Burra brought the love on Day 33.
There are certain things you can always expect on a long-distance trail. Aching muscles, a constantly rumbly stomach and extreme weight-loss are inevitable on treks of exceptional length. There was, however, one aspect I could have never anticipated; the incredible kindness of strangers. I received enough love on Day 33 to carry me through the rest of the Heysen Trail and beyond.
Daily Diary – Day 33
My belly was awake several hours before the rest of my body. After the most depressing dinner of the trail on Day 32, it wasn’t entirely thrilled with my 9 am slumber. It was, in fact, an Instagram message that caused me to stir. A Burra local by the name of Ali had written to say that she and her son had left me a care package to collect and enjoy. I was gobsmacked. Such amazing generosity from someone I had never met. I gladly accepted, much to the approval of my stomach.
Before I could roll out of my nights’ fluffy queen-sized bed, I received a second message, this time from the owner of The Peppers, Marie-Louise, checking to see if I was enjoying my stay. Her hospitality knows no bounds. Not only did she invite me to utilise her facilities for one night, but, after a changed itinerary on Day 31, she allowed me to spend an extra night recuperating in her charming cottage.
I felt all the love on Day 33, as did my belly. A food-crawl between the local bakery, two cafés and Oppy’s IGA supermarket sent me giddy, while dinner at the Burra Hotel would service my schnitzel cravings. I shovelled in so much food over 24 hours that I barely had time to appreciate the rest of the bubbly community; although, I did take the time to scan the town’s signage.
I never realised Burra’s special influence on Australia’s past. Its claims to be ‘a historic copper town and the merino capital of the world’ were justified in 1994 when it was placed on the National Heritage List for it’s ‘outstanding significance to the nation’. The town represents a milestone in Australia’s history of mining, as its vast scale marked the beginning of the country’s rich metal mining industry.
From 1850 to1860, Burra’s Monster Mine produced five percent of the world’s copper and, at its peak in 1859, employed more than 1200 workers.
After a day of brightening my heart and expanding my stomach, I made my way back to the cottage. I would need all the positivity I could muster with a clump of black clouds gathering overhead. The forecast for Day 34 looked bleak.
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.