Day 9 – Wetness Redefined

It’s not often that I start the day with a dip in a river.  It’s even less often that I do so in a river that is in spate. 

The rain of the last few days was flowing in full force and after spending the morning in waterproofs, there was nothing for it but to avoid slipping in and being washed away.

Sophie went in first and at its deepest it reached our waist.  The trail itself was a good one.  Easy to follow and well marked, but there was a worry about food and after yesterday’s efforts I felt skittle drained.  Hills had me feeling like I’d ran part way up a Lakeland fell, my pace on the flat was slower and every step seemed to be an effort.  Even my mind was telling me to stop and sleep!

This is despite starting at 11am!  The latest start of the whole adventure.

Then, whilst approaching yet another miss filled bog, two hikers appeared ahead.  We marched across the bog, picking sections that had small trees growing on them, knowing that the inevitable sinking wouldn’t happen here.

We stopped and chatted for a while and discussed the lightweight aspect of our travel in comparison to them.  They had spent the last day and a half hiking from Masi, and had covered 22km in total.  They were a little amazed at my footwear and more so by the calorie intake (or lack of it).

Then I mentioned that I had also been eating berries along the way.  Feasting on bilberries was a get out of a low point favourite over the last few days.  As if this was a hint, Eric bends down and picks one of the odd berries I’d noticed on the boggier areas and pops it into his mouth. 

I was itching to get going so after exchanging names, I bid them fair well and we were off.  As soon as the conversation stopped, the girl we had met (I didn’t catch her name) rushed to a patch filled with these berries.

As we moved up the hill I could feel the lack of energy.  I pushed but there was nothing there.  Then, as another bog patch appeared I noticed the small orange patches.  It was time to eat.

A handfull of berries later and I felt better.  The next patch was coated in them so two handfuls went in.

I suddenly felt like I could love again and the pace increased.  Sophie was again left trailing as I got entranced by the rhythm of the rain, steps and breathing.

I needed to eat more.  Sounds obvious but I was cautious not to eat what I had in case I had no way of getting more.  The conversation with Eric repeated in my head.

‘There is a shop that you can buy groceries from and it opens until 8pm’

I stopped, filled my spirit burner with alcohol, filled my mug with water and began to heat it, ready for a midday meal.

Sophie caught up and I told her to get a ratio pack out…  We were going g to eat.

Meal done, I felt super charged.   The pace picked up.  I felt like I could move again.  My ankle that had been giving me some problems earlier in the day loosened up and it was time to get to Mosi.

I’ve noticed that the landscape changes here as you reach civilisation, or maybe it is just the movement south. There are trees.  Not small trees, but full sized trees.  A slightly amusing detour due to trail markings that had been washed away and it was time to up the pace for final few km.  my mind drifted into the space where there is only the movement and breathing…

A screech brings me back and I look up to see a bird of prey flying ahead.  It floats ahead and perches just a few hundred yards away.  As I get closer, it turns…

A screech shatters the silence and it flies off again.  

It was as though it was welcoming us to a new place in the route.  Now at Mosi, with more food than I can possibly eat, I sit and plan the next day or so, work on fixing the ankle, charge all the electronic gadgets and get ready to say farewell to yet another beautiful place that I pass through.

In all, a fairly uneventful day 😉

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2 thoughts on “Day 9 – Wetness Redefined

  1. So amazing that we discovered berries due to you.
    As Scandinavians who have never picked a berry before and hike no more than 22k in a day.
    We will follow your progress with great interest, your ultra-light approach is indeed extraordinary in our type of wilderness where we have grown up.
    Good luck!

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