Coastal walking, it’s gold.

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When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.  Rainer Maria Rilke

I’ve been fortunate to visit several places by the sea of late and I’ve taken full advantage of these visits to indulge with morning walks along the shoreline as well as afternoon frolics. I find the energy of the ocean and a sandy beach satisfies the body, soothes the soul and clears the mind.  It’s hard for me to go long periods of time before returning for more.

After a particularly busy few weeks at work and finding myself unaccompanied for the weekend I went in search of a local walk. My objective was to get out into the fresh air, collect some geocaches and walk for hours. So I hopped onto the geocaching website and found a power tail, by the sea.

I should briefly explain what geocaching is and what power trails are. I was introduced to the world of geocaching about five years ago by my son. At first, I didn’t quite understand how it worked but I was soon hooked once I discovered the places it took me, that it involved getting outdoors and there was a little challenge built-in (I’m a sucker for a challenge). It ticked the boxes for a  fun pastime.

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See those little smiley faces? They represent the caches I found on my walk.

I describe geocaching as being like a treasure hunt. More officially, it is an activity or pastime in which an item, or a container holding a number of items, is hidden at a particular location for GPS users to find by means of coordinates posted on the internet. Once you find a cache you sign the logbook inside, get back on the net and log your find. This creates your personal tally. I have, to date, found 771 caches. Caches are hidden all around the world. A power trail is a path with a large number of caches placed within close proximity to each other. Power trails are a fun way to quickly increase your find count.

Back to my amazing discovery. I located a power trail of about 24 caches along the coast, an hour’s drive from home. Perfect! I packed a small backpack with hat, water, phone (to use the GPS system), pen to log caches, camera to snap the view and sunscreen. Then I was on my way.

The walk I completed is part of a longer walk referred to as the Oceanway which consists of 36 kilometres of walking trails and tracks developed by the Gold Coast City Council. These paths meander along the coast, the ocean is not always in sight but you can always hear the crashing of waves and smell the sea spray. I was delighted with this walk and would rate it as one of the best short walks I’ve done.  The walking path led me across sand dunes, through Casuarina scrub and along beachside board walks. Parts of the walk were quite isolated with little foot traffic, only the occasional bike rider and the beautiful melody of birds. It’s an easy walk along graded tracks and trails, perfect for families to bike ride along. I revelled in the variety, the seclusion to hunt for my caches and the space to clear my head without sharing the path with hoards of people. Though it was surreal at times to step out of scrub onto well maintained pathways fronting luxury accommodation and popular beaches. Despite the small sections of peopled track I was able to power along relatively unimpeded.

I am keen to return and complete the full length of the coastal walk to begin at the spit/ seaway and continue across the state border into New South Wales. It’s not a challenging walk in terms of gradient but it does satisfy my hunger to cover distance. I’ve long had my heart set on returning to Scotland and Cornwall to walk the wild and windswept coastlines. In the meantime, I can satisfy my heart’s desire to meander along the coast with this and a few other coastal walks I’ve discovered at home.

I thrive in the world’s wilderness areas and along her coastlines, the lure is almost primordial. Is there a place that calls to you?

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Coastal walking, it’s gold.

  1. I have been geocaching a couple of times and can see how enthralling it is. A wonderful combination with a hike I think. I too love the sea and the water. Not much of that in landlocked Calgary so it’s a part of travel I love.

    • I was thinking of you as I wrote this piece Sue and wondered if you had tried caching in your travels. It is a nice combination for me. I guess I’m in a similar situation to you. I love the mountain areas, as well as the sea, but we don’t exactly have mountains in Australia. I remember being awestruck on my first trip to the Canadian Rockies by the sheer enormity of your mountains. Then I went to the Himalayas and my mind boggled at the size of the mountains there. Travel is a wonderful thing.

  2. Good morning to you Shannyon . I think you are aware that I loved the sea so much we built a house just a couple of miles away from it so I can now visit it every day . We have done pretty much all the costal walks near our immediate home in West Wales but there are still many more to conquer in the north . I have not heard of geocaching …wonder if it happens in my patch …sounds very interesting .
    The one thing you have on your side , need I say , the W word (weather ) . The other day we had Spring , Sumer , Autumn and Winter all in one day . So you can imagine we have to be fully equipt for our expeditions 🌈⛈💦🌬and if your lucky a little ☀️So at the end we drop in the pub for 🍻 Just to keep the moral flowing 😀
    Cherryx

    • Hey Cherry, good evening to you. Yes, I remember your love of the sea and hiking also. We are indeed lucky with the weather here. Hiking overseas does make things interesting, to say the least. I’ve not experienced four seasons in a day but I have walked in thunderstorms ⚡️and teaming rain ☔️for several days.
      It sounds like you have plenty of walks 👣to keep you going for some time to come.
      I love your visuals.💞
      Shannyn

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