181107 – Kangaroos, emus, a snake, and…….leeches

Day: 002
Date: Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Start: Cubby’s Camp
Finish: Cobboboonee Camp
Daily Kilometres: 24.4
Total GSWW Kilometres: 44.5
Weather: Partly cloudy, with occasional squally showers
Accommodation: Tent
Nutrition:
    Breakfast: Muesli
    Lunch: Trail mix
    Dinner: Dehydrated beef and pasta stew
Aches: Very tired and sore all over
Highlight: Not finding ny leeches in my boots at the end of the day.
Lowlight: Not feeling 100% and struggling a bit.
Pictures: Click here
Map: Click here for Google Map

Journal:

Rain beat down on the corrugated iron roof of the shelter several times during the night and I congratulated myself in the morning for deciding to erect my tent inside. I didn’t get to sleep until after 11pm, so decided to sleep in, given I “only” had 24km scheduled for the day. The ground was hard and my air mattress thin, so sleep comprised rolling over inside the sleeping bag every half hour or so as one side became numb. The pattern was very familiar from last year’s PCT hike and I still managed to “sleep” until 8am.

After my slow start, I wasn’t hiking until about 9:40am on a cool and partly cloudy morning. Rain was forecast so I had my pack raincover on, as well as my rainjacket. It turned out to be the day of the green tunnel, much of it on a green grass carpet as the trail wended its way northwest through beautiful eucalypt forest with a dark green bracken understory. It was very pleasant walking and I enjoyed the birdsong accompaniment. It seems to me, and I’m no ornithologist, that there is much more audible birdlife in Australian forests than other countries I have hiked in.

I saw a few kangaroos and startled emus on several occasions. I couldn’t get my camera out fast enough to photograph the very big birds as they raced away. Despite the pleasant surroundings, I had some sore spots where my pack settled and didn’t feel 100%. I was lucky there were few rises to negotiate and I just ambled along, glad I only had 24km for the day.

A number of squalls came through, with the wind roaring in the tree tops and rain falling briefly. Once there was a short hailstorm, but down on the trail I was somewhat protected.

At one break, I noticed a large leech crawling on my sock and then, on closer examination, noticed a number of others on my boots or heading that way. For the rest of the day, I constantly checked my boots and socks for leeches and was very relieved there was no blood saturated sock when I took my boots off at the end of the day.

I also came across one snake lying across the track in the last couple of hours, but it seemed comatose and I walked gently around it. The last hours involved some short climbs over sandy ridges and the understory became dense and heath-like, but it was still a forest.

I wasn’t sorry when I reached Cobboboonee Camp right on 5:15 pm, as I had estimated earlier and was pleased to find I had the place to myself again. I haven’t seen a single person all day. I can tell from the Hut register that there is a couple hiking in front of me who I will probably catch tomorrow night.

I set up my tent inside the shelter again for what is forecast to be a very cold night. I’m looking forward to hitting the sack shortly and then rising early for a 32km day. Hope the aches and pains are a little better.

Poor internet tonight so pictures may not load.

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