The night in Waterfall hut proved to bring on very little sleep and in the morning confirmed that my blisters on the back of my heals were about the size of 20 cent pieces. However, when walking out of the cabin and seeing a fog covered valley, surrounded by Barn Bluff, the lack of sleep and pain in my feet disappeared.
As the fog cleared and we prepared to head out after breakfast, we took one last look at Barn Bluff, knowing we weren’t going to climb it due to deciding to push on past Windermere hut in order to gain access to Pine Valley. The view before we left didn’t disappoint….
Today we were in for a long, reasonably flat terain day. Leaving camp a hiker we started to talk with in the morning, Pia screamed past us. We thought we were hiking at a reasonable rate until we saw her doing her road runner impression :).
Mid way into the morning we turned a corner to see another one of Tasmania’s stunning lakes which we mistook for for Will Lake which we’d planned to go swimming at.
We quickly realized however, that this was actually the pack drop off spot for the track into Will Lake. The packs dropped and covered so the birds and rats didn’t steal our food, we hiked into Will Lake to find our fellow hikers swimming. So, when in Rome!
With our bodies a little cleaner and feeling a lot fresher, we headed back to our packs for fresh socks, jocks and snacks. We once again saw Pia racing ahead of us, knowing there was no way to keep up with her. As we pushed forward toward Windermere Hut, I decided to record my feelings which at that point was pretty low due to my blisters hurting a lot. I tossed and turned as to if I’d put this video up on this site, as it really shows my low point. However, I have chosen to put it up because I want everyone to see that while during hikes you can have gear malfunctions, blisters, sore legs, whatever and feel really down. That is part of long distance hiking and it’s perfectly normal to feel this way. What I have learnt, is that while you will have low points during a hike, you will also have amazing highs too. It’s all about remembering that! The highs and lows will be there, push through the lows and draw strength from memories of the highs and when you are having a high, sit back and really soak it in. Let your soul be nourished by it.
Despite my feet hurting we pushed on towards Windermere Hut and the picturesque lake that surrounds it. A group of hikers were there swimming and having a great time in the warmth of the sun but as tempting as it was to have a second swim for the day, we chose to have lunch, a loo break and push on towards our destination, New Pelion Hut. The food and break lifted both of our spirits and all of a sudden moral was once again high, the body and blisters, a distant memory.
With Mount Oakley drawing closer and closer the terrain began to shift from flat rocky trails to thick root filled enclosed forests. Unfortunately, this started to really take it’s toll on our now tired and sore bodies as we were reaching close to our 28 Km mark.
Another break down and still the trail didn’t seem to want to end. Rick had a massive burst of energy and powered ahead while my pack and I seemed to be going backwards. Well at least it felt that way haha. Like all days on the trail however, it ended with a feeling and sense of great accomplishment. It was capped off by being treated to a balcony view of MT Oakley, making dinner that evening even more special.
As with day one, I ended the day with a final video log, summarizing my thoughts and feelings of the days adventures.