Lazy Sunday afternoon.

My thermometer reads 31º C which feels about right.

A cooling breeze, just a perfect autumn afternoon, gee, I ain’t going to have this good a summer’s day back where I’m going in NZ, (22º C max average in the warmest months, January and February).

Thoughts of fanging all the way to Ellery Creek had rattled around in my head last night but the reality is that 16 km is quite sufficient for the day’s effort in this undulating terrain and, err, track conditions.

Since leaving the Gorge, all those boulder filled creek beds, and precipitous ridges, it’s just a blast out over these low rise mounds, insufficient height to term hills but easy enough to negotiate so that I came as far prior to (a latish) lunch as the total distance I had accumulated on the three previous days.

That’s not to say it was always particularly easy, the track at this time, ie, early in the season, is not well worn and while there are an adequate supply of markers when the track on the ground is obvious they are not always around when it is less clear, ie, when it gets more rocky, I mean just where is that track?, or, when there’s a stretch where last year’s bushfires have raged through.

I’ve had some experience in trail finding over the years, not always blazing my own, but as in life, I parted ways with the accepted trail and, well, just crashed on until some evidence of the trail presented itself, or, occasionally, I backtracked and chose another route. For me it all worked out well enough, maybe five minutes in total looking for the trail but others wrote in the log books of spending hours extra on this section.

Later I find one guy a few days ago walked in 22 km, got bamboozled, and then turned around and walked back.

The feet are finally back in some sort of order only to start complaining on the last kilometre or two coming into the campsite.

Now I’m sitting, actually lying in the tent in the shade watching the zebra finches picking up grass to build nests.

Campsite to myself like last night but tomorrow I hit civilisation bigtime at Ellery. There’s always been a battalion of tourists camped up there at the National Park campsite, in fact I’ve stayed there twice myself when accompanied by my long suffering bicycle.

I’ll hitch back to Alice on Tuesday morning and get preparations underway for the next Little Adventure, heading due east this time towards Queensland on the Plenty Highway, but this time once again by bike.

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