After finishing day 3 we had hiked 40 of the 47 km of the trail and it was time to turn around and head back to the China Beach parking lot. We had a good sleep, followed by the typical oatmeal breakfast. My daughter has decided she doesn’t like the oatmeal breakfast because 40 minutes later her stomach is upset. I’m not sure why that would be….but I’m getting sick of that breakfast as well.
I slipped on my pack and it was starting to feel amazingly light. I felt really great. I think it was the combination of finding our rhythm hiking and losing a lot of weight to eating.
The first 5 km flew by easily. I looked at my watch and we were averaging 3.5 km/hr and it was still moderate terrain so this was really great progress. After 2 hours and 7 km we stopped for a Cliff Bar and a little breather at Little Kuitshe Creek Campsite. This campsite looked okay as well, although it was also in the woods so not as ideal as the beach camping we had grown accustomed to enjoying.
The kids were going so fast at the start of the day that I could not keep up. I actually had to tell them to slow down a bit. We made it to Sombrio East Beach after shelf and rock walking for 3 km. The walking over the beach can be harder is some ways than the trail. Sometimes the rocks are huge and you have to sort of play frogger from rock to rock.
It was lunch and we were starting to run low on food. I made a single mashed potatoes that was snuffed up in an instant. Then I made a rice sidekick that went down fast as well. The portions seemed small so we supplemented with pepperoni and beer jerky. I always have 1 eye on the food to make sure we aren’t consuming too much and of course I do meal plans ahead of time.
We finished 12 km in 4 hours with breaks for snacks and sunscreen. At 345 PM we made it to Chin Beach so 20 km in 7 hours including breaks and lunch. That was a pretty significant accomplishment because we killed the most difficult section and this time it was much easier somehow.
At Chin Beach we found a nice spot by the creek and potty….but not too close to smell it. It was a bit cold but sunny and nice. We had a few minor mishaps on the hike with my daughter whacking her shin on some wood and I slipped once but nothing that you wouldn’t expect in a hike like this one.
The kids quickly set up the hammock and the tent went up quickly with only 1 bent peg. We made the mistake of camping under a tree that dripped sap so I had to clean the tent in the morning. We were also surrounded by people at this campsite which was less appealing but still acceptable. It was more like car camping.
After dinner we walked the beach and climbed some rock structures.
I made a note that it was a good decision to skip the last 7 km of hiking. It was a group decision and one we won’t regret. It was also great hiking back. Seeing a few things twice did not bother me in the least. Things look different too coming from the other direction.