The first 10km of today would all be downhill and all on paved road, which was a massive relief after the past few days of very rugged terrain, uncertainty and getting lost! I took off down hill at a pretty easy pace, but could soon feel the tug of gravity and my pace picked up……I put the brakes on for a while, and just enjoyed the view and the smooth surface of the road. I usually can’t wait to get off road be it running, walking, driving or anything really, but today I savoured the smoothness!
The road turned off and onto a gravel road running along the ?? River, and I instantly felt grateful…..flat and winding around the riverbank, this road would take me to the end of Day 11 in comfort and with beautiful scenery to boost my already great mood……..drovers, paved roads, flowing river……someone should make a movie about this amazing country!
But……..and with the BNT, there always seems to be a ‘but’….a trade-off……..a ‘what goes up will come down’ principle which I am slowly learning…….. it went a bit downhill, well, actually quite uphill in a matter of minutes.
I was half way up what still showed on my GPS and hard copy map as being a normal 2-wheel drive vehicle track…..but as the wheels under the Maui slid out again and again, and I could feel the strain as it tried to haul itself up the increasingly steep, winding and narrow gravel road………
Oh, you thought it was Rich writing this didn’t you? Hahahaha, sorry, it's Vickie! ……we figured that as this was the first and one of the few times we actually run/drove exactly the same route for a day that we’d give you the perspective of the other side of the team!
Back to the scariest drive of my life………… maybe you should watch the video…..I was really scared and there was nothing I could do except keep driving forwards…..
I finally found somewhere to stop and turn around….but decided to wait for Rich, he wasn’t far behind me…… when he got to me, he was so shocked I had driven this way, but I assured him it wasn’t a decision based on knowledge, and as we slowly edged our way back down the trail, and to our campsite for the night by the river, we both felt very relieved.
Stretching on the Acumats, we reflected on the ups and downs of this trip already……every day offers extremes of pleasure and suffering, and we are starting to really grasp the word adventure as being something more than a glossy ad in a weekend magazine of a 4wd with surfboards on top. It’s about constantly stepping out of your comfort zone, sometimes not by choice, and then looking back on it knowing that you’ve learnt something…..even if it’s just to never repeat that particular adventure.