After my total crash yesterday SO was very concerned and together we checked out all options and diversions on the next leg. In the end I told SO that I thought that the leg was less intense, plus I kinda knew what to expect now. Plus it would end in rolling country side Plus I was not going to have a bunch of mountains get the better of me. So we went as expected from us.
On our way to the highest point of the walk we met some Dutch cyclists. They had decided to take the walk up to that point as an intermission. It was a fun conversation really. As we got to the highest point I needed to clean my glasses. While I prepared to rummage through my backpack SO picked up a key. One we immediately recognized as a bike key. What to do next? SO decided to do the most decent thing he could do and walked back to the carpark where we knew the cyclists were parked. I stayed up the hill with the backpacks. Needless to say that SO made a friend for life.
While this was happening we were passed by some walkers we knew from the various places we’d been staying. On this walk you tend to see the same people over and over again and this couple has been near us for the most part of our journey.
Without much ado we continued our walk, again over high topped hills, down steep slopes, and up other step ones. But this time at least I knew what to expect and I carried on. We met a young woman heading the other way with her very small dog. By that stage we were still on a ridge but really staying up mostly. She still had to go the difficult stretch. She felt she’d do alright as just behind her was also up and down. SO and I had a giggle, she had no idea what was coming. As it turns out she did. In fact we had two more steep hills to go. Not as high as the previous ones, but insanely steep!!!! Seriously at one stage I wondered if I was looking into some kind of abyss instead of a hill side. All of a sudden the hill just stopped and there was a gap only. After a good breath in – breath out the drops turned out to be doable, if time and care was taken. In one case because they put steps against it very scary stuff
But the views were wonderful, magical and breathtakingly beautiful. We liked those a lot but we were still very happy when we came to the last third of this stage, which was much more friendly and with some meadows reminiscent of scenes from Sense and Sensibility. Wonderfully lush, green rolling for the hillside. It was not long until we saw Gilsland and though we were near the end of our day trip, it took us a while to get there. First we had a chat with the earlier mentioned couple to see if we would stay each other’s shadow for a day more. Then my NZ bandana was spotted by a kiwi. So we ended up chatting with her. on we want to meet a mother and her two sons. On the steps to one of the ruins we talked about the route, how the companies get the mileage for walks always wrong. Then she told us with motherly pride that they are walking the walk with the youngest. He is doing it for charity. We of course donated some money as really what he is doing is no mean feat and we like to encourage that.
Our farm B&B is on the track and is actually very nice, we are staying in a barn conversion. Love those! The owners also own The local pub and we were driven there by the owner for a lovely meal. Here we met another couple (aka track buddies) we’d met before on the track and after talking with two of us getting sore necks we ended up sharing a table and talking the whole evening. We even exchanged mail addresses. Isn’t is amazing how on such an individual holiday these clusters of people still develop? All in all it was a good day.