Feature image: Dannii Coughlan
There’s this particular hike close to where I live that is a few days long. Five to be exact, but we chose to do three of the five days. Who knew (except for the sadists who planned the trip) that within those three days, there were not one, but two mountains to climb! It can be steep they said.
Again, happily oblivious, I posted pictures on Facebook with all our prep, including bags of healthy snacks … like carrots … Did you know that carrots turn black after a couple of days in a backpack?
Previously, I said that if the hiking thing stuck, I would buy me some boots. I was now equipped with said boots that held my ankles in place and had good grip on the soles.
Usually, true hikers will know, you should wear your boots in. This three-day 45km hike was possibly the 3rd hike after getting new boots. But, we’ll talk about that in the next blog.
Cell phone image by author
Training involved walking up and down 85 steps, a number of 5km hikes, a few gym sessions and a particularly murderous steep hill climb to the top of a “smallish” mountain close to home, with 8kg packs. Actually, the others had 8kgs, I only packed 6 – I figured I was carrying many more than them on my body.
On the way up this “training mountain”, my friend - the same one who doesn’t check terrain information – see previous blog here, starts to feel really nauseous. Too much too soon I think. The gung-ho one that takes off at a trot and begins to flag, whereas I start the way I mean to go, slowly (not that I'm judging or anything). Anyhoo, said nauseous friend is now lying on the path, over her backpack groaning and I am waiting with her.
After some time, our husbands must be beginning to worry, she tells me she just needs to vomit but can’t do it in front of anyone and can I please just go. I agree, because seriously, I don’t need to hear it. After negotiating the track on my own for a bit, getting stuck, taking a wrong turn and nearly stepping off the edge, swearing in my mind (I try not to say those words out loud), I finally see two husbands walking down the trail to find us. The same two husbands who ran ahead at the last hike to get the car to meet us and save us from the last 900m of our previous hike.
I tell my friend’s husband that he had better go down to his wife as she is really sick - so, while he descends, my husband and I ascend. We rested at one spot with a stunning view, for about 20 minutes and then I decided I could carry on.
Cell phone image by author
200m from the top where everyone else has been for the last hour, eating sandwiches and drinking tea (schmucks), I look back and see my friend who is now waving us down and shouting “HELLO!” with a huge smile on her face. She says she had a good vomit and now she’s fine. I roll my eyes.
Boots got some experience.