Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December 1. Day 335. Dressed to impress

As I see it walkers can be divided in several ways. For one there are the hares and the tortoises. Most hikers with any sort of ability are hares. I am a tortoise. Slow. Often unsteady. Often apologetic. So many times in yesterday’s very challenging hike, I was right at the back and I would find my guide Jack waiting patiently to check on my welfare. Every time the conversation was a variation of me saying “Sorry Jack” and him saying “no need to apologise. You are doing great Suzi Q”. He was, of course, lying, but it was the lie I needed to hear. He was with me every step until the end. Today, however, I will use a different scale on which to grade walkers. The clothing scale. There are the “dress in layers” types and what Jack refers to was “be bold. Start cold”. I start cold, knowing that I will warm up in no time. This strategy seemed seriously flawed as we stood on Moonlight Head being blown about by a freezing arctic gale and I was wearing shorts. We all decided that even after yesterday’s exhaustion we would again take the endurance option adding eight kilometres to the day’s journey. This meant the exposed headland to start the walk instead of the far more protected Gables. I was cold. I am not sure about the bold. Sure I warmed up and the others had to strip off layers and then carry them. It sucks to be them with all that extra junk in the trunk until we emerge from the protection of the woodland and the wind picks up again and it starts to rain. They have layers to put back on. I decided that I was carrying quite enough weight on my bottom without needing to put kilos of clothes in the pack. As it turned out the waterproof in each backpack was enough and I got away with it. The result could have been far worse. Still I was pleased for a warm shower at the end of the day. Pleased for a heated cabin. Pleased for a three course gourmet meal at the table and wine and the extra doona. It was another tiring but exhausting day and I have a great big blister on my heel to prove it. It will be bitter sweet when the walk ends tomorrow.

Day’s vital statistics. Moonlight Head to Princetown. 17 kilometres. Steps 26, 260

Jack administers some bister repair work on "Ally Cat's toe before the start of the day's walk
Regular boot scrub stations are set up along the track to stop the spread of a fungus
Jack loves to stop and explain the native vegetation along the way and tell us whoch ones we could eat. I caught him out on this berry
Watching us pass from a safe distance
Nominated by our guides as the loo with the best view in Victoria
The view from the toilet seat!
Carved cuttle fish love hearts have been hung from trees on one section of the track
As close as I want to get to a snake on the track

Foot spas and beer at the end of the day. Nice
Dinner is served. Round one
An army marches on its stomach. Zane the chef is a food god. Can't remember the full description but the eye fillet herbed field mushrooms and carrot mousse stood out
And then there was sticky date pudding
While we ate the roos grazed outside

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