Updated: Aug 18, 2020

Today’s distance: 38.12 km

Total: 187.38 km

I’ve got lots of stories for this long day. Woke up at 5 am with the stars. I sorted my next 5 days of food, packed my gear and grabbed a coffee from Flinders Food in Hawker. Their coffee is so good! Began today’s hike with Bec Bazeley. Thanks so much for the ride to the trail Donna Bazeley! You guys are absolutely lovely.

The first part of the hike was following fence lines walking next to ranges. There were views of more ranges in the distance. The scenery didn’t change much.

I spent most of the time chatting with Bec about the Heysen. It was so nice to share with someone who understands what you are going through. Particularly being another solo hiker doing the whole 1,200 km trail.

Bec got a serious brain injury from an accident, so she hasn’t been able to work. Bec, you’re an inspiration doing the Heysen Trail! I hope after this you feel like you can do anything. I’ll be sure to donate money to your cause soon.

We reached Calabrinda and I decided to push on to the next campground, Buckeringa. I reached the 1,000 km to Cape Jervis sign. Only 1,000 more kilometres to go. No worries, mate. 😂

When you think the track is pretty boring, all of a sudden you are surprised. I was sitting for a rest and 4 Emus wandered up to me. They were curious about what I was doing. I thought they were either going to give me a kiss or steal my food (probably the latter, let’s be honest).

I reached a creek that blew my mind. The cliff had sediment that was bright red, orange and white. I continued on and the sun was setting.

By 6.30 pm it was dark. I’d made the wrong turn and soon lost the trail. Between me and the trail were large rocky boulders, which I had to go around. I was relying on my phone’s gps for navigation to take me back. Trying to reach the trail, I was walking on rocky hill slopes. My hand hit a tree branch then my phone fell face first into the rocks. The screen was glitching and I could only see half of it. Oh s*#t.

My heart was racing. How can I find the trail in the dark with little navigation? For the next 15 minutes of wondering around I kept saying to myself “you are going to be fine” on repeat.

I could see on what was left of my phone screen that I was finally near the trail. Then I was past it. Then I was on it again. 300 metres later I was at the Buckeringa campground.

I was in ‘set up camp as fast as I can’ mode. I couldn’t see any flat ground in my limited vision. I set up on what I thought was the best of the worst, on top of a rock garden. When I finally laid down later on I kept falling off my mattress. (Side note: I seen perfectly flat ground with no rocks 20 metres ahead the next morning).

Wow. What a day. My knee was throbbing tonight. I knew I pushed myself a little too far today. No more night hiking for a while.

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