Keep calm and hobble on.

On Day 58 I battled injury, fatigue, sleep deprivation and wintry weather.

Daily Diary – Day 58

I nervously peeled back my sleeping bag hoping that the ankle I had mangled on Day 57 was the result of a bad dream. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. The puffy appendage had doubled in both volume and colour overnight and it was immediately obvious I would struggle to cram it into a soggy hiking boot.

The weather, too, had deteriorated. Sheets of chilly rain had swept through Tapanappa Campground overnight and an opaque fog saturated Deep Creek Conservation Park come morning.

Deep Creek Conservation Park is home to an array of native wildlife such as western grey kangaroos, short beaked echidnas and over 100 bird species. Whales can also be seen during their annual migration, from June to October.
parks.sa.gov.au

Despite the various hardships, I had no choice but to soldier on. The first few kilometres of the day were as expected; a battle. My stiff ankle could only manage slow, tentative steps along the slippery mud-soaked tracks. However, after an hour of blood circulating through my joints, my muted mobility became surprisingly agile.

Deep Creek Conservation Park Trekking West Heysen Trail

A sore and sodden morning.

The biggest disappointment from the day was the scarcity of scenic views. The advertised lookouts through the native foliage toward the endless ocean were obstructed by the pea soup fog. What I could see, however, at a short distance was worth the effort alone. In particular, the Deep Creek Waterfall and the abundance of dazzling lilies (despite their weed status) at Eagle Waterhole Campground were a genuine trail highlight.

Fog Heysen Trail Deep Creek Conservation Park

Because of the unflappable fog and constant cloud coverage, it felt like the sun had never actually risen. The day’s steady breeze had increased to a buffeting gale when I arrived at the blustery Cobbler Hill Campground. Fortunately, there were several semi-sheltered spaces to wrangle my tent into the ground.

With an hour or so of stunted sunlight left, I had nothing left to do but ponder the last two months. Not since Day 25 at Bundaleer Weir Campsite had I taken the time to actively reflect on the journey and my life as a whole. So much had happened since that point and memories of South Australia’s natural beauty came flooding back.

Then it dawned on me, this was my last night on the Heysen Trail, my last sleep in a tent and hopefully my last dehydrated meal for a long while. I suddenly grew incredibly sentimental. A short 13.62 kilometres on Day 59 was all that stood between me and the Cape Jervis finish line.

All the details.

Trail distance covered

15.33km

Accommodation

Cobbler Hill Campground

Price

Available here + park entry fee.

Climate

Cool damp winters with light to heavy showers and some days of rain. The coastal section is prone to fog and misty rain but is warmer than the inland ranges during winter. The ranges are wetter and cooler during winter but are warmer during autumn and spring. Summers are warm to hot and relatively dry.

Terrain

Constant slopes throughout Deep Creek Conservation Park.