Today's distance: 24.92 km
Total: 934.10 km
It was 4 months ago I was binge watching a YouTuber, Trekking West, walk the entire 1200 km Heysen Trail. Watching his daily videos showed me it was possible for me too. Fast forward to today, and here my Heysen Trail inspiration was walking alongside me.
We were walking through conservation parks including Horsenell Gully where I mentioned we should keep an eye out for Koalas. Then I looked up and we could see 10 koalas in the space of 100 metres. The total Koala count for the day was 12.
Heading into Cleland Conservation Park I was nervous to go up the Mount Lofty Summit. It was a walk I'd panted up a few times before, but never carrying a pack on my back. Also, I felt like I didn't fit in with the Mount Lofty walker culture.
When we started our climb I didn't care what others thought about me, as I breathed heavily and focussed on putting one foot in front of the other. When we reached the top, I compared the climb with other sections. I thought it wasn't as challenging as Mount Arden, but I don't know if that's because my legs have adapted since then.
At the top, legendary Joshua West shouted me lunch. Thanks mate! I hope you don't regret shouting a meal for a hungry hiker.
The final piece of the walk today was through the Mount Lofty Botanic gardens. The nature trail section took us through a beautiful gum rainforest.
Reaching Woodhouse Activity Centre, I had the chance to put my feet up while Jess Schulz showed us her tent pitching skills.
Later that night my parents took me out to tea at the Stirling Hotel. They shared some special words of support and encouragement, which was a moment I will never forget.