“When we walk, we naturally go to the fields and woods: what would become of us, if we walked only in a garden or a mall?”
– Henry David Thoreau
Date 21st August
Again, today seemed harder. I think I must be getting really tired. I was worried about the rain wetting the sleeping bag and I couldn’t get comfortable, so I didn’t get much sleep. But, I think the struggle I had today was all to do with the tea.
This morning when I got up I was really looking forward to a cup of tea. I told myself that everything will appear much better after a nice cuppa, but the tea bags were missing. I went through everything and they were gone. Who loses bloody tea bags! See, I already lost the coffee plunger just before I started on the hike, so I ran around everywhere trying to find another in the only day I had spare before my departure. I found one, a very expensive one, but I left the damn thing at home.
I had a bit of melt down about the tea bags and started crying and yelling. I got the card out that my friend Freya sent me before I left and read it. It made me cry too, but for a different reason, which took my mind off the tea bags.
I can live without coffee, but living without tea doesn’t make me very glad at all. Thankfully, tomorrow is Tansey and there should be more in the food cache.
I did try to make myself a coffee using a middle eastern method, but there were too many grinds in the cup and I couldn’t drink it. I tried a second time and poured it through a clean sock. I didn’t work. I had to throw the sock and the coffee out. By this time I wasn’t in a very good mood at all. I thought that if I could just get my hands on a tea strainer I could strain the coffee through that, but there are no shops in the middle of nowhere and if there were I would have bought tea.
Two people stopped today: G.R. from Goomeri and Darren in a Thrifty rental truck. It was weird with G.R. because he looked like Freakshow out of Harold and Kumar go to Whitecastle and I’d only just been thinking of Freakshow this morning. After I saw him I kept reciting Freakshow’s lines from the movie and it made me laugh: “I seen you two stranded out there alone in the dark,and I said to myself…”What would Jesus do?” I love that movie, NPH is awesome in it too:)
I found a $2 coin on the road and I was putting it in my bum bag I saw a Thrifty truck pulled up ahead of me. Darren got out of the cab and waited for me at the rear of the truck. He was a fair way off and I wondered if he was waiting for roadside assistance or something. I also had a fleeting thought that he might be an axe murderer, but I pushed it aside as I approached him and lit him with one of my best smiles.
“You want a lift?” he asked.
“Thanks, but I’m a charity walker. I can’t accept lifts,” I replied.
He was very interested in what I was doing and went and got me a $50 donation out of the cab. I couldn’t believe that he wanted to give me so much when he’d only just seen me on the road in the middle of nowhere. How awesome is that!
I stopped for lunch just before Springbrook Farm and that was all fine until the sheep came into the paddock opposite me. They had a maremma dog. I got a bit scared then because the maremma was looking at me and came right over to the fence and started to push under. I yelled at it to go away, but it didn’t seem scared of me at all. I wasn’t sure what to do because I didn’t want it to come across the highway and get run over in an attempt to chase me away. I have the loudest whistle of all time, so I whistled an S.O.S. so that someone on the farm might hear it and come and investigate, but no one did. I really didn’t want the dog to get run over because of me. I also didn’t want to get attacked.
Some cattle came into the paddock as well and the maremma stopped focussing on me and went and chased them away from the sheep. I started packing my stuff up as quickly as I could, but then the stupid sheep went through the fence. The maremma and some of the sheep were standing in the middle of the highway. I walked up to the house as fast as I could so I could tell them (I assumed the sheep weren’t meant to be in that paddock because no one in their right mind would put sheep in a paddock fenced with only four strands of barbed wire).
On the way to the house this idiotic moron (I have much better descriptive words written in my journal about him) almost ran into me. I was walking on the right hand side of the road and he was travelling in the same direction as me. He overtook the traffic coming up behind me and must’ve missed me by about 10cm. If he had of just waited 3 more seconds before he overtook, he wouldn’t have gone anywhere near me. It’s not like I wasn’t visible either because the road on either side is straight and clear of vegetation. I wished I could’ve gotten his number plate, but he was going too fast. I didn’t walk on the right hand side of the road if I could help it after that, but then there are idiots who drive too close to me on the left too: caravaners are the worst. If they’ve got a clear view and no one is coming the other way, why can’t they move away from the fog line a little bit? It just seems so stupid to drive like that and the only reason I can come up with is that they don’t see me, which is actually pretty scary considering how I look. Given that, there’s no wonder there are so many accidents on the road.
Anyway, at the house it took ages for someone to come out. I told him what was going on with the sheep and maremma and he unhurriedly said, “the sheep aren’t meant to be in that paddock.” I turned around and kept going. I don’t know what ended up happening. I hope they didn’t get squashed.
Not too far down the the road, at Lawless Park, I saw a van, so I called in there to bum some tea. The occupant was sitting in a chair reading a book. I got talking to him and he said he no longer has a home, he just lives in his van and travels around everywhere. I think that would be lonely; you’d feel like an outsider watching everyone together when you’re all alone. He didn’t even have a dog. He had no teabags either 😦
I was initially meant to camp at the guard rail but I changed it to across the road at a pull in. I then had to change it again when I arrived at the campsite to the paddock behind the pull in. I’d put a water drum in the long grass in the spot where I hoped to camp, but when I got there it looked like people had been going into the grass and there was a big bag of rubbish right near the water drum (why people do this when there is bin right there, I’ll never know).
Luckily I did change the spot! Not long after I’d set up camp, a car pulled up and a man got out and did a pee right where my tent would have been. It took him forever to pee. I thought he might have been doing an upright poo it was taking him that long!
I kind of feel like I’ve had enough of this whole thing now. I miss Ash and the traffic is much worse than I thought it would be. I will just focus on the nice people and maybe Ash will come to Goomeri, which isn’t too far now.
It doesn’t look like much, but the lantana was a good screen. Old mate couldn’t see me while he did his “upright poo”! I was able to dry everything out here before I set it all up, which was good because the tent and sleeping bag were all wet. I was a bit worried that the cattle farmer might show up and tell me off for camping in the paddock, but I was pretty confident that I’d be able to explain my way out of it. Besides, if random people are happy to hand over $50 notes, then it’s not likely that someone will tell me I can’t camp in a paddock.