“‘I’ll walk along the road, and all the roads, and keep going on the roads ‘cos I know you always walk on the roads and I’d find you.'”
Date 20th August
I didn’t feel quite so good today as I had so far. Probably because I’m a bit tired.
I walked mainly on the road itself because the shoulders were at too much of an angle and it really hurts my left knee with one leg down lower than the other. I’m also worried that my lower leg will slip and I might fall over, which would end in disaster.
There were a few hills, but I didn’t even really notice them. It’s like the pack helps push me forward or something. I wasn’t expecting that. I was expecting the hills to half kill me! There were also a lot of cuttings (because of the hills) and they all had rock fences. For most of them I walked inside the rock fence because it was the safer option, but one I had to go over the top of the cutting because I would never have fit inside the fence with my pack.
When I come to a bridge or a cutting that’s really narrow and I have to walk on the road, I hold my poles high in my left hand and wave my orange dry bag with my right (I only ever walked with the traffic when crossing narrow stretches). I probably look like someone trying to catch a signal from outer space with the poles held up like that. They are silver on the narrow end and would look like some kind of antenna if you were to approach me from the back.
No one stopped today, but lots of people waved. One car went past several times (a silver mini with a blue racing stripe) and beeped at me. The occupants were very enthusiastic and waved and smiled so much that it made me laugh. A white ute blasted its horn at me like you do when someone cuts you off. They were on the other side of the road to me, so I’m not sure why that did that. I didn’t particularly appreciate it. It was the only vehicle that did this to me on the entire hike.
The Army drove past and I didn’t realise it was them until the last two vehicles. I waved and they waved back. I wish I would’ve waved at them all because I felt that we had something in common with both them and me being so “involved” in outdoor pursuits. No doubt many of them had to carry packs of their own when they were doing their thing. I felt that we understood each other.
This campsite is the worst one so far and also the worst one of the entire hike 😦 I also hate the tent! It just never goes up properly. Tonight it’s got this massive sag in the ceiling. WHHHYYYYY? I can’t figure it out. Now it’s raining, which means the sleeping bag will get wet because my feet are pushed up into the ceiling that’s sagging down. Poo bum wee.
I noticed today that people don’t slow down AT ALL. I find that very strange. I always slow down if I drive past someone on the road, be they walking, riding, on a horse or just sitting there. You just never know what they are going to do, but I guess not everyone has seen something tragic happen…When I lived in Canberra back in 1999 I drove past a man on the side of the road just at the beginning of a 100km/hr speed zone. I thought there was something not quite right about him and I continued to watch him in my rearview mirror as I passed. As I watched he flung himself out in front of the car travelling behind me. His head hit where the top of the windscreen meets the roof and in my mind his head was swallowed by the breaking windscreen. I heard later that he lived a few days in hospital, but I don’t know if he actually died or was permanently disabled after what happened. I have never stopped thinking about him or how much impact what he did must have had on the person driving the car behind me, the other people at the scene and his own family. After all, he could have jumped out in front of me.
This spot sucked! I knew it would when I picked it, but there weren’t any other options. I had to put some of my gear along one side of the sleeping mat so I didn’t keep rolling down the hill. That and my worrying about the rain meant that I just had the best night sleep…not.
Inside the rock fence. It wasn’t the best place to walk because my pack kept hitting on the fence and I had to be really careful I didn’t trip over on the uneven surface and the big loose rocks. It was safer than walking on the road.