Birchwood to Merrivale – 26km (2859km total)
This morning started with some fun. It was a short road walk to the Woodlaw Track. However, as I was walking there I saw some hikers coming in the opposite direction. My first thought was northbounders, but they shouldn’t be this far south at this time of year if they want to finish before the weather comes in. However, it wasn’t northbounders but the two hikers who left early this morning returning. Apparently the track was closed for felling. The alternative was a road walk.
As we were starting to walk back, a farmer came out on his quad bike, so we asked him. He knew nothing about the track being closed and said we could walk through his land to cut off the section that they were felling in. Road walk averted. 🎉
It was a ridiculous climb up farmers fields first thing in the morning, then it turned into a lovely pine forest track. Then Jumanji. That is our joke on this trail, as soon as you figure out how one part of the trail works the trail does a jumanji and the track changes and throws you a new challenge. Which was a single track through the forest over roots and brushing through ferns.
Soon enough the track came out on to the road before turning back into another forest, this time with 4WD track nearly the whole way through. Once through the forest, I needed to hitch into town to resupply for the two days through to the coast. Yes, it is only 2 days until I reach the ocean. How crazy is that. Then another 2-3 to bluff. I lucked out with my hitches waiting no more than 10 minutes each time. The second hitch was from a lady who said ‘I’ve never picked up hitches before, but you look kind’ I wanted to reply ‘I don’t usually take hitches, my mamma didn’t raise no fool’, but that would have been a lie. I have hitched so many times on this trail and walked trail that my mother would say is foolish! 😆
Today was meant to be an onslaught of rain. Apparently it has hit over on the west coast, but the area we are in has been sheltered from it and for that I am thankful. Hopefully, it will hold to get through long wood forest, which is known for being a muddy death pit.
Today I am thankful for the lack of rain.