To be posted when I get to somewhere with signal.
It was a cold night but wearing all our warm clothes and being inside our 1.8kg sleeping bags we were fine. But oh boy, when we started walking this morning we were SO!!! cold. Our watches said it was 4degrees and that is probably not taking into account the wind chill factor – there was a cold wind blowing damn hard. Mathilda says it’s the Blackberry Cold Snap and coincide with the blackberries flowering.
We started walking in terrain similar to yesterday :
Then had a break walking through a bald (there were even cows grazing):
After that we were back (for the biggest part of the day) in the familiar green tunnel.
Our route app as well as our route book show a hazard sign at one of the streams we had to cross today, stating that the bridge isn’t safe and recommending a detour. Without discussing it we both felt that one should walk up to the stream and see how bad it really is, so we quietly walked by the detour turn-off point. When we got to the bridge it was clearly (from all the signs and the condition of the bridge) worth the hazard warning. The alternatives given on the posters stuck up all over the area were to go back to the detour turn-off or to “Ford the Creek”. We werent back tracking so “fording” it was (assuming that means cross the stream). It ended up quite easy to do, we bolder hopped across and didn’t even get our shoes wet. Injasuthi river at its mildest is a tougher crossing than this can be at its worst.
However, “fording” wasn’t the biggest problem. We have now crossed the stream but were separated from the trail by a 6m close-to-vertical (not vertical but very steep) mud embankment. As I crossed the stream first I was in front, and bravely started making my way up. I used the branches of the Rhododendrons to pull myself up, at the same time my backpack was trying to pull me back. I heard Trevor talking behind me but ignored him, this was not the time for chatting. It went okay and I had only about one and a half meter to go to the top when my backback got stuck in the messy Rhododendrons branches (it is such an unneat shrub/tree!). I was hanging on in a very uncomfortable position, looking around to see where Trevor was. He was comfortably sitting on the steps leading down to the bridge. He climbed behind me till he reached the level of the steps, then shoved first his backpack and then himself through the wooden frame and was watching the drama of Woman vs Rhododendron unfold in front of him. In his defence – he was advising me to do this but I was too busy with my approach to listen to what he tried to say. And as often is the case his lateral approach trumped my conventional approach.
He wiped the smile off his face and got off his butt and saved me from the Rhododendrons. My biggest regret is that there weren’t any security cameras which we could raid to get the footage – it would have been priceless.
By now it was starting to warm up and we only had about 10km to go for the day. We woke up hungry, we weren’t quite full after lunch and we had only one more Snickers bar to share as the last snack for the day.
Enter Wildflower & Friend & Labrador. They are doing a 2 day hike from tomorrow but today they are driving around a few trail heads (where trail crosses road) and doing Trail Magic at each of these crossings. How lucky that the timing was for us to cross in the hour or so they were stationed at our trail head. They had sandwich rolls and cold drinks and lots of mini donuts. We ate a lot and they kept on telling us to eat more. We ate untill – for the first time in 2 days – we were full. Not satisfied, full! It felt so good.
See the white roses.
Mom – don’t worry that we don’t eat. We eat a lot. But like swimming in the sea, this hiking all day works up an appetite.