4/10: A young 25 year old man called Sandals(Track name), came in at 7.30pm last night. He loves night hiking, doesn’t faze him. End to ending south bound to Albany planning a total of 25 days to get there. I was guessing this is the last we see of him, probably going straight to Northcliffe or beyond today. Another 21km day to our next shelter, this one involved more ups than downs. After a super good nights sleep, we set off at 7am. Ambles did up a rig to hang our food bags now due to increasing vermin presence in shelters. The weather was holding off, it hadn’t rained much last night. Rain was in the air but was largely just drizzling rain on & off. Sometimes it would fall heavier in which case we used our umbrellas. Back over the trestle bridge we went, the winds were quite gusty as leaves & small branches fell to the ground. I hoped nothing large would fall off a tree as I was passing under. The winds didn’t last too long.
I had a good steady 4.5km an hour walking pace that Ambles was managing to keep up quite well with despite his cold. I could hear him coughing away so knew he wasn’t far behind. My most enjoyable part was when the track was following the Warren River for a bit. Today was much the same as yesterday in terrain & landscape. Barely much wildflowers about but a lot of bird life. Ambles left knee started hurting again despite the fast pace as my left knee started to hurt as well in sympathy. We had been going steady paced & stopped at 11am for a short break. We had 5kms left & I was getting annoyed as I started up again saying out loud, “And where are the damn Orchids?! I keep looking & there isn’t any!” Just at that point I glanced to my right spotted two gorgeous yellow/pink looking orchids. Alright, happy now! The rain started up again a bit more persistent this time as we briefly walked alongside a farming property with moo cows mooing at me before heading back into the bush, soon after stumbling onto Schafer Campsite close to 1pm in the afternoon. And what a lovely spot with a dam outside the front, the Dam is owned by private property nearby but the owners have roped off a small section for hikers to use for swimming in. Deb & Mel were having lunch as we put our backpacks down, next instant the rain came down in bucket loads, we had timed our arrival just perfect! Not far behind us were Ray & Drew, followed last by Sandals whom’s actual name is Ben. But he plans to continue & camp by the track further on. I know why he calls himself Sandals now – because that is what he hikes in. No socks even, just open type sandals, his feet must have been battered & poked at by all the twigs, logs & branches that we have walked though. They were the most dirty looking feet on the track. But Ben is quite nice, stayed & chatted to us. Ray keeps to himself at camp only says hello, goodbye or goodnight, where Drew is pretty easy going, will strike up a conversation & mingle with the others in camp.
After the rain came the sun – surprisedly! The afternoon turned into a pleasant day of some blue skies & a little sunshine. The sun must of heard me complaining! I decided I would go in the Dam which runs deep so I was able to wade in & submerge to my neck. The water wasn’t that cold either. Felt refreshed & clean after my swim with the little fish in the water. Apparently there is also Marron in there. Then while enjoying a hot chocolate drink, Daisyfish came walking in with Tim & Kirby. She is having 2 rest days nearby the shelter at a cottages accommodation. And she left us a pack of double choc Tim tams 😋. It has been a very sociable afternoon. Down by the Dam then by the campfire that Ambles got going. I would say it has been a wonderful day, despite feeling tired on the walk. Once you get into camp, it feels so good to take off the backpack & rest up the afternoon.
Sandals enjoyed our company so much he decided not to hike on, putting up his tent & drying his clothes & sleeping bag by the fire. Everyone migrated to bed by 6.30pm before it even went dark.