Wilsons Prom, once again delivering the goods.
This place is magic. One breathtaking peninsula bounded by rocky cliffs, the whitest of white sand beaches and absolutely perfect turquoise waters. All watched over by little islets, dotted just offshore. Long gone peaks, remnant of an age past. It is a dream to wander through its woods, cross its streams and gaze out into the silence of its beaches, bays, and waters.
The Prom comes with its challenges. Stiff muscles and sore joints are your ticket to a peninsula best explored on foot. We might have been spoiled by the perfect weather the last time we visited. Enough so that I felt confident leaving behind our tent and choosing to ‘commit’ to the hammock lifestyle.
Who does this?! It was one of those times when you just can’t imagine anything going wrong. My over-excited brain had me running on pure optimism, leaving all sense of realism behind.
It turns out this was a time when being overly optimistic might just get us into trouble.
To be honest, I forgot where we were. Jutting out into the Bass Straight we were victim to all the winds and currents that a rough body of water can drum up. Two people, one double hammock and no raincover of any kind in a place infamous for wild weather. What could go wrong?
The first night was damp. A fine, misting rain started in the night, waking us up as it settled on our faces. We looked at each other for a moment and then laughed because in our current situation, what else could we do?
We grabbed some extra clothes and draped them over our heads, doing our best to doze through the night. We woke with wet gear and bags, but with spirits as high as you could hope, thinking that we’d just been through the worst of it.
The wind and rain blew in all the next day. The Prom takes on an end-of-the-earth kind of feel when the weather is like this.
The place feels wild and personally, the worse the weather, the more alive I feel. It’s exhilarating.
But that doesn’t mean I relished the idea of spending another night strung out between a couple trees with no cover overhead. And that was assuming we’d be able to find the perfect two trees to hang the hammock from in the first place.
As the day wore on, and the weather showed no sign of clearing, I was beginning to stress that the second night might be even more uncomfortable than the first. It was also Laura’s birthday and I just couldn’t get past the guilt of failing to give her a dry bed to crawl into. At one point I was very nearly begging whatever powers would listen to please, please let us have a dry night.
Laura was amazing the entire time. Trudging along, wet, cold and in pain from a bad knee but happy for it. We’re at our best when we’re in nature. This trip more than any other reminded me of that.
I also learned that spending your days wet and cold becomes so much more tolerable when you’re able to tuck your tired, achy self into a warm and dry bed at the end of a day’s hiking.
When we finally rolled into Little Waterloo Bay and found our own little isolated stand of mature, thickly canopied trees with perfect hammock proportions, we were over the moon.
The ground between the trees was bone dry and we played cards, drank a little wine, feasted on birthday dinner and some cheeky dessert under our tree den in the woods. Never had we been so happy just to be dry.
In the end, we were given the perfect weather the forecast promised. The skies cleared in the night to show off a stunning Milky Way which we watched contentedly from our open-air hammock. Hot breakfast and a swim at a stunning beach before trekking out capped off a slightly different trip to the Prom.
And as we walked out I sent my biggest thanks to whoever sent those clear skies down and promised to always pack a wet weather option when walking into the woods.