Phoebe’s log, date it doesn’t really matter/I don’t know ~ Last night was an adventure in itself! The wind that was present when we went to bed whipped itself up into a frenzy of gusts that were pushing the tents over and ripping pegs out of the ground and sending them flying despite large rocks we had placed over them. Megs fly came partly loose and numerous voyages out into the storm to resecure everything where necessary. I was in a tent on my own and it felt like I was in a rocket ready for takeoff and the only thing keeping it grounded was my butt. Eventually we packed up my tent as a lost cause and the three of us top and tailed it in Megs tent. We didn’t sleep well but meg and I did manage to kiss people in our dreams, some weird storm chemistry going on.
We were all rather grumpy this morning but soon cheered up once we started walking and became immersed in the landscape. Others we passed had also had rough nights. We had breakfast overlooking a huge meadow, lush and green, stark contrast with the a harsh brown desert below, our destination that evening.
For our second day in a row the trail took us down down down, but very gently. We passed the last few straggling pines and descended into flowering cacti! So many wildflowers, so many vibrant colours, and some with huge spikes. We also saw juvenile yukkas that look even more like giant asparagus.
It finally clicked, the landscape here is huge and you can spend 2 days walking off a huge plateau. You can look at the desert below you and have no idea of its vast scale, or if small hills are actually small gullys. There are entire mountains that appear to be made of shale and giant granite boulders but nothing else.
We reached our only water source for the day at midday and stopped for a lengthy lunch, hiding under bushes to escape the sun. This is the last reliable water source for 52kms and in between we are relying on the generosity of trail angels who regularly stock 2 water caches to help hikers through this dry patch of trail. Even so, we are carrying 6L each as we plan to top up our supplies but not to heavily rely on the caches. The water points are a bit of a gathering point and we had lots of chats while filtering water.
We pushed on another 8kms after lunch through rocky foothills and decided to camp with Zippy and Rebecca in a well protected rocky canyon on a dry creek bed. We walked through the hottest part of the day (3pm) and as water is scarce we plan to siesta during this time tomorrow. Fingers cross for a good nights sleep x