nature trail was nice, and not too challenging, which was good because it was about 35C and humid as hell. After the two km walk in the hills, I went through some pretty farmland towards the beach. Some of the views of the mountains in the distance, contrasted with the beautiful verdant farmland around me, were stunning. I found a dirt track towards the beach, passing some Aborigine families relaxing in a cold spring swimming hole, and a duck farm. I got to the beach, which was nice, but soon found that the river would be a bitch to cross. The problem was the risk of getting my cell phone and digital camera wet. The water was just a bit too fast and deep to be sure I wouldn’t wipe out. I found one place to cross that was OK, and proceeded down the beach, but then found, 1km later, that I had crossed the minor channel and that the main channel looked like it would be much tougher! I had to backtrack almost all of the day’s coastal progress, get to a road, cross a bridge, and then cut back to the ocean. Although the river channel was no more than 5 meters wide, I had to walk about 4 km to get to the other side! This was all just to save the electronic stuff, which was of course indispensable. (That’s when the idea of having a “dry keeping” device occurred to me.) I continued along the beach just south of Nanao, which had jeep access. It was really quite lovely, with nice cliffs, interesting colors in the rock, and tumbled boulders everywhere. I went about 1km, but then had to worry about time and trains. I hastened back to the train station, though a nice farming settlement. I had sweated so much on that day that, even after drinking 4L of water throughout the day, and an additional 1.5 L of water on the way to the station, I only urinated minimally. I actually started thinking I had some kind of problem, but then after drinking more and more water, things got back to normal.