Trevor woke up at 4am this morning, read the news on his phone and then went back to sleep. Needless to say that I was then awake and my night was over. I spent some time communicating with friends and by 5am it was 11am in South Africa so I used the opportunity to call my mom. How technology has changed the world! Using relatively cheap data I can call her and it sounds as if she is just next door.
Barb didn’t stop spoiling us and we built up a caffeine surplus to carry us through the next few days. We had a breakfast made with eggs we stopped to buy from one of the farms we visited last night. These eggs certainly don’t look anything like our store bought eggs, I think one egg has the protein of 3 of our jumbos.
We spent the morning pottering around and resting our legs. Iceman took us back to Hamburg (close to the trail) round midday – I did the food shopping at Walmart, then we went to the giant outfitter Cabela just down the road.
The outfitter was the only disappointment of our Sero. It has an aquarium and some life size stuffed animal scenes (including our big 5):
However, they don’t really specialise in hiking gear. I was ready to try on lighter shoes (Trevor eventually convinced me to try on his and it is amazing to have your feet feel so free) but Cabela doesnt carry that brand (the most used brand on the trail). I did however find a tick removal tool (hope to not have a need for it but rather safe than sorry) and bought a new pair of shorts. I have lost just enough weight for my pants to be too loose fitting to be comfortable. They had hiking skirts with little shorts underneath which I liked the look of but in the end I settled for conventional shorts.
There were a lot of Armish people in the store. Trevor went to sit outside on a bench while I was paying for my shorts, when I came out an old Amish guy was sitting next to him and was talking to him about the hike. A bit later his family (maybe 5 of them) came out and asked if we are taking him on the hike with us to which we smiled and said sure. The one woman then wanted to know when we will bring him back and when we said September they all laughed.
Trevor (and you all know how camera shy he is) afterwards said he so wished I took a photo of him and the old man chatting, but it didn’t even cross my mind – I was multi-tasking; packing things, discarding shopping bags, moving things around. I also regret not thinking of it at that moment. This time of “mindfulness” – it became the hype and then disappear off the scene again and I have not yet master it!
The strange thing about Cabela is that even though they are not well stocked for hikers needs, they run an excellent (free) shuttle service between the shop and the trail. We were brought back to the trail and by 15h30 we were hiking again.
The first km was in the sun and we could really feel the marked difference in temperature when we entered the forest.
We only did 8km (Trevor is currently the non-chance-taker…..!!) as “we” were concerned that too many people ahead of us were heading for the next camping spot. There are some good but unmarked tenting spots so I thought we could take a chance and walk on but decided to just go with the flow. Lucky, as just as Trevor had the tent pitched, out of nowhere, we heard thunder and had a 7min down-pour. We just quickly crawled into our tent and stayed dry.
So the Sero worked out well for us. Between yesterday PLUS today we got our 30km in and we got a bit more than 24hours rest. This is the first “rest day” (other than in Erwin) where we didn’t walk 20thousand plus steps while we were supposed to be resting, and my feet and leg say “thank you”.
You can hopefully pick up that my bleak mood of two days ago has totally lifted, I am ready to go again!