Sunday, February 2, 2014
Start Time: 9am
Arrived at James Mackay Hut at 5:45pm
Distance: 24.2 kilometers (15 miles)
Today was my favorite day on the track. The scenery changed drastically, and our songs changed with the landscape. It was a huge sing along day to say the least. We traveled though open plains that resembled something similar to the Serengeti worthy of “The Lion King” theme song, into a vibrant green magical forest fit for “In the Jungle,” where I was convinced Tarzan would appear swinging out on a tree limb. We crossed numerous bridges and rivers, and it truly felt like we were completely removed from the rest of society exploring a new world of our own.
The trek was as stunning as it was long. Very long. Longer than a half marathon kind of long. But at least it gave me time to finally discover the magic fit of my backpack. Leave it to the problem child to take an entire day and a half to figure out how to properly adjust my shoulder straps to custom fit my height. There were no mile markers along the way to give us any idea of where or how far along we might be, so when we reached a 2km marker until the James Mackay Hut, we were properly singing and dancing. We had definitely poked along long enough today, and were happy to finally rest our weary bodies. A group of our fellow trampers even started taking bets on how long before we would arrive, and I just said to one of them “Bet you didn’t expect to see us so soon!” In fact we were actually fifteen minutes ahead of their predicted eta.
We quickly made friends with our hut mates by popping homemade popcorn, something none of them had ever seen before on the tracks. When you are out on a multi-day hike, the food you choose to bring can get rather monotonous, and our British roommate even said to me how he was already so sick of eating dried apricots. “Well aren’t you in luck! I’m already sick of eating dried apples! Want to make a trade?” It felt so primitive, but it worked like a charm. I bet it will be a while before everyone forgets us!