Monday, May 16, 2016 – 20 km
The Heysen made me happy today with an entire morning of single track! The trail wasn’t always well-defined and I lost it a few times, but I wasn’t stream-following, so I’m a happy camper (clearly that expression originated with someone being overjoyed by an absence of stream-following). A stroll through pleasant pine forests offered spectacular views of the Elder Range to the west.
In the afternoon, the trail changed to ‘follow fence’ but I refused! and continued following animal tracks. I learned my lesson when an animal track went one direction and the fence went another.
I started worrying about time today. My progress felt slow slogging up towards Bridle Gap and I wasn’t even sure how long this leg is, since the website data doesn’t match the map elevation profile’s. Normally on a hike I would trust the map rather than any online info, but I don’t trust the HT maps.
Ultimately I reached Bridle Gap at 4:00 PM with plenty of time to spare before dark. Bridle Gap is listed as a campsite on the Friends’ website, but not shown on the map or recognized by Parks. The Aussie couple had contacted Parks and were told that if they couldn’t make it from the last (Red Range) campsite to Wilpena Pound in one day, ‘you gotta do what you gotta do’. I’m doing what I gotta do, but waiting to set up my tent until the helicopters and planes of tourists stop flying overhead.