Long-distance hiking: An Overthinker's dream.
At times on the trail, you can do little else but ponder your existence. On any given day you can think about the direction of your life, food, potential career opportunities, food, connecting closer with family and friends and, of course, food. After all of these fleeting thoughts, however, it’s important to reflect on what you’ve learnt—I don’t do this enough. Thanks to a speedy Day 25, I had ample time to give all of my theories proper consideration.
Heysen Trail Diary – Day 25
By the time I left Curnows Hut, I had developed the makings of a food baby. The mountain of toasties that Trail Angel Michele had generously gifted me on Day 24 had all but disappeared. After weeks of withering, the sight of a bulging stomach was an odd sensation, but I was grateful for the added calories.
My schedule for the day was short, sharp and filled with sheep. The rustic route led me past crumbling ruins, through provincial farming properties, below an ancient yacca forest and along the dry Never Never Creek.
By the time I arrived at Bundaleer Weir Campsite, the landscape had switched again to fledgling crops intertwined with flowing streams. Day 25 may have been brief, but it squeezed a ridiculous amount of diversity into its 13.62 kilometres.
Construction of the Bundaleer Reservoir was plagued by bad weather and several disasters. 5 men were killed, and 3 others injured, in a cave-in. Another man was killed by a gunpowder explosion, while 51 men were admitted to Jamestown Hospital with typhoid fever.
Despite leaving Curnows Hut late in the morning, I arrived at camp before 3 pm; my record arrival time so far on the trail. I set up my tent, laid out my bed, collected some firewood and prepared my dinner. It was just after 4 by the time I’d finished eating and I had nothing to do but sit and reflect on my first three and a half weeks on the trail. I unfolded my maps and charted the journey thus far. Day by day, I retraced my steps. I had hiked almost 500 kilometres. What a revelation! From there, the reflective floodgates opened.
The next few hours were spent contemplating life’s lessons. Never, in my previous umpteen years on this planet, had I taken the time to reflect on my thoughts and record my progress. The sunset had been and gone by the time I packed away my journal and slid into my sleeping bag.
I’m certain if I hadn’t just hiked continuously for 25 days, my head, swimming deep in thought, would have kept me awake through the night. Instead, I drifted peacefully to sleep ahead of a paddock-filled stretch to Spalding on Day 26.
All the details.
Trail distance covered
The region has hot dry summers with cool to cold nights and cool, wet winters. Autumn and spring can be warm and mild with occasional periods of rain or showers.
Short and cruisy with a few picturesque bumps along the way.