“…I would walk five hundred miles. And I would walk five hundred more…”
– The Proclaimers
Date 22nd August
This morning, just as I was about to leave a truck pulled up at the pull-in and the guy got out and started yelling and swearing at the top of his lungs. I thought he had a flat tyre, but when I went over there to put my rubbish in the bin he said that the truck was overheating. I was a bit worried before I went over there that he was a psycho, but he was nice enough and he had a nice smile. I patted him on the arm and gave him the rest of the water from my drum that I didn’t need.
He was another movie character! I was thinking about Chan and Kingsley from the Hangover II right before I saw him and he looked just like Kingsley! His truck said he was “Rainman”, but I’m not sure what earthmoving equipment has to do with being able to make it rain. Maybe he was a Dustin Hoffman fan. Maybe it’s not even worth thinking about.
I think I slept really well last night. I worked out it’s a combination of things:
- You need flat ground
- You need to put stuff behind your pillow so it can’t get pushed up against the door of the tent
- You need to do the sleeping bag up, even though you get a bit hot. For some reason this just means that you sleep better. I’ve noticed this now and twice before on extended camp outs
Today seemed the hardest. My feet hurt a lot and I felt like a pussy struggling to walk 10.9km considering it’s the smallest distance so far.
Tomorrow I’m wearing the sandals. The boots are killing my feet, but I think the problem is actually coming from my knee. I looked at it when I was having a bath (more about THAT in a minute) and it’s huge. The front of it doesn’t hurt although it’s all swollen, it’s the back of it that hurts the most, but it’s all nothing compared to my feet. They just feel like they are on fire.
Everything else is fine really: my legs aren’t sore and my shoulders aren’t really that sore either. I feel a bit better about the 17km tomorrow now that I’ve decided to wear the sandals.
The road into Tansey was pretty good to walk on because all the farms have these roads that run between their fences and the highway. I got stuffed up on one though; I walked all the way up this massive hill and the road stopped at the top (it was a cutting), so I had to clamber through the long grass that came all the way up to my head. I wasn’t too happy about that and I almost started crying because it was really bloody hard. I got to the other side eventually because idiot-me didn’t realise that there was a narrow mowed edge along the fenceline. I just stuck to that and it was heaps easier.
There was lots of lucerne growing right out to the edge of the highway! It was really cool. I wonder if they bale that too. There was certainly enough of it.
A couple of k’s before I got stuck in the grass, I walked into a massive swarm of flying ants. There were so many of them that I had to stop, take the pack off (which is no small feat), get the insect repellant out and spray the hell out of myself, especially my hair. I hate the idea of stuff getting caught in my hair! As it was I couldn’t help but swallow a few and some flew into my ears and nose as well. Later on, when I got changed, they were all dead inside my bra and even some in my undies!
There were two bridges to cross just before the showgrounds, so I held my poles high and did the orange bag-waving-thing. Of course the first freakin’ car was the cops! I thought I’d get busted. Even though they drove right past me, I don’t think they even saw me. WTF! Oh well, it was better to have them not see me and to get into a conversation with them about what I was doing and potentially have them tell me I’m not allowed to do it. Not that that would stop me because there’s nowhere on the A3 that says pedestrians aren’t permitted, even on the bridges. What are they gonna do, arrest me?
I’d organised to stay inside the hall at the showgrounds and one of the show committee ladies had come earlier and opened up the back door for me. She had also put my food cache inside. I was really excited about having a shower and washing my hair, so as soon as I got there I got out my shower stuff and headed to the shower block. They weren’t turned on! I said a few words beginning with my favourite letters; F and C, then generally had a bit of a meltdown about it. I went and had a “bath” in a bucket instead, but I couldn’t wash my hair. I thought about doing it under the tap out of the tank at the back of the building, which is what I do at home, but it was kind of cold, and by then I just wanted to keep complaining about it, so I didn’t wash it. I was in a bit of what Ash would call “A Mood”.
A lady I’d never met sent a message through a long, convoluted network of people to let me know that she wanted to bring me a hot dinner that night. I didn’t really need it because my food cache had the makings for a hot dinner in it (falafel, mashed potato and peas), but I thought it would be good to talk to someone and have something “proper” and that I didn’t have to prepare myself. Plus, I thought it was a really nice thing for someone to offer. I wasn’t 100% certain that she’d remember I was there, but she turned up and brought me a hot beef casserole. It was really nice and she was a lovely lady.
The hall is really huge and there are mice and mice poo EVERYWHERE! There are so many cleaning products in here, but they don’t have any food, which I guess is a good thing considering the mice. I thought I might be able to buy a packet of chips. I can’t stop thinking about Doritos. I hope the mice don’t get in my hair while I’m asleep on the floor.
The hall is a really awesome old building. Some ladies came for a Zumba class and I had to move all my stuff because I didn’t know they were coming. They tried to tell me that I could join them, which made me want to tell them where to go, but I just smiled and said “no thanks.”
It beats me how these little localities that aren’t even towns get these amazing facilities. They have awesome polo cross grounds, showgrounds, hall, bowls club and tennis courts. I looked in through the bowls club window and there’s a divan in their dining room. It would have been great to sleep on that instead of the hard floor with the mice.
My bed in the hall.