Start: Longwarry Station
Today was forecast to be stormy and rainy most of the day and that proved to be accurate. From past experience I know there will be weather challenges to deal with. Sometimes it works out that I can take a day off and not walk in the weather. Unfortunately, with it being so early in this trek, and with confirmed motel reservation for several nights down the road, not walking today was not an option. In addition, last night while reviewing my route for the day, I realized I had accidentally planned to walk along the freeway for a few miles. So I modified the plan which made today two miles longer than the original plan. Luckily I was slack-packing today. That means I left all my heavy stuff at the motel and only carried water and a few necessities so my pack was light.
I got out the door this morning at 7:00, stopped in the bakery next door for a pastry and juice to go, and caught the 7:30 train back to Longwarry Station where I stopped walking yesterday. When I got off the train it started raining. I put the rain cover on my pack and then covered up with my parka and off I went down the backroads. It rained all morning and by lunch I’d made it to the city of Warragul, so I stopped for a bite to eat. That’s where I met Tom and Sharon Hartman. They live on a farm outside town and raise beef cattle. They were super-nice to talk to.
After lunch I still had 11 miles to walk. While I was eating, the rain had stopped. I started walking and got about a quarter mile down the street, not even out of town yet, and I heard a loud rumble of thunder. I looked behind me and it was very dark. I called up the radar on my phone and it was about to rain very soon. I was just in front of a camper dealer so I walked inside and asked if I could hang out for a little while until the storm passed. They were very nice, offered me a place to sit, and I spent the next hour waiting on the rain to let up. It finally stopped about 1:30.
So it was decision time. I could call it a day and walk down the street to the train station and ride one stop down the track to my hotel and add what’s left of today’s walk to tomorrow’s walk, making it a 22 mile day tomorrow. Or I could go ahead and walk my last 11 miles today, probably in the rain, and have an easy 11 mile day tomorrow. Well, I was already wet, so I decided to press on and walk 11 more miles today. Now I’m glad I did. It quit raining soon after the thunderstorm cleared out and tomorrow will be a breeze.
One last thing. They have some killer flies here. They will seek you out and not leave you alone. They are relentless. They don’t bite but land on your exposed flesh and will not stop. At any given time, a gang of 10-12 will swarm around you. All day long I’m swatting these crazy flies off me. After I finished my walk today I bought some repellent with 40% Deet. Tomorrow I’m going to look for an insect net to wear over my face. If I can’t get some relief I’m afraid I’ll need psychiatric help soon because this would drive anyone CRAZY.
That’s all from down under. Thanks for following along. JB