Saturday, October 22, 2016 – 16.53
Tent warming achieved! Getting up wasn’t painful this morning! I had slept late again and just as I was packing up the last of my gear, a group of day hikers arrived. We exchanged greetings but didn’t talk further, which was fine with me. I’ve been experiencing a trend of the ‘hiking alone is dangerous and bad’ lecture. It wouldn’t bother me if male hikers got it too, but I haven’t met any who have, so it seems like the lecturers are operating on the principle that men doing things alone = fine but women doing things alone = death.
The HT passed into treeless hilly grazing country, happily following fences straight up and down hills.
I’ve seen a dozen shinglebacks in the last few days, some in pairs. Interestingly they imitate each other’s positions when they’re in pairs, so if one curls into a circle the other will too, if one turns its head the other will too, and so on. I suppose this must be their mating season, but I’ve only seen them sitting around. As expected of the ‘sleepy lizard’.
There are worse places to camp than the Wandallah Creek site – the demilitarization zone between North and South Korea, for instance, or teetering on the edge of a tailings pond – but Wandallah is pretty unpleasant. A fence once surrounded the three-walled shelter and surrounding shrubs, but cattle have knocked it down and left droppings everywhere. Many are fresh and the wind carries a strong cow-droppings scent. The filter in the rainwater tank is broken and there’s crud in the water. I considered looking for another spot, but ultimately felt that the AZT had prepared me for this, and found the clear spot to pitch my tent on (there was only one). The air is already frigid, so I’m dreading the night.