Far too much faffing today – even though we’re up around 0700, we don’t actually get our act together till after 0900. We bought super lightweight airmats back at the beginning of the roadtrip but we’ve just had the 2nd one puncture, and considering we’re using them generally on top of the rollmats the Waddingtons gave us, that’s not very impressive. At $79 a piece we think we’ll be taking them back. So much for thinking we had a new OMM sleeping solution!
Once we’re packed we go to pick up the car – need to move it today and move all the stuff we’re not hiking with us (coolbox etc..) to another bearbox at the trailhead. When we get there we notice it was a close shave for Dan’s car as two cars away huge branches had fallen out of a tree overnight. Ouch!!!
We try wifi in the communal room again near the car park (we tried yesterday, but it was too congested), and let the guys know we have permits for the hike and that the bears didn’t attack Dan’s car overnight (we save the tree story). There’s an amusing squirrel in the room that is very athletic in it’s blatant attempts at getting up and into the bins 🙂
It’s well late by the time we get on the trail – 1050 oops! The 1st part of which is pretty steep and all tarmac’d. You can understand the need for the tarmac because of the amount of people walking the trail annually, but it’s a double edged sword, the tarmac also means idiots are walking the trail with unappropriate footwear on!
The M1 path continues up to the 1st of the waterfalls, a circular and very popular route, but once we get past this it quietens down sufficiently weeding out the muppets!
At the waterfall Bernice wants a photo of it where the flow has created a rainbow but there’s a guy in the way. She takes it anyway and as it turns out surprisingly nice, she decides to offer him a copy, promising to swap contact details at the campsite as they’re on their way there too.
There’s posters all along the trail up until this point of two people who stupidly (back in August) climbed over the barrier at the top of the waterfall, and surprise surprise fell to their death! Why?!!!
We stop for a nice lunch when we get away from crowds, alongside the water. It’s nice a peaceful spot and we have the rocks and view to ourselves. That said we still make the campsite by 1400, so 3hr10 is how long it’s taken us. We find a nice pitch in woods, think Blair Witch with bear boxes!!?! 🙂
There’s a composting solar toilet block here too, although we have to go fetch water from the river, that the park authorities advise to purify. We’ve used all our chlorine tablets and could only get iodine, for this hike, yuk!! There’s a couple of designated firepits here too and the whole area is surprisingly well laid out. There’s even loads of wee rings of tree stumps laid out for seating areas.
A walk around the perimeter after the water chore is done (we can’t use it for 30 mins after putting the iodine in) brings us near the guy Bernice photographed. He takes her email and she promises to send the photo in a few days.
It’s Bombay potato and spicy sausage curry for dinner, then a few games of shithead before the light fails us. Nice! We must have got our quantities all wrong though, as there´s way too much food, so we save some for brekkie we guess.
Alarm set (we want to get up and be walking by 1st light, so as too beat the crowds) we settle down for some sleep …. just as it gets noisy right outside! We have company it seems. Two guys have just arrived and are setting up their tent right by ours. There´s plenty room in the campsite and no need for the proximity, but it is dark, it is the woods, and their are bears … so even though it´s annoying, you can´t blame them. What it means though, is Huw is forced into getting up again and re-arrange the bearbox, so they have some space for their food. All food, toiletries, and smelly things need to go into the bearbox, otherwise the bears will attack your tent – they have a sense of smell 7x that of a bloodhound!
We don´t think they even saw our tent actually, as they are quite aplogetic when Huw appears to make room in the bearbox for them. 2nd try, we manage to get some sleep, well until about 0330 anyway, when Bernice wakes up realising her airmat now has another puncture!