Since crossing over into the sunshine state of Queensland, the trip has become more social. I don’t know if it’s because people are extra friendly here or the fact that the trail makes its way through many more small towns on its route, or at least for now anyway.
We have been extremely busy having dinner with section coordinators, meeting land owners that the trail passes through and having events with our sponsors, it all fantastic and can only benefit all involved but for us it’s been a tiring week or so, more so than banging out K’s on the trail, which or course I have been doing still every day.
So where have we been and with who?
When arriving in Kilarney which is the town just over the QLD border we bumped into a lady called Sonia, who we heard was the town runner, she often runs to the next town and back the locals told us. We caught up with her at her work place at the Saw Mill and Vickie arranged to run with her early the next day while I slept some more. She was training for her fist marathon at the Gold Coast where we heard she ran a 4:27. Well Done Sonia!
From Kilarney, the BNT route went through the Condamine Gorge. Its was nice easy going crossing over the Condamine River 15 time or so between huge walls of rock and bush scrub that made up the gorges sides.
I was then met by Ben from TRAQ (Trail Running Association of Queensland) as well as Danny and Russ his team mates for the up and coming Kakoda challenge in QLD. It was nice to have some company for a change, just a shame that the trail wasn’t as amazing as it had been, but beautiful none the less.
Next, was being met by the Toowoomba Chronicle when running on the town’s fringe for a photo shoot and story. It was a wet day, as was the previous two, something that has rarely happened on this run so far!
It was nice to reach the town of Toowoomba, it was like being in the big smoke from where we have been since leaving Canberra, and they had traffic lights something we haven’t seen for a while!
We would have a busy few days here. We stayed with the Section Coordinators for this section Pauline and John Dewyer, who spoilt us rotten with great meals and let us feel like we were at home, well, the Maui feels like home these days.
The follow day saw us at the ABC studios early for an interview, before heading off to yet another FoodWorks store visit in North Toowoomba for a sausage sizzle and a Q&A with the local community, which happened to be a lot of people as we broadcasted it when having our interview on the ABC that morning.
That night we had dinner with yet another coordinator at Murphy’s Creek, where we were once again spoilt with goodies, these guys owned a chilli chocolate business and Lyn and her son Jack made sure we had enough chocolate to last us the trip, as well as making us two fruit cakes and a bunch of chilli condiments which will really be spicing up things on the trail.
The following afternoon we met with another one of our sponsors Nacap Australia. Mark the CEO, as well as Vera and Susan stopped and had a coffee with us on their way back from a bit of a road show in the QLD bush.
Then, and yes there is more. We met with a guy called Mushgang a fellow trail traveller, but I will come back to that later……..
Last night we met with more BNT coordinators Bruce and Beril and had dinner at their home with some fellow POM’s that happen to be their neighbours.
……and today we had Tim Miller out from DreamSports Photo for some trail shots for the RM Williams Magazine story that’s coming up! And then there’s been the running of back to back marathons in-between all that, sometimes it’s hard to remember that’s what I’m here for with all this other great stuff that comes along.
Meeting with BNT coordinators seems to be a regular thing for us; many travel the trail with horses, knocking off 15 or maybe 20km at a time and taking months to get through each guide book. But for me, I’m doubling the distances and sometime tripling the distances each day, turning the year plus journey into 5.5 months!
This leads me to Mushgang……
Born in the mountains of Switzerland and arriving in Australia in 1978, Martin which is his real name has been on the BNT for the past 6 years and still isn’t quit half way. When arriving in Australia he went and lived in the north with the aborigines’ where he learnt his bush skills and they gave him the name Mushgang. He then moved closer to civilisation for a while where he got his builders licence, before heading out on the trail with his two horses, Fritz and Oskar. That’s his story in a nutshell, but living on the trail is what he’s been doing for all this time now and not just living on the trail but living off the land too, using his bush skills that he learnt all those years before.
|Me and the legend thats Bushman Mushgang.|
That said, we had wild pig for dinner the night we met with him, cooked of course in a camp oven on a fire. He’s been living in one of the many huts along the route for the last few months getting over some sickness before continuing his journey south. Amazing story and even more amazing guy, If I didn’t have a deadline to stick to and a beautiful girl friend to look after, I would probably go and do the same as him, and be the Cabello Blanco of Australia, running up and down the trail and living off the land!