Today we would walk the 20 kilometers out of the park, after a fairly miserable afternoon and night of rain we were sure of it. We packed up the gear and food in all our backpacks and went to see the rock one last time. Then, we realized it was the day we had waited for! Clean, long lines of surf, 4-5 ft, peeling in front of the rock. That is when we agreed we could last one more day, it wasn’t going to rain again we reasoned. We spent all morning, from 8 am until 1 pm surfing perfect waves and getting little barrels all to ourselves. It was like straight out of The Endless Summer and a truly epic day. Then, we saw the clouds come back, and realized we were in for another miserable afternoon filled with mosquitoes and the damp, sauna like conditions of the previous day. However, unlike the previous day, which lasted for only about an hour and a half, this day lasted for hours, keeping us in the tent all afternoon and into the night before allowing us to go back to the comfort of our hammocks. The rest of the night we slept in our hammocks fairly well, with only a light rain occasionally.
With food running low and a miserable afternoon the previous day, we loaded our gear on our backs and headed out. Despite the rain, we had a lot of fun that week and I was going to miss the park and the rock. We looked to Witches Rock one last time before turning and walking towards the path that would take us back to the entrance.
Our first steps took us though a muddy estuary. Our feet sunk in to the mud and we trudged through with our packs and surfboards, over 60 lbs each in all. Monkeys, screamed at us as we threaded our way through the acacias on the side where the path was a little drier. We walked for a solid hour through mostly flat swampy land before we came upon a river. We then took off our shoes and transported the gear across, keeping a watchful eye our for crocs. After all our gear and boards were safely on the other side, we sat down for some water and a cliff bar. We knew that while the ground was muddy and difficult to walk through before, it was going to get a whole lot worse before the path got better.
Fifteen minutes later we loaded the gear up again and started the climb as the hill became much steeper. For the next 10 kilometers the path led straight uphill and as you can imagine getting all the gear through that distance was not the most fun part of our trip. After an hour and a half of steady walking the track leveled out to only a gradual uphill and we walked on through mud and water that we would need to occasionally take off our shoes to cross before finally making it to the camp. We arrived at the midway camp at 2 in the afternoon and made a late lunch at 3 before relaxing the rest of the day. Throughout the afternoon, we saw deer, many birds and racoons which made the night that much better. After the sun set, we looked for snakes for a time before going to bed.
We arose with a breakfast of peanut butter sandwiches as usual, packed up our gear, and proceeded the rest of the way out of the park. At first, the paved road with only slight undulations made the walk much nicer than the previous day; however, after the first kilometer the sky opened up into a downpour that lasted the next 6 km. We trudged on, through the pelting rain until we finally arrived at the entrance of the park and the main highway. Our muscles ached, our faces were sunburned, and we had mosquito bites covering our bodies, but as the bus pulled up to the stop all we could think about was the awesome waves we got!