“I can hear you breathing, you’re picking up my scent. You’re trying to hunt me down in the hope that I’ll give in. But I know these tracks better than I know you ever could. You’re breathing down my neck, but it will only make me win”
– Sarah Blasko
Date 24th August
It looked like rain when I got up, but it wasn’t as black by the time I left and I thought I might escape getting wet. I put the blue rain cover on my pack just to be safe. As I was leaving I asked a man at the front of the pub if he could pull the cover over the end of my sleeping roll because I couldn’t reach and I really didn’t fancy having to take the pack off. His dog didn’t like me! He barked at me in a voice that I knew was saying that he was scared of me. I felt a bit sad about that because I love dogs, but obviously the poor little doggie had never seen anything that looked like me before! I felt like an upright turtle with the rain cover on the pack.
It was a pretty good walk today, although I almost got stuck in a tree at one point. It was hanging out over the road shoulder and I walked under it, forgetting how high the pack was. I got a bit snagged because I kept moving, but the pack didn’t. I felt quite stupid because there were lots of cars and everyone would’ve seen me. I also nearly tripped over a stick in the long grass. That scared me a bit. Falling over would be a bit of a catastrophe.
I didn’t see anyone waving because I had my head down most of the way because it was pretty much all up hill, plus it was raining on and off until I got about 4km out of Murgon and then it really started pouring. I got totally saturated, but it didn’t really bother me because what could I do about it? Nothing. Besides, the only thing that could get wet was me. Everything in my pack was protected by the pack itself and then it was either packed in dry bags or ziplock bags inside the pack.
I followed the rail trail for a while, but they mustn’t have really started working on that end of it because it lead me down into a swamp and I had to backtrack about 1.5km. I wasn’t very glad about that because the track was really slippery and it was pouring rain by then too. Hopefully the rest of the trail won’t be like that.
I walked through some road works and as I did, I watched the roller operator to see if he could see me. He didn’t look in my direction. I walked right next to the roller and as I was just about level with it, the operator got out of the machine and started walking in my direction. He walked right by me and there was only about 2 metres separating us. I thought I would say hi, but I was just really curious as to what he would do when he saw me, so I said nothing and just waited. There were no other people around, no other machinery, no vehicles and it wasn’t raining then. We were basically alone in the middle of nowhere. He didn’t even see me! WTF! I guess he must be so used to upright turtles clambering along the highway that he no longer pays them any heed. It was after this that I started paying attention to see if motorists really noticed me. It made me wonder after this experience.
I was worried that the publican would forget that he’d said I could have a room, but he didn’t. He told me I could have lunch and also dinner. I was hungry, but I didn’t attempt lunch. I was too wet to go straight into the dining room and I wanted to find somewhere to dry my clothes for the next day. I knew I’d be rushing around like crazy to get back in there before lunch ended, so I went and got the cheesecake while I put my clothes in the drier at the laundromat and let lunch go to the keeper.
My left knee is still pretty sore. It’s swollen too, but not so much on the front, mostly at the back. My right arm really started hurting today and it gave me the irrits big time. I’ve had the water bottle on the right hand side since I left home, so I’ll change it over to the left hand side tomorrow. I hope that helps because it was really bloody annoying. The back of my heels are kind of like raw meat from the deep blisters I had there. My toes are bad too, so I put some metho on them all. I didn’t sting as bad as I thought it would, but the metho really really stinks!
The room was in a motel attached to the back of the pub. It was the nicest, cleanest and the best appointed room that I stayed in on the whole trip. The heater was awesome and I cranked it right up to 30 degrees! The murder-boots dried out no worries.
I’d contacted Murgon Apex prior to commencing the hike to see if I could team up with them for some fundraising while I was in town. Aaron from Apex, who I’d never even met before, got a couple of local businesses to donate meat and fruit trays for us to raffle at the RSL the night I was in town. He also arranged me to have a free meal at the RSL that evening. The other members from Apex came along; Tristan, Phil and Janette and we ran around selling tickets. We raised $165 and Apex kindly donated $100 to make it up to $265. What an awesome bunch of people! Aaron kept in touch after I left Murgon to make sure I was still travelling ok.
I was really bloody tired at the end of the day. I worked out that while the hills aren’t necessarily as hard to walk up as I was expecting, they really tire me out. I don’t notice it until I’ve stopped for the day.
The cheesecake. I ate the whole thing.