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Day Seventeen: Swamp Oak to Murray

11/9: It was a warm & humid night, I even threw off my bed socks & beanie. We were up at 5am in preparation of a long 19.5kms to Murray, battling some hills on the way. We pack up quicker now & were off by 6.30am. Wayne was up having a coffee & cursing his $80 tent from Anaconda. It lets in condensation & was all wet on the inside, damp mattress & sleeping bag & he didn’t sleep so he was pissed. “If I had some bloody reception out here I would be ringing them up & saying what the fuck they doing selling shit like this?! Not happy!”

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We were off tackling the big hills, I passed some disgusting old pack of those sushi rolls uneaten & discarded by the wayside. I felt sick with the thought of how off they were & kept going. Plugged up two hills & stopped at Ventures seat on a downhill bit to wait for Ambles. Knee was much better but would twinge at the downhill walking. Then we had a massive uphill that we both slowly struggled up, breathing so heavily thinking when was it going to end. Then we had some sweet walking thought this was great. Stopped by a bridge over a stream to munch on vegemite peanuts to give me a power boost. Didn’t realise after stopping there there was a steep uphill to follow! And more uphills that veered away from the roads. We had 1.5kms to go through a dense overgrown goat trail, getting through an obstacle of a very large tree that had recently fallen down blocking the way on a steep embankment. Fun fun.

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Was great getting to Murray Shelter 20 odd feet away from Murray river. Had a dip in the cold water, came out, slipped in the mud, fell down, had mud all up my side leg so had to go back in to wash it all off. Wayne came barrelling through as we were eating lunch. Could hear him long before seeing him. In he charged going, “Fuck me mate! That was a bloody challenge you know! All those hills! What the fuck?! You know what Jeremy said to me this morning? He said, ‘Wayne, there is no shame in going back’ Well fuck me! I show him! My backpack is killing me! That’s it, some of this food has gotta go! Too much man!” He pulled out all his Lolly packets again & curry pouches he hadn’t offloaded any of them. Jayn later put seeds of doubt in his mind saying he might need them, careful not to get rid of food too quickly so he kept everything again. He was like “Fuck I’m hot! I’m ripping off my clothes & going for a swim sorry guys!” I warned him the bank was slippery. He charged in to the Murray river for a swim, all gang ho, ended up slipping like me on the muddy banks but caught his toenail on a tree root, almost ripping it off. When he came out it was a rant again about food, his tent, his backpack, his toe, food, tent, toenail…… Wayne talks all the time, when he isn’t smoking a cigarette. He talks to us, then talks to himself but you can’t tell sometimes if he is talking to you or himself. He got lucky with his new boots, brand new & not causing any blisters or foot issues.

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Jeremy, Dave & Jayn came in couple of hours later. Everyone except Ambles went in for a swim. Man I really craved a cold can of coke, Ambles was craving a pint of cold Guinness beer. The day had been a funny overcast day. It was humid as it tried to rain the hills making everyone hot & sweaty. I love this sweet little campsite by the river. It does attract the mosquitos in droves but. Birds singing, the sun even came out in the afternoon. Jeremy is a funny man, he doesn’t mingle a lot, but is nice company when around. Ambles likes his sense of humour. Everyone tents, it is only us in the shelter. Ambles was far too tired to start a campfire, even Jeremy offered to get firewood for him but he declined the offer, so we went without & off to bed early. I like how someone rigged up solar party lights in the toilet so at night you sit on the dunny surrounded by fairy lights. And the almost full moon shone brightly again.

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About the author AmblingRose

We are keen hikers based in Perth, Western Australia. We have hiked 7 New Zealand multi-day walk trails, the 800km Camino Frances in Spain, the Cape to Cape in WA, Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, Malaysia. We have hiked sections of the 1003 km Bibbulmun Track in WA with plans to complete an end to end this year in Spring, 2019.

All posts by AmblingRose →

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