1st May 2015
Bushcamp (238.1) to Bushcamp (261.7)
Hiking like a robot
My big day yesterday came at a price. I may have proved to myself that I can put in the big hard days hiking, but backing it up the next day. Maybe not. My first steps in the morning must have looked more like C3-PO, the droid from Star Wars. I was hiking like a robot. My muscles and joints were both stiff and sore with little in the way of strength. But I kept moving, slowly, slowly.
After almost 2 hours I found a comfortable place to stop for my second breakfast with the tall trees and birds for company. When I finished and headed back on the trail I left my sunglasses behind. It was a 1 hour round trip to pick them up. Still to this moment I’m questioning if it was worth the effort.
Like most places on the trail there were still some long distances between water stops. That meant a heavy pack. From the moment I broke camp I was intermittently walking in the shade of some grand trees. The weather was also pleasantly cool but not cold.
Sometimes I think as I write this that I am unable to convey how I may be feeling about the trail. Or the hardships that I face. I hope this doesn’t come across as an easy hike. That, it is not. But so far I have been blessed with good health, good fitness and a healthy combination of determination, motivation and curiosity to experience the natural world.
I take pleasure in being more than a hiker. I observe the natural world. When I smell a flower in bloom, I stop and smell it. When a reptile or other animal is in view I stop to photograph it.
I observe, but am not familiar with the birds. I observe the trees and shrubs and likewise do not know what they are. I have documented most in my written diary, to be followed at a later date. Like a good naturalist might do.
I haven’t really hiked with any naturalists yet, it might happen at some stage in the future. I may gather a better understanding of the natural world here. While I very familiar with most things in my part of the world, most things here are, obviously foreign to me.
By mid afternoon I stumbled upon some water caches and some surprises on trail. The water caches are non-natural water delivered on trail by helpful groups or individuals.
One cache contained not only water but bananas, cookies and various flavours of soft drinks. All to be enjoyed while lounging on a couch. Great job.
It was very noticeable to me that by late afternoon I was no longer walking like a robot but back to my strong, normal walking pace. I continued at this good pace until around 6pm when I stopped on the only flat ground I could find and made camp for the night.
I ate my second dinner when 2 hikers I knew arrive to join me. Crunchmaster and Stone set off before me from Ziggys’ place but were behind me till now. They told of their 30+ mile day. Ouch. I met a total of 7 hikers today, one of which was on his last day. He was ending his journey prematurely. This is one tough hike.