A rainy day in Franklin and re-fuelling for the next 5 days – Ria

The complimentary breakfast offered some suspect looking cereal, cold boiled eggs, yogurt and a waffle maker. I tried my hand at the waffle machine but messed up a bit, let’s leave it at that….

Went for a walk in gentle rain looking for the laundromat and back to hotel via a Starbucks 😊 (in SA we snub Starbucks but here it is the best on offer and the only sure thing for a good coffee).

Ordered a shuttle to take us to Walmart Super Centre (just like a Makro) a few kms away to solve our battery pack charger problems – the only driver working today was Jim. Italian Jim from Trieste, Italy – been here for 33 years. Same Jim who didn’t pick us up yesterday. He isn’t completely sane. Three times we told him where and when to pick us up, and three times he repeated it Incorrectly. Later I heard he told the hotel receptionist that some Hiker threatened to report him as he was supposed to pick him up at Albert Mountain and he didn’t. Can’t the guy understand – he is busy he will get there at some point….!!! Poor hiker, hope he also found a Jacob.

We are dependent on Italian Jim to get us back onto the trail tomorrow. Hold thumbs, he wrote it down in his book but twice after that he said “I should write it down in my book”.

While Trevor was sorting out electronics (which took 3 mins and then he went for a beer!!!!!) I went to do the food shopping and laundry. Once done it was bucketing down and I had to get back to the hotel (1.5km away). Italian Jim wasn’t an option as he went to Albert Mountain to fetch another hiker and wouldn’t be back for three hours.

So I packed the shopping and laundry in my dry bag, cursed Trevor and started to walk. After 5mins I was soaked to the bone. When I saw a car I decided now is the time to try this hitch hiking thing. And it worked πŸ˜€. The guy (attractive, mid-fourties, Cherokee looking) had a pleasant conversation with me (about how crazy the weather is and how crazy their president is) and dropped me off at hotel in few minutes, saving me a 15min walk in torrential rain.

The shopping expedition yielded this – firstly spread out and then packed away in the bear vaults. Our food for the next 5 days.

We went for a beer and a meal at the Lazy Hiker brewing company (transport courtesy of Italian Jim, now back from his mountain pick-up, we now also know his Italian wife died 10years ago and he has a piece of land where he grows apples and plums), and took a walk through down town (had to find shelter from downpours) looking for the Nikwasi Mound – interesting historic site if anybody wants to google it, together with the Trail of Tears

Lazy Hiker Brewing
Downtown Franklin
Finding shelter/Loitering

Now we are waiting impatiently for tomorrow so we can go back to the trail. Seems the weather isn’t quite over yet but it is what it is, can’t run away forever.


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