Man against Mozzie – 14 July

Today I did the fastest 3km I have done on the AT. It was flat terrain but I swear I would have been just as fast was it to be a steep climb.

As we were walking out to have out re-supply/charge/laundry day in Great Barrington, we walked through a pine forest. We have been bugged by bugs 😀 for a few weeks now, but suddenly it became worse. At some point I realised there were probably 10 mozzies sitting on each arm, even though I was constantly waving them away. I stopped walking to talk to Trevor and suddenly I could see hundreds (literally) around me so I just turned around and rushed on. When we exited that area to cross a road we found an exhausted Robin Hood sitting under a tree, we joined him and 5mins later an as tired Bamboo and Cameraman stumbled out and also ploughed down in the shade – none of us could believe what we have just experienced.

After this ordeal we had another 2km (luckily without any enemies) to walk before shuttle driver Papa Joe picked us up and dropped us off at Days Inn where we had a reservation and where Trevor’s shoes were mailed to. We arrived just before 11h so we hoped to have an early check-in, quick shop and laundry and then a resting afternoon. However, life seldom works out the way we expect it to….

We couldn’t check in before 1pm. Days Inn doesn’t have a laundry room. And the closest supermarket was (next to the laundromat) 1.5km away.

We left our backpacks in the storeroom, put our town clothes into a bag and walked the 1.5km (which I considered very far when I’m not on the trail) to the shopping centre. We then used the supermarket’s restroom to change (unshowered 😢) into our clean clothes, got our hiking gear and pj’s (yes we have something to sleep in) into the washing machine at the laundromat and used the waiting time to do the food shopping.

Would you believe that the breakfast and protein bars are spread out over FOUR different areas – no wonder I find shopping such a challenge. Some bars are at the breakfast cereals section, some on the nutrition shelf, some in the snack section and some in a promotional display. Crazy!

With shopping and laundry done (another 1.5km!!!) we walked back to Days Inn where we were able to check in. I was just in time to watch the tie break of the Federer/ Djokavic match. Wow.

We went to the outfitters to buy some new hiking socks for Trevor and a new t-shirt for me. My hiking shirt must be 10 years old, it was the first technical t-shirt I bought – I still recall buying it on sale from Drifters in Sandton City. After having served me for 10 years and for 101 days on this hike, it’s time to retire.

We also bought mosquito head nets (like a bridal veil but green instead of white) and insect repellent (which we have resisted untill now, but this morning changed our minds).

Lastly there was time for a bit of sight seeing. There are a few beautiful churches in town:

We had dinner and now I have to get our purchases fitted into our cannisters – other than that we will have a relaxing evening and Papa Joe will take us back to the trail at 7am tomorrow morning.


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