Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Day 16: 15kms, The Danger of Not Paying Attention

As usual, my feet hurt, so when all five of us left camp together in the morning, Englishman, GUF, and Rugby left D and I in their dust. There were a few waterholes 500 m or so off the track, but D and I decided to bypass them in the vain hope of not keeping the others waiting too long (also, I didn't really have an "extra" 1km in my energy supply). It turns out this was unnecessary, because we actually managed to outpace our crew because they stopped for a dip in one of the waterholes. After a nice long lunch at Wallaby Gap (which was a misnomer, unfortunately), we all had a look at the maps and decided to walk a bit farther to make our next (and last!!!) day on the trail a bit shorter. There weren't any official campsites between Wallaby Gap and Alice, but we'd heard there was a nice sandy creek bed in between, so we found the spot we though that was on the map and said we'd meet up there.

We set off again, this time with Englishman at the front (as always), then me, then D (because if he walked in front of me, he'd accidentally leave me behind), then Rugby and GUF, who were lagging behind due to repacking and taking heaps of pictures of these point hills we were walking on.

Pointy rocks. We can see Alice Springs and the caterpillar hills in the distance.
Still not done walking, but at this point, I'm really starting to wish I was.
Englishman, of course, disappeared in the distance pretty quickly. The light was starting to fade, as was my ability to walk any farther, when D and I found what we reckoned was the creek bed. Although it looked rather more dirt-road-like then we'd expected, it was at the correct kilometer mark according to our map, and anyway, the light was going fast.

However, Englishman was nowhere to be seen. Additionally, GUF and Rugby were behind us somewhere, and also nowhere to be seen. We could only guess that Englishman hadn't been paying attention and was farther along the track. Cue me fretting. We dropped our packs, and did the only thing we could think to do: I waited for GUF and Rugby, and D tried to hurry forward along the track to see if he could catch up to Englishman. I waited nervously in the half-twilight, freaking the fuck out, until GUF and Rugby finally caught up. We decided to make camp, which I did whilst constantly looking up the track like a forlorn dog looks at the front door until the people come back home. When D did finally come stomping down the track, I could've wagged my tail off if I'd had one.

D had make it a whole kilometer and hadn't found any sign of Englishman. We supposed that the damn pom must've blown right past this spot without paying attention, and hopefully was camped somewhere farther down the track. Our last night on the track, and here we were, split up!

The rest of the night felt spooky to me. I jumped a lot at little noises; because we could finally hear cars on the highway in the distance, I kept thinking a car was about to come barreling down the road/creek and run over our tent. Rugby tried using her dang iPhone multiple times to call Englishman, to no avail. Was he okay? The stars were out, but the light of Alice Springs had erased some of the magic of the Milky Way. Civilization had descended upon us a little earlier than I had anticipated.

To be continued...

No comments:

Post a Comment