Day 30 Exhaustion
Friday 8 November
Govan Wilson Road to Woodcocks Road through Dome Forest
Elevation: Estimate from elevation profile of TA app: 500m
An early start today as it was going to be long and hard.
My morning routine takes about an hour without breakfast. Starts with taping my feet, ablutions, putting the days snacks and lunch in my pouches, taking down the tent and packing up. Everything in the pack has its place an goes in, in a very particular order. It means the things I need to get to during the day are within easy reach, and at the end of the day the tent needs to come out first.
Food remains a bit of an issue for me. I'm just not hungry and when I try to eat breakfast before setting off I feel sick. So I have developed the routine of nibbling at a 'One Square Meal' (OSM) bar as I am walking, after about 30 - 60 minutes after I start.
This morning Kate is really sick. Vomiting and diarrhea all night. She is getting a lift to town where she is being picked up by a relative to take a couple of rest days. She will come back and do this next section another time. She is an 'every step' hiker.
Back to today. Did I say it was steep? And long? Let's start with the good stuff. Dome forest is beautiful. The track on the northern side of the summit is a bit rough, but once over the summit it is a well formed path. Stopped and chatted to a couple of Australian's near the summit who were on a day hike. Sadly Dome Cafe at the bottom is now permanently closed. Very, very sad. Had to have bars for lunch rather than the cooked meal I had been hanging out for.
It was then a crossing over SH1 and up a unsealed road to another summit. A lovely lady stopped her car on the way up and offered to refill my water when I got to the top which is where her house is.
On and on it went. I started to listen to an audio book to distract me. Great news is no new blister, but holy moly did my feet hurt. Out the other side of the next forest was road walking and across farm land. Blissfully most of this was downhill.
I arrived at the accommodation and it is brilliant. A unit separate from the main house with its own kitchen and bathroom, and two bedrooms. I put down my pack, took off my shoes and lay on the floor, putting my feet in the air. I was completely and utterly spent. After half an hour I actually crawled to the shower and sat in it to shower. I followed this with a long self foot massage, and this helped enormously. By the time Lulu and Betty arrived about an hour and a half later, I had recovered considerably, and cooked us all the snapper for dinner.
When Betty got in she took off her shoes, dropped her pack, lay on the floor and put her feet in the air. I couldn't believe she was as done in as I had been. They both said that they had to take a lie down on the road about 2km short of the accommodation and a car stopped to check they were okay.
We shared life stories and trail experiences over the evening, and like Katherine and me, Betty was so relieved to find out she isn't the only one who hurt so much at the end of each day. Betty is in her 30's, so it might not be such an age thing after all. Betty and Lulu are just lovely people and it was brilliant to be sharing the unit with them.