I literally waddled down the road from the Maui Mother Ship; I was as stiff as a board and thankful to be on a sealed road for the first part of my run, well the first 500 meters anyway!
The Garmin showed that I needed to take a sharp left into the bush, but where? There was a road 100mts down, it must be that? No, now I was well off course. So I trundled back up to where it original said, and there on a tree stump amongst the scrub was a BNT marker! So you want me to bush bash straight of the bat BNT? Why is it, when your sore and tired, things just have to be harder than they need be?
There was a remote outline of a four wheel drive track through the long grass, but it spilt in to two. The Garmin was telling me to go straight on, so off I went, but then the track disappeared and I was off course. So back down I run and took the other option.
The grass was light, fluffy and springy, it was just what my joints needed first thing in the morning. I got a bit of a pace happening as I ran upwards, to god knows where! Then the holes started. The problem with long tuffs of grass is that you cannot see the pot holes until it’s too late and you almost do an ankle!
I came across some steel construction; it was signed as a scientific area for the Snowy Hydro. What are they hiding? Is this where a spaceship crashed and they took the aliens away for testing?! My mind wondered for a while, this is the middle of nowhere anything could happen and no one would know it. But, it was just a weather station, still interesting, interesting to know why they always get it wrong!
The track was non existent, so I just relied on the purple line on the Garmin and my mapping skills when uploading it! I came across two mountain huts that weren’t on the map. Is this where they are hiding the extra-terrestrials? They were small and really in the open, but I suppose if you’re stuck out here when the weather turns sour, then it would be a welcome relief.
I fumbled around adding more KM than I needed to trying to keep to the trail, I just wanted to keep moving knowing I had such a big day ahead of me, I didn’t want to get caught out in the dark.
All of a sudden I popped out on a dirt road, what a bonus I could really get a move on now and make up for some lost time.
The track went down, and then down and then some more down. It switched back and continued going down for about 10km. by the time I reached the bottom my quads were screaming. The good news is that I had knocked of 16km and after fumbling around for 6km of that I was chuffed to be over the 10km mark!
Well, as the saying goes; what goes up must come down, but I was doing this in reverse. Up the track climbed out of the valley I had come down into. The river was roaring below, and I felt like a speckle in this vast wilderness. I came to a huge concrete dam just wedged in the valley, again something to do with the Snowy Hydro. The huge cliff behind me looked man made, and I knew at some point I would be a top of it, but that was going to be a long time from now!
I was told by the Section Coordinator that there would only be the one climb today and going by my Garmin they would be right. It was a big climb to the top, but it climbed gradually, what a change compared to the other side of the boarder.
I got to the top and was running through the wilderness again, no tracks or trails as such, I was relying once again on that purple line to get me there. The only thing I came across was the signs stating that they had baited for wild dogs, something I kept be reminded of over the last couple of days!
I followed the power lines for a while as the grass was shorter near them, it took me back on a formed trail again and I was only 16km away from the finish, no all I had to do was get down to Lake Eucumbene and cross over at the low end. The guide book stated that if I took the low route and the lake was up, I would be meters deep and it would be kilometre long, that meant swimming for me so I took the high route instead, what it didn’t say in the guide book was that I would have to bush bash for 6km, get stuck in a bog and really have no ideas where I was going. It also hadn’t seen any form of person, horse or vehicle for any length of time. I get to the edge of the lake, or at least I thought so by the Garmin. I forded the river which was deep in parts, and I almost had to end up swimming anyway!
I was 500m from the main road and the pickup point, and the trail I was on was way off where I should have been, but as the road became closer I didn’t really care and was glad to see the Maui Mother Ship and Vickie once I popped out of the bush!
All I have to do now is relax, as tomorrow is a whopping 65km and off the back of two 50’s I’m really not sure how I’m going to go!