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.
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
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!