Friday, July 11, 2014

Day 5: 21km, pain, strange valley, rainforest... wait what?

Morning on the ridgetop was chilly and windy, but beautiful. 

Mt Sonder in the Sunrise.
Between the loveliness of the vistas and the poorly-marked track, the next few kms along the ridge were difficult. But the descent was definitely worse: the track was full of switchbacks, but barely marked, and every turn was slippery. This bit made D and I extremely grateful that we'd bought trekking poles. 

Trek poles were a huge help in walking 223kms.

Trail marker says "go straight up." Easier said than done, buddy.

 After our snail's pace down the slope, we made much better time through the strange valley. It was odd to walk through such a straight valley; it felt wide and narrow at the same time, like the walls of mountain were closer than a canyon, which doesn't make much sense.

Eerie valley.

At the end of this valley, we had to go through Inarlanga Pass, a rocky gap between the hills to the south.

In the pass were palm trees! Or more specifically, cycads, which are normally found in rainforests.

Rainforest plants in the desert.
Getting through this pass was very tough for me, however, as it required no small amount of rockclimbing/bouldering. Even the "easy" river-rock parts were hard on my ankles and knees.
I have no idea how I'm getting down from here.
An "easy" bit with lots of pointy rocks.

Looks like a map of Australia!
 After we got through the pass, we walked another, I dunno, 10 kms or something. I don't remember, because at that point I could only put one foot in front of another.
Right, left, right, left.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand that's now I sprained my knees and ankles. Pain.

Hiking lesson: bring some ace bandages. 

More to come...

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