Bit of a different start to this morning! Very cloudy and cool after yesterday’s low 30s Celsius.
Actually managed to get to breakfast at around 6.35 a.m. – a result for us. Very decent spread – even the coffee was good.
Off for our first excursion of the day – a rainforest walk. This commenced with a 30 minute very noisy, dieselly, boat trip further into the inlet with our guides, Effie and Richard, plus a Dutch family of six.
We disembarked in the middle of nowhere and started a pretty tough walk through the forest. Very undulating, uneven, rocky and narrow in places – gave my dodgy knees and even dodgier sense of balance a proper workout.
About 15 minutes in, the mother of the Dutch party, Joanne, (who was actually originally a Geordie) fell flat on her face, twisting her ankle so badly that she couldn’t put any weight on it. She could go no further, so we stayed where we were for another half-hour whilst a rescue party with a stretcher was organised. This was very difficult for the two young boys in the party, aged 10 and 11, both of whom were hyperactive. However, the stretcher eventually arrived, and Mum was put on it ready for a trip back down to the rescue boat.
One of the guides, Richard, plus Mum’s husband and two other guys were the stretcher bearers. That must have been a really hard journey back to the boat.
The rest of us headed further along the track for probably another 3 kilometres or so in very humid conditions – this is rain forest after all, and ancient at that.
We finally hit upon a clearing by a river, known as The Café, where Jean and I, being the old folk, sat on a commodious tree trunk whilst the others made themselves comfortable by the riverside or ran around on the stony beach, depending on their age. Effie had brought the wherewithal to make coffee/tea/mocha, plus some cookies and other comestibles. So passed a very pleasant half hour or so, during which time Richard and the father of the Dutch group, Ingmar, rejoined us. The weather had improved dramatically by now.
Similarly tough walk back to the boat, and we arrived back at the lodge, pretty knackered, 15 minutes late for lunch because of the rescue effort.
We were given a bit more latitude because of this, but at 1.15 we were on our way for excursion No. 2. Just the two of us this time, led by the delightful Anna, a 6’2″ storehouse of knowledge.
The first part of this second trip was a drive in a 4×4 along an old logging trail, maintained by the lodge. We stopped at a couple of bridges on the way, the first by Tom Brown’s Lake, named after a logger who lived here:
The second bridge was more interesting, as there were a couple of camera stands used in the making of the Disney film “Bears”, last used in 2012.
We carried on up the logging trail, around the edge of the estuary and up into the hills behind the lodge.
After quite a long, rather bumpy but enjoyable ride, expertly driven by Anna, we stopped in a clearing and started to walk further uphill, reaching a boardwalk. This made the going easier, but it was steep in places. Anna kept us informed the whole way up with regard to the fauna (mainly bears) and flora – a huge diversity of plants and trees here.
Finally, we reached our destination – a platform overlooking Glendale Cove.
Absolutely stunning views:
Lovely breeze blowing as well. We spent a good 15 minutes just chilling out up here.
Time to go down again to start the second part of our afternoon excursion – bear tracking.
Our first stop was a hide above the confluence of two rivers, which later in the year could yield some great footage of bears fishing for salmon. Nothing doing right now, but a nice spot all the same.
We then investigated a couple of well-worn bear trails, with unfortunately no sightings of actual bears. However, we were treated to the best known rubbing tree in the area:
Fascinating stuff, particularly as Anna showed us some footage of bears using the tree, taken with one of the remote cameras dotted around the estate for research purposes.
All too soon, it was time to go back across the cove to the lodge. We got some final pictures of a bear on the shoreline:
Then, the bar, followed by dinner. I have to say the local gin is excellent….. As is the food. Amazing how they deliver this quality here.
We were joined at dinner by Anna and her boyfriend, Bryn, who had led us on our first excursion at this wonderful place. Two great people to socialise with.
We then watched most of the film “Bears” aforementioned. Interesting, but rather tempered by some boys larking around, despite being told on several occasions to be quiet. They were all Dutch, and apparently were just “being children” according to the father of one of the boys. Hmmmm….
Time for bed. This is our last night here. 😪