Trip Leader: Terry & Theresa
When: January 5th – 12th 2006
Denmark Trip Notes for Tuesday 10th January
Today’s trip was to be dedicated to tackling the Bornholm Beach entry/exit track. Which, as you may or may not recall, proved fairly difficult for Terry last year. So with a full day allocated to this one hill, 11 vehicles set off from Denmark at 10:00am and headed for West Cape Howe National Park. The convoy was delayed ½ an hour whilst a few members realised that petrol and lip balm were important things to buy before leaving Denmark.
Eventually we all set off under the leadership of Terry and Teresa. Participants in this adventure were (In order of convoy) (2) Martin & Karen, (3) Gary & Wilma, (4) Rick, Luke, Blake, Cameron, Laura & Cody (5) Salvatore & Pasc (6) Tony & Stella (7) John K & Rosalie (8) Shane & Deidre (9) Chris and Jan (10) Paul and Louise (11 TEC) Richard and Helen. Where were Lester and Robyn you ask? That’s something Lester would rather forget, or perhaps he has…after destroying several million brain cells the evening before.
The undulating sandy track through WCH National Park had a couple of light challenges to navigate in the form of sand hills, but nothing that would even frighten a Nissan. We eventually came to the edge of the steep hill that literally shadows Bornholm Beach. With limited areas to pull off the track we all managed to find recesses in the vegetation to park our vehicles. Those feeling energetic began the walk down the 500 meter hill to survey the track conditions. There were two alternatives to enter the descent onto the beach. Both tracks had large dry sandy crevices that required careful consideration. And both tracks joined to form one wide track which was considerably steep and created a degree of uncertainty amongst the group.
After much deliberation, Terry and Chris decided that they would give it ago. After all, there were many fresh tyre tracks up and down the hill, so it must be possible to navigate it some way or another. The rest of us liked the idea of getting back to camp without having to pay for recovery costs. Considering there were no alternative tracks out of the beach and the reason that the track was so wide was because other vehicles had resorted to using the bushes on the edges to gain traction continuously widening the track in doing so.
The walk back up the hill tested the fitness of the adults. It was no Sunday stroll, although Luke, Blake, Cameron, Laura & Cody made it look easy with their youthful nimbleness. And this was after they had pranced around on the beach for ½ an hour.
Terry in his Landcruiser and Chris in his Starship Enterprise (Ford F250) made it down to the beach. It was not long before Terry found himself ‘subdued’ by sand on the beach. The Landcruiser would have fitted into the rear holding dock of the F250, but they decided to tow it out of the bog instead. Another vehicle appeared from further down the beach wanting to exit on this track. It was a Toyota Four Runner, and after a couple of attempts, made it up the hill without too much of a struggle (Obviously local and experienced).
With renewed confidence, both Chris and Terry headed for the hill after letting all but a breath of air out of their tyres and made it back up to the patiently waiting party. This episode had taken a couple of hours, and if not for the running commentary by Tony from a handheld radio, the rest of the convoy members would have been wondering what was going on down there. It was determined that somewhere between 8 and 10 lbs was required for tyre pressure for this particular hill.
After negotiating a minor challenge exiting the holding area (sandy hill climbs were several vehicles had to reduce tyre pressures to navigate through it) we all assembled on a wider section of track further up the hill. We had all not arrived when an extended Toyota Personnel Carrier, a tour operator, appeared and wanted to pass through. Without waiting, he barged past onto the track where some of our members were still attempting to climb. Two other vehicles then appeared from the beach climb and parked in the same area where we had assembled to re-inflate their tyres. It was obvious from the condition of these vehicles and the manner in which they were driven (One hand on the steering wheel and the other holding a beer) that the hill wasn’t as difficult as it appeared. It was also a classic example (with the ignorant and inconsiderate tour operator along with the drunken hoons) why 4-wheel drivers get a bad reputation.
We were soon again in a comfortable convoy heading out of the National Park. After several kilometres of good track the convoy came to a sudden halt upon those dreaded words every 4-wheel driver hates to hear…”I think I’ve got a flat”. A sharp rock conveniently protruding from the edge of the track had scored a point with Paul’s front left tyre’s side wall. Ably assisted by Sam, Paul went about replacing the tyre while the rest of us watched and ate the lunch we forgot to have earlier.
Eventually we exited the park, pumped our tyres up and headed back to camp in time for the compulsory happy hour… or happy three hours.