Today was a real good day. One of the hikers says he is having the time of his life interspersed with very long walks. So understand that when I say it was a good day it isnt to say the walking was good ….
Iceman told us yesterday he will do trail magic today (we are currently about an hour’s drive from where he lives so I think he is squashing all his trail magic events into this weekend so we can benefit from it) at a certain road intersection. Talking about remoteness yesterday I might have mentioned that sometimes there are many intersections and sometimes few. Today the first intersection was about 30km from where we stayed last night and that was where Iceman was going to set up.
We therefore had a nice target for the day, we needed to get to 30km at a reasonable time. We started round half past 6 while it was cool and enjoyed seeing some of the RockStars’ work.
Then the trail become very muddy. It took all our concentration to not step ankle deep into the mud – a waste of energy to tread carefully, as at some point we had to wade through the overflow of an extremely rotten stinking dam. At points I was calf deep in the water. It was absolutely disgusting.
Two things got me through. Mountain Goat (a super fast and very elegant hiker, he makes everything looks effortless) arrived while I was busy taking off my shoes. He said “no point” and just strolled right through. It made me realise that I need to just get on with it, this isnt the time to be nagging, it is what it is. And … the faster I can get the next 5km done the quicker I can arrive at the trail magic location.
I have been hungry all day in spite of breakfast, lunch and snacks (maybe because i skipped lunch yesterday 😀) so was looking forward to Iceman’s promised hotdog/sausage.
When we arrived (it must have been just after 3h) the AT was good again. No more stinking water and no more mud. A gazebo with benches, cold drinks, boerie rolls (I swear: they call it cooked sausage but it was the perfect boerie roll with all sorts of salady stuff to pile onto it), fruit and decadent home made (preservative free: everything we buy are so full of preservatives it’s sell by date is 2 years away!!!) brownies.
The best was that Iceman’s wife was there too. Of course we were keen to meet her (behind every nice man is a nicer woman). Plus – things change when there is a woman around. There are serviettes. There is somebody who sees you love the brownies and pack you a secret take-away. There is somebody who helps the conversation flow. The young male hikers hopefully thought that it’s time to send mom a note. Nobody really wanted to leave. It felt as if, just for a while, we had a “home” again.
At some point we got going as we still had to do another 5km to get to a camping spot. We were well fuelled and well hydrated so manage to get up the two hills standing between us and a camp site easily, and even had the pleasure of crossing this nice bridge (I love the different bridges we are seeing).
The spot where we are tenting tonight is a bit crowded but luckily we are sharing it with two nice guys: No Eyes, who we met once before, and Napster – a French guy who started a section hike 10 days ago. Mountain Goat and Tincan (ice cream eater king) were doing another 15km after the trail magic stop (they have the speed and energy) and Groove&Nav and her dog, and Whiskey Peach were forced to move on to find a tent pad further up the trail: hope nobody else comes by tonight!!!