Heysen Trail

The Heysen 41: A Quality Machine

Saturday, October 15, 2016 – 18.7 km

I began walking around 8:00 AM this morning. Therein followed a long episode, of which I should feel very ashamed, of me trying to avoid fording the muddy reedy creek and eventually fording it with a show of great drama witnessed by no one, the result of which was me having travelled 100 metres down the trail by 9:00.

After the ford came a short section of cross-country walking, including a portion through face-high grass that dwarfed the waist-high grass earlier in this leg, then the HT joined a road beside an old cement aquaduct. I saw a truck heading towards the general area of the campsite, and later I smelled/saw a plume of smoke in that area. Farmers or Parks doing a burn?

Following the aquaduct

Road walking, road walking… I reached a property that had ‘do not trespass’ signs every dozen metres along the fence. I thought the owners must be growing pot until I noticed on my GPS that it was the location of Bundaleer Reservoir. Well, SA Water could be growing pot. You never know.

Old bridge and new bridge

Thankfully I hit map sheet 4 just outside of Spalding and am no longer mapless! The section of trail just before the town is marked as having no track on the map, which interested me because the Heysen regularly has no defined trail but the maps virtually never admit to it, so I had wondered what it could be. It turned out to be a clear pathway along the edge of a field.

The camping/accommodation in town is the Barbed Wire Pub. I asked anxiously whether they have a laundry machine, since I hadn’t washed my clothes for ten or eleven days. The employee showed me to a machine in the backyard and even gave me free detergent, which was actually fabric softener but I decided that it smelled nice so whatever. The machine failed to work however so I was allowed to use the machine in the staff laundry, which was excellent. I can’t express how amazing it is to use a quality machine, a machine that actually cleans the dirt from your clothing, after eight months of terrible washing machines in hostels across Australia. Not without sounding like a slightly insane washerwoman or a commercial, anyway.

For supper I had a schnitzel at the pub, which came with chips (North American french fries) and access to the salad bar.

By Krista/Bane

Thru-hiker, LASHer and packrafter from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Enjoys walking slowly, seeking out ice cream whenever possible, and just generally being uninspirational.

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