In the wilderness lies the preservation of the world.
Henry David Thoreau
After yesterday’s exertions, we think we have earned our pancakes this morning. But after this relaxing breakfast we have to pack up the camp because we have just a few more hours before a boat picks us up and takes us even further from civilization – to another piece of land near the Land of the Wolves, one of the first wilderness areas that Wilderness International purchased and protected for eternity. First, we have to portage our gear back over the slippery and sharp boulders that we arrived on a few days ago, to a small docking area. While we wait for our shuttle, it’s the perfect opportunity to examine the huge pink sea stars, which appear at low tide between the split rocks.
The boat arrives, and thanks to great teamwork we can securely and quickly load our gear. And we are off to “Sandy Beach” as we called the new piece of land after we saw it on the aerial images. But that is a misnomer – even though the coastline is straighter and more level, it is still made of stones. Nevertheless, we are thrilled at the beauty of the raw coastline and the trees at the edge of the forest, which have been bleached by the salt and the waves. A few washed-up trunks mark an area of higher ground that is appropriate for our camp so that the only thing remaining is to start a campfire and set up our lean-to. We quickly get to work raising the tarp, gathering wood and setting up tents. During our work we find wolf tracks in the flood zone – that means that they must have passed through this area in the past few hours. And a second coincidence strikes us: while walking along the beach, Carina discovers a dead sea lion which the high tide must have washed on shore. So, we decide to go back there with Fabian during the twilight hours, hide ourselves and spend the following hours until sunset, quiet and unmoving, and waiting for the wolves. After 20 minutes I feel a slight twinge in my back, my ear itches like crazy and my feet are screaming for a change of position. So I change position slowly and as quietly as possible. After about 5 minutes this becomes uncomfortable too. It’s making me crazy. All the things one does to see a few animals in their natural habitat. It’s no use, I force my thoughts and concentration on something else, the light on the water surface, for example, created by the setting sun. Didn’t I just hear something rustle in the forest? Didn’t something just move over there on the beach? As it slowly cools down, we decide to go back to the camp to warm ourselves up at the campfire. “Yup, that’s what this job is like,” says Fabian. “You sit around a lot and nothing happens.“ The wolves did not appear this evening. “But I love it when it is so peaceful,“ Fabian says later, as we end the day at the campfire. And we got to see a fantastic sunset that we may not have seen if we had been spending a normal day going about our business.
And look at that – suddenly, while we all quietly sit around the campfire, gazing out at the ocean and reviewing our day, Carina taps me on the shoulder and says, “Back there, something moved, I saw it! It walked out of the forest down to the beach.” And exactly where we had sat a few hours earlier, waiting for something to happen, a pack of wolves circles the cadaver. So they finally came, on their own time. This is, after all, their land.