Well I was in no hurry to get up but had planned to be on the trail by 8am
I really fancied a cuppa but I was almost out of water and the next was in 8 miles .slowly I got up and broke camp. I was just about to leave when xxx emerged from his tent see you up the trail I said..Just then xxx came by oh we were almost neighbors! ! Was that your tent back there I asked. Yes Snail he replied. We set off together he said I’m a bit slow in the mornings to which I replied i’m always
Slow lol..So it wasn’t long before he was gone !.I was in no hurry I wanted to do 20 today maybe more depending on the terrain. But I knew it was going to be a lot of climbing.
As the trail meandered its way up the mountain the views got ever more spectacular wow omg wow.Again my camera wasn’t holstered for long. Up and up I went passing many small lakes. I tried to guess where the trail was heading but its s game I cant win,in the distance on the side of a huge mountain was a faint line surely I am not going up there. ..am I ?
The trail meandered on and wow the views just kept getting better. Mountains valleys lakes just amazing
Then the trail went a sharp right and up omg we are going up there .it was a scramble at first then rock of a scree my favorite My feet seem to be quite fragile at the moment going forward on a nice surface they are great but on this Rock they seem very tender and I feel every knock which makes me shout FU@K and I shout that quite s lot I also tend to be constantly looking at my feet so im even slower.As i’m stumbling up and across the first scree I meet 4 hikers coming down I said I hate this surface they all said yes its a bit goofy.so I can now blame goofy.i carried on mostly up with a few downs via switchbacks then a straight diagonal up and over the saddle. Oh dear that’s taken me 3 hrs to do that climb Snail that is crap .I was hoping thst I could make up some time over the other side but of course it’s scree too and down
So I do my best to go as fast as I dare without falling off of the mountain.
Water at last i stop and fill up then have breakfast before its time to walk.the surface at last changes to soil and I increase my speed (in my head) I am still going down but not for long. There is another climb fairly steep BUT OMG once across this saddle the views are amazing Washington has some fantastic sights. I sit for 5 minutes to admire the view take it all in.Top my right is mount Stewart but only briefly as the next minute its engulfed by cloud. I am just about to leave when a family come up the trail
We chat for several minutes then I notice that the lady has a Kruger Park badge on her hat. It was a favorite place of mine when I lived in South Africa , so we chat longer and about the Carlton Hotel in Jo-burg where i once worked that has now been renovated. Before we drag each other away.
The next section was down hurrah and i set off with more vigor god knows how many switchbacks I lost count but 30 plus and for more fun a dozen or so log jumps.i then came to another dramatic waterfall but this one had a bridge in front so you could walk across it wow amazing.
Once across I was in a burn area and more switchbacks
As I made my way down I could hear s distant rumbling no no no rain please well not until at least 6.30 please.
I tried to speed up without breaking my neck or falling off of a tree down and down as the skies got darker and darker no please no rain yet .Booom
Went the thunder rattling the teeth in my head god that was loud I stopped and got water just in case I had to call it a day but it was only 2.30 Far too early to quit. I pushed on a few spots began to fall .I could hear water lots of water fast moving water I then arrived at the bridge but the bridge was missing bugger!!.I made my way down to the rivers edge.No hesitation Snail my first foot reached for a rock then my second then the next whoops the next rock was slippy I plunged my pole into the swirling waters to stop myself from falling.i was now stretched between two rocks I wiggled my slippy foot up higher onto the rock i hoped it would hold as I shifted my other foot phew but I was now out of rock so the next foot had to get wet but If I was quick !!!
splash and I was across and dry well almost. I quickly moved on i had a 7 mile climb that was my target for today well if the rain held off. I could hear more water and as I came around a corner yet another raging river but phew a bridge I crossed the bridge rolled under a fallen tree then the rain came
Not gentle drops but a torrent I quickly dropped my pack but on the packs raincoat and mine and headed out. It was heavy but worse the trail ahead was overgrown so I was getting soaked twice I battled on for an hour before I saw a dry flat campsite .yes its too early but I don’t want to get soaked so tent up tea on
Need to do better tomorrow as I’m beginning to slide backwards
Typically as I drank my tea the sun came out oh well here now mileage disappointing
Hole in my tent !!