Today we took the safe option and got a taxi for the first 16kms as it was all road walking and aside from being extremely tedious, it seemed very dangerous. We were dropped off at the beginning of the National Park and took photos of the sun rise-so beautiful!
The scenery today was stunning. It felt almost like Australia with hundreds of gum trees, oleanders and hakeas. I picked some gum leaves and attached them to my pack so I could smell the eucalyptus as it rubbed against the shoulder strap and released its familiar and comforting scent. I kept looking at the colours of the vista around me, wondering, if I was to paint or draw what I could see, how would I actually be able to find the right colour in my Derwent box or paint box. I have great respect and admiration for James’s artistic eye. It would be so easy for him. I also kept thinking of my proxy artist brother Rob Candy, who paints beautiful landscape watercolours, and how much he would love this scenery!
The heat is getting to me. I knew it would be hot, and I am coping, but it is hard to walk in. Even though we leave early, by lunchtime I have had enough. We have been staggering into town and heading for the closest bar for icy cold drinks! I’m carrying nuts, water and bananas when I can find them, and loading up on magnesium, but it is quite tough. I post a picture of my feet. The bandages and taping are mainly preventatives but I do have a couple of blisters. My feet get really hot and I don’t think I could ever be one of those people who don’t get blisters! Just so you know, it looks worse than it is
the poles have also been essential as the last part of today’s walk was a very very very steep climb, and almost vertical. Colleen had to coax me from one shady tree to the next and it was extremely hard going. She got me through the snow in the Pyrenees last time and had to come to my aid again on this horrible mountain! Aghhhh! What goes up has to come down… I didn’t take photos of the downward part because I was so busy trying to cope with the rocks and ditches! I didn’t want to slip and injure myself so early in the piece. My photos just don’t show how steep that climb really was!!!!!