67 kms in 2 days. It has been a huge few days, and to say the least we are not only sore but exhausted.
Tonight we sleep lake side. This facade of beauty is an expression, unfortunately of human laziness and filth. We are camped along side a picnic area. It had toilets and a few gazebos with tables. Each gazebo is covered in trash. The trash spills out of the bins provided alongside each table and has found its way down into the murky lake waters. In the toilets someone took a shit in the corner, they didn’t even bother going into the toilet itself. This is our second night in a row of being disappointed at people’s lack of consciousness and care about the environment and common decency.
Anyway, the day was hard. As in walking through burnt areas in sweltering heat hard. After leaving the hot springs we followed a donky trail along a ridgeline. Deep creek flowed below and both the creek edge and the trail we walked on were littered with graffiti and tagging. It’s a strange thing how urban this kind of art work is. In nature, away from a concrete canvas it looks completely out of place, ugly and lacking in consideration for the simple beauty of nature itself.
As we came off the ridge there was a huge dam wall. The girls and I had fun making echos noises.
We crossed the creek one final time, filled our water bottles for the next 13 miles and waded across. There seems to be a lot more people on the track now and at these stops we often bump into the same hikers time and again.
After the creek we climbed steadily for a while, it was hard going and sweat poured from my body. As we climbed the burnt landscape left us exposed and feeling the heat. Around 12.30 I came upon a bunch of hikers hiding in the shade of what would have once been a little creek oasis. It was now a charred mass of spindly tree trunks and branches. I waited for the others and we decided that this might be our last shade for a while so we took an early lunch. We sat in blackened soil, to hot and tired to bother about how filthy it was making us, dodging the burning midday sun while eating our cheese, meat and sweet biscuits. So much sugar in this country.
As the afternoon set in we began to get itchy feet and around 2.30 decided to make a dash for it and walk what we thought would be the last 10 kms of our day. A swisher couple had told us about a lone sushi place ahead and it was driving, especially Dave on. As I walked out the creek I rang Koby, she answered and I walked the next 10 kms talking to her and Joni. It’s a great way to pass the time through uninspiring lands. For a short time I was transported home into their world and my Australian life.
Harriet, Phoebe and I decided to ditch sushi and walk into the Lake. We left Dave and Tamika who caught a ride to sushi and walked for a little way along the road before heading up and over a hill to the Lake. It was a sight to behold. A huge lake, the water gently lapping at the shores, chapparell coming down to the steep lake edges and the sun beginning to set in the background. We followed the trail around to the picnic ground and reality set in. It was a sad realisation, and almost a little to much for our tired minds and bodies. We took some time figuring out what to do as drinking the lake water was not something we wanted to do. Dave came to our rescue and carried in 3 litres for us. We pitched tents, and the girls washed their sweaty bodies. Harriet came out covered in strange, grey lice which I helped her pick off. We cooked dinner and waited for our friends. They arrived after dark and we have now headed to bed, a little broken and ready for a shorter and easier day tomorrow.