We pushed ourselves 29km today so that we can spend the night in Hot Springs, the first town the trail runs through.
My friend Mathilda, who lives in Erwin and who I’m going to see in 5 days 😄, has been warning for a few days: Hot Springs is really small. I didn’t take it serious enough, surely there will be a hotel bed and place to charge our battery packs, phones and watches.
Nope, the few inns/lodges were fully booked and the only option we had was a camping site. And because I try to be more larny than I am, I opted for the Hot Springs Resort camping site over the Laughing Hiker camping site. Surely at double the price the showers, charging stations and reception would be better!
Nope, it was crap. Charging doesn’t work, the shower was cold and though they claim WiFi you don’t pick up the network at all!!!
But as real troopers we had a cold shower, pitched our tent and walked into town for a meal. Randomly picked a restaurant where the service was terrible but there was live music, happy people and two other thru-hikers joined our table. Two lovely guys, one a 32yr old geologist who always wanted to do the AT, and a 29yr old x-military guy figuring out life after a divorce. They both know quite a bit about SA and had hundreds of questions.
Cell reception in this town is pretty dismal. We plan to spend 2mo morning here to re-supply, do laundry and figure out how to charge things. We will then track down a bit of the town history and I will add photos.
Life is good.