Oh Hinchinbrook, what an adventure you were!
This was not just that hike and trek along careful cleared tracks, with man made steps assisting you on your journey and making the direction clear… now don’t get me wrong both hikes I have done previously were physically challenging, for me at least, and there were lots of ascents and descents and we walked long distances daily… but this one, this Hinchinbrook… well she was a wild and challenging experience for sure, which is of course why we named ourselves ‘The Wild Women!’
With 20 kilo’s on our back we set off we enthusiasm and excitement all wrapped up in a little bit of fear… a little bit scared of the physical challenge, a little bit scared of the unknown and a tiny bit scared of the crocodiles… but we are wild women and we are strong and we have got this (well that is what we kept telling ourselves and each other.), and then a whole lot of excitement about the beauty that lay in front of us for us to discover.
So it was all about following the arrows that would keep us on our path and show us the way… so you can imagine our surprise when the arrow was on a tree pointing straight up and rock cliff face was in front of us… do you think they mean they want us to go straight up and over that??? How the hell are we supposed to do that? This is ridiculous?… and then … Ok, we have got this, one step at time… if you go up first and throw your pack up, and then I will throw mine up, and then I will climb up, careful… OK, awesome you did it, we did it and look at the view and then… holy shit we have to climb down that… and so then we think that was the biggest challenge but each day held a new one and that is why it was an adventure like no other…
There was rock hopping, cliff climbing, mountain climbing, mountain descending, beach walking, creek walking, rock jumping, swamp crossing… yep this hike has it all… we had to practice mindfulness, be in the moment and watch every step.. it was a delicate dance between watching where you put your feet while managing the weight on your back … one wrong move and you could end up with a sprained ankle, face planted into a rock or falling back and hitting your head… or worse!
We had to carry everything we needed and fill our water from the creeks each day… and sometimes you had to go in search of water.. our packs were heavy but also our best friend.
We all felt such a great sense of achievement and like have joined a special club having done it… now I know there are more challenging climbs, but for us three Wild Women it was an achievement and an experience with a depth and a breadth that will forever make an impact… our breathe was taken away so often and not just with the physical challenge but with the views… she challenged us with her difficult climbs and empowered us as we made each one… the cold pools we bathed in delighted us with their beauty and soothed our tired and sore muscles, the water falls mesmerised us… a therapy session for the inside and out!
Hinchinbrook Island is so beautiful, thank you Mother Nature and thanks to Kathy Petersen and Carolyn Cross my partners in climbing and adventure… bonded forever by this adventure, sharing an experience that the photos and words will never quite be able to fully describe!
PS Thank you body for still being strong enough and healthy enough at 50 to take me on such wonderful adventures!!