Tuesday 15th may .
I was determined to make a good start so I was up early and packed by 6.30. drank my tea and wolfed a Danish and hit the trail at 7
It was cool and overcast perfect hiking weather for me.
The trail started with a small but steep climb then I was on my way .
I am not a fast hiker, more of a plodder, but i am doing the miles . I felt I was amking fast profress until handstand and another hiker zoomed past me . It is a little intimidating but hey hike your own hike.
I pushed on and passed Bumble Bee, who was camping in a field, why you here i asked as your get a lot f condesation
Bumble be point to a tree, i wanted to go there but the spot was taken ,
“Laters” i said and pushed on
Several miles later i came across the hikers who I met at the shelter but whp had decided to hike on. I was impressed with the mileage that they had made. and i guess a lot of it in the dark.
I pushed on until I came to water, I drank a litre and topped upmy bladder. It was 2 miles to laurel falls which was my first target.
AS i crossed over a road i entered another park and joined the river, I following the river for a while before crossing over a bridge. Once across the climbing started , I climbed up and over rejoining the river on the other side.
I then continued to follow the river as it flowed far below me. It was time to climb down. the decent was down huge stone steps that took me a while. AS i made my decent the roar of the falls gready staedily louder then i could see them. Wow this decent was well worth the effort as the falls were magnificent. some mad people were swimming in the pool in the front of the falls.
I stayed for about 30 minutes enjoying the stunning views of the falls, before moving on. The trail followed the river for most of the day before a huge climb.
At 1pm ,I decided to stop for lunch and relax before tackling the next climb.
Several hikers streamed past me , so i packed up and headed off continiing to followed the river . I then caame across a huge wooden log bridge that spanninmg the river ,
Once across it was time to climb . this first climb took me 2 hr and once again it seemed a pointless climb. with no view and no purpose. But this is the AT.
I have to say it was so humid that my shorts were soaked, I thought that i had a leaaking water bottle but no it was my sweat. YUCK.
At last I was at the top and typivally on most of these climbs imeaditly statterd my decent. As i made my way down i began to hear thunder rumble in the distance .
I may be getting wet, as I began the ever ending spiral down I was sudden it passed by Beth and Speedy .
Where are you heading snail Beth said ?
Not really sure i replied laughing
We are trying to get to Boots offf, If you make it there Snail , do you fancy coming out for dinner later “
“Of course” I replied.
Beth and Speedy were so fast they wee soon goon.
It was 2 miles to the hostel so I pushed on trying to crunch the miles as fast as I could An hour I arrived at the Hostel, but sadly no more rooms . I checked in grabbed a soda then the heavens opened.
I quickly found a tent spot and put up my tent as quickly as i could before everything got soaked once my tent was up I sorted out my gear.
OKay i need a shower , i walked back to the main building and found the showers The shoers were great , powerful and hot, Once done i went to find Bethand Dan.
they were in one of the bunk houses, ,Sat outside was Bumble Bee so i cahatted for her for a while , before Beth arrived shortly followed by Dan .
They went to meet their friends,
Snail are you coming ?
I dint want to intrude but their freinds were graeat ,
How are we all going to get to the resturant?” asked one of their freinds
Snail will you be okay in the trunk,?
No probs i said
I got into the back of the car and we were soon on out way
They found a pizza place with live music.
It was great ,I ordered a 16″ Pizza which was awesome washed down with 4 pints of various ales. we had a great time laughing and enjoying each other’s company..
eventually it was time to leave .once back we had a few more beers than it was time for bed
mileage 15 miles
Remaining 1762 Miles