After what seemed like an age and with the adrenalin still pumping hard around our bodies, we saw a fence. We worked our way back towards the track and saw an open gate. It was a bit of an anticlimax – I was thinking we would be scaling walls or cutting our way out, but here was an open gate.
We were still nervous that we were in the wrong place, but to have put some distance from the houses helped. It was still concerning that we did not really know what was ahead, and there was the horrible chance we might have to double back and face this area again. Although I was carrying print outs of the satellite image, I had worked them to show the features in the sea strongly, and the shapes on the landward side were all dark and low contrast. I had never picked out all these amazing features beforehand; my assumptions were that we were going to be in just wildwood.
East of the menagerie of animals, the ornamental ponds and the perfect little holiday houses, the land returned to a more open parkland, still well kept, but more natural. There were a couple of interesting hilltop ponds capturing the freshwater from the cane fields above before allowing it to trickle over into the sea. The cliffs were higher again, but the vegetation much more tangled than earlier on. Then we hit yet another large gorge. This time we were determined to cross it close to the beach; time was going on and we had some distance to cover yet and few options for short cutting inland back to the main road. We found it easier than we had expected; there were a couple of trails where animals had zigzagged down the side, and we found the stream shallow and covered in rocks rather than mud, so fording was an easy task. We were then able to scramble up the other side and regain our track – a fifteen minute crossing instead of an hour’s diversion. This was very useful as both our energy levels were sapping and our feet were very sore.