Monday, June 10, 2013

Day 6

Day 6: Up early again & hiking by 7.30am with more of yesterday’s terrain.  Again I really enjoyed the physical aspect & was thanking my trainer for each uphill, downhill & log clamber I did without feeling any sort of fatigue.  

It started to rain mid morning & continued to rain on & off for the rest of the day.  Spirits were down amongst the less strong in the group & the going was now very very slow.  By now Dad had gurgly guts & wasn't eating much to avoid having additional bathroom stops which were now all by shovel along the trail; which also meant he didn’t have much energy.  K was cactus by around 10am so by 4pm was crawling like a snail having a porter help her up & down every step & up & over every log. 

Unconsciously, we’d put K first after head porter Kerry who was helping her with porter Paul following & helping her as required.  Next was Dad followed by John my porter who took it upon himself to be Dad’s personal assistant after deciding & telling me that I was a “good trekker & didn't need any help because I could help myself” (again thanks to my trainer!!!!!).  Quite a few of the boys said the same or similar thing to me & I was again pleased that all my hard work had paid off.  I’m usually the one who is physically the least strong & struggling to make it through to the end of the day & always consciously worried about holding everyone up.  Not this time!!!

Next was myself, then G (fellow trekker), Reg, some more porters, Dave, Plumbing Boy & the last of the porters.  Although sometimes Dave blazed on ahead with a porter or 2.  PB actually encouraged the porters who were carrying bags to stop & wait for 20 minute intervals & then follow on as it only took them around 10 minutes to catch us up rather than to be standing around with the heavy weights on their backs watching us go slow.  

On the first day of trekking, Kerry had cut us all a pole to help with the trekking.  We all originally had 32mm ish diameter bamboo poles, but within 3 hours Kerry cut me a "better" pole from a local timber, very strong & smaller in diameter saying that he thought the bamboo pole was a bit too heavy for me & that this pole would be much better.  By now I’d named my pole Barry.  Barry White to be precise.  When the going was slow I’d bust out a bit of “I can’t get enough of your love baby” & have a bit of a dance with my pole to entertain myself.

Barry as a great help!  Sometimes we had to step up or down hill as large as I could possible stride so anchoring Barry halfway up or down allowed me to use my upper body to achieve these big steps.  Also brilliant for clambering over logs - pushing off with Barry it was easy to plant my outside foot in the notch cut into the log, then swing Barry down over the log & jump or step down with the inside leg over the log making sure Barry was planted on the outside of the track so I didn't fall off it & down the steep mountain side!!! 

We only made it to House Bamboo that night instead of Guadagasal as the going was slow.  Some of the boys had pushed ahead to put up the blue tarp & get a fire lit as the rain would not be helpful in either endeavor, so by the time we arrived they had both sorted.  As we arrived it started raining heavily & our tents were hastily erected.  The boys decided there wasn't enough room to set up all the tents & that PB had to bunk in with me considering they were 2 man tents. 

House Bamboo was basically a bamboo shelter on the trail – not really a camping ground, so tents were set up on the track, under the shelter & down the track with the blue tarp off the track in the only possible space available!

PB decided that there was no way he was going to fit into my tent with me even without the packs inside the tent & chose to sleep with the boys under the tarp with created great amusement for them to start with.  They didn't really believe he was serious, then they weren't really sure how to handle the situation & made him a fern & bamboo base to go under his thermarest mat. 

The boys of course didn't have thermarests or sleeping bags & slept rough on top ferns & bamboo with the fire & each other for warmth.  

Dinner was done by 6.30pm & most of us toddled off to bed by 7pm due to the weather & the boy’s tarp over the fire was just too smokey for us to comfortably sit under, even though we would all fit.

Dad had cut his finger on a sharp rock during the day & John had done some bush first aid until we reached camp.  The rain had also done nothing to improve K’s cold & while I’d slept better the night before was apprehensive as to how the next day would go.

Apparently PB had settled in well & the boys were honored to have him with them staying up late sharing jokes, stories & culture.  PB eventually went to sleep but said there were usually a couple of boys awake at any given time tending the fire.  The highlight of the night was when a large tree fell close by the blue tarp & one of the boys had such a fright he clamber from one end of the tarp to the other over the top of the boys to “escape!”.  I didn't hear a thing & slept pretty well the whole night through, but that porter copped a lot of ribbing the next day over his antics!



Memphis Steve said...

OK, my favorite part was when you described your pole, Barry White, and then said you sang and danced around it. For a moment I was thinking 'stripper pole' but obviously that isn't quite what you meant.

AlleyCat said...

How did I know you'd be thinkin' Barry was my secret stripper pole??? LOL!!!

C said...

I am so overwhelmed and in awe just reading your posts. You must be some proud of yourself, PB, your dad and K, you are all amazing.

I love that PB slept out with the boys, I can imagine he would have had a ball.

Loving your recaps!!!


AlleyCat said...

Thank you C. We are proud indeed!!! xoxoxo