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Day 47

Posted by on February 15, 2024

Start:  Karuah

Finish:  Bulahdelah

Distance:  27

Total:  771

Today was a very difficult day. 27 miles is certainly near the limit of how far I can walk. Add to that the fact that it rained the last 19 miles so I was wearing my parka and getting blasted by road spray on the highway. The only saving grace; tomorrow is a day off. 

When I woke up this morning at 7:00 it was raining right down as forecasted. With 27 miles to walk, I needed 9 hours to get to my destination. I couldn’t take the day off because I have motel reservations already booked tonight and several more nights down the road. So I sat around for a while hoping the rain would let up. At about 8:30 things started looking better so I packed up and went across the street for breakfast. By 9:30 the rain had stopped but it was still very cloudy, muggy, and threatening looking. 

My first two miles out of Karuah were on a side road before getting on the freeway. Shortly after that, another side road started paralleling the freeway, much like a service road, so I took that for another six miles. Finally that good fortune ended, and at the same time the clouds opened up and it started raining again. It just so happened there was a small service station at the point where the service road merged with the freeway, so I ducked in there to eat my lunch, change socks, and pray for the rain to stop. I patiently waited 30 minutes but it didn’t look promising outside or on the radar on my phone, so I put on my parka and headed out onto the shoulder of the freeway to face the inevitable. Traffic was normal for a freeway, and wouldn’t you know it; the first 34-wheeler that gave me a bath with road spray was a truck load of chickens. Cattle trucks are bad, but a truck load of live chickens is the worst. 

The next six hours were pretty miserable. I stayed covered with my poncho, which now has a huge tear in it, and sloshed through the last 19 miles along the shoulder of the freeway in the rain.  I can only imagine what these truckers are saying to each other about me on their CB radios. I’ll admit it’s not everyday you see some guy with a backpack and walking stick covered with a poncho walking along the shoulder of the freeway in the middle of nowhere in a rainstorm. 

Tonight after checking in to my motel, I walked a few blocks into town to eat dinner. There I met Ricky and Thearn Fisher at the local pub, The Plough Inn. They live west of Sydney and were traveling through the area on holiday. We struck up a conversation and before you know it we were having dinner together. They were very nice and even gave me a ride back to the motel. 

So here I am in Bulahdelah, New South Wales. My motel room is adequate. The wifi is fast, the bed is soft, and they have a guest laundry. AND; it’s suppose to rain tomorrow on my day off!  I hope it does because I plan to sit, listen to it rain, and take it easy.   My next walking day is another 27-mile day. Ugh!  But I hit the finish line in Brisbane one month from today!!  JB. 

My dinner companions, Ricky and Thearn Fisher.
The dinner and company were good at the Plough Inn Hotel.

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Cousin Ann
Cousin Ann
2 months ago

Great work, John! Though 27 miles in the pouring rain did not sound like fun! Keeping an eye out for your journal entry every day!