It doesn’t take long for the body to start to moan. With each crack and groan and “harrumph” that comes when I hoist my pack onto my back, my mind gives in momentarily to my bodies doubts that I can do this. The second day of walking was mercifully short and reasonably flat. It was an excellent follow up from yesterdays grind.
Last night was colder than I was anticipating and I wasn’t able to get more than what felt like a total of 2 hours of interrupted sleep. I welcomed the sun when it rose over the distant range. Finally some heat! But the huts and campsite was abuzz with walkers getting an early start. So no more sleep was to be had. It made for a grumpy start to the day, but thankfully for my walking companion, it is difficult to stay in a bad mood surrounded by such beautiful scenery.
After lunch I felt like I was harnessing the power of the earth; rather than fighting against it. The wind which had previously been another challenge – became a motivating force giving me energy. The rocks and boulders that I climbed over became solid platforms that returned the pressure of my foot and enabled me to push myself forward. A positive attitude will always be one of the most useful pieces of ‘equipment’ required for any physical challenge. Something I forgot in my sleep deprived state earlier.
Either coincidentally or not, as I sit here in the welcomingly steamy hut at Windemere, sipping on my Cauliflower cup-a-soup, there is a quote on the wall from Ralph Waldo-Emerson that perfectly sums up my grumbly morning and attitude re-adjustment in the afternoon.
” Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”
It was not hard to find the beautiful today. We had beautiful sunshine all day and a strong breeze. Which at the time wasn’t appreciated but did fulfil the role of moving us along. It is hard to completely relax at a rest stop when the persistent wind reminded us that we weren’t at our destination.
Tomorrow is one of the longest days on the track and one that will be the biggest test of my search for beauty. 16.8km is the measure of the task for tomorrow. A good nights sleep and a good feed are certainly required. Luckily we have managed to secure some of the last bunks in the hut. Tonights lodgings are positively luxurious, with tables and benches and roomy bunks. Even a gas heater to add to the warmth already created by the twenty weary bodies moving around the hut. The loo is even a generous improvement on last nights reasonable facilities.
Now that the walking part of the day is over, I can focus on the most enjoyable parts of the trip so far. Part of me currently wishes I could keep doing this for a bit longer than I have planned, but I believe with a couple more days I will be more than ready for that large plush bed waiting for me in Hobart.