The Heysen 17: Spiders!

Friday, May 20, 2016 – 21.98 km

Despite having 22 kilometres to walk today, I didn’t leave early, knowing that the HT would be on named trails and road all the way to the next campsite. My logic regarding the former was that ‘if it’s named, it can’t be a dodgy Heysen non-trail’. Spoiler: Indeed it can! There may once have been a gentle ‘Yanyanna Walk’ but when I crossed into that overgrown creek bed with striped flags for markers, it was Heysen all the way, baby.

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While tramping through the creek bed, I walked face-first into a spider’s web. To be clear, I love spiders. They look cool and eat annoying insects and most of the flies buzzing around me seemed to disappear around that time. But Australia has social spiders that form huge networks of webs with multiple spiders, and that’s just not the sort of thing you want to walk into, and they were EVERYWHERE! EVERYWHERE, I TELL YOU! While climbing the banks to avoid them, I got off-trail and ended up bushwhacking straight up the side of a hill. Oh, gentle Yanyanna…

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I saw a couple eating lunch near the trail today, but figured they were heading in the opposite direction since a) otherwise I would be passing people; b) otherwise I would be passing people when I hadn’t even left the campground until 8:30. I assume that my theory was correct since they never turned up at Yanyanna Hut, a basic hut uncomfortably near a road. I pitched my tent on the platform outside, which is hidden from view behind the hut. The moon is so bright today that the hut casts a shadow as if illuminated by headlights. The air has a strange smell; an entry in the logbook mentioned ‘the smell of the vegetation’. Is that what it is…

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