From atop the rocky cliffs, the views are uninterrupted. The vast, clear sky burns orange at sunset and again at sunrise. But it’s been *@!# hard walking. If I hadn’t experienced this kind of off-track challenge before I would have left after the first night. Instead, I’m leaving after the second.
Just two days of moving through this wilderness and the emotion that spills out can’t be hidden. I try putting a ‘gloss’ on the place. Then decide on honesty - it’s fuckin’ shite off-track walking. Even the good open forest has so many sticks that trip you, poke, slap, scratch, snag in your gaiter strap on each forward step. Then there’s the sections of dense, sticky hop bush, scratching everything. We have had to push through it with our arms and the weight of our whole bodies. There’s the downright evil spikey-leaved shrub on the rocky plateau above Waa Gorge (pronounced War Gorge, appropriately enough). My back aches, my legs are exhausted, my knees and feet ache and my body craves replenishment. I have burnt so much energy - carrying water and tackling the ridiculous terrain - I can feel kilos dropping off me.
We are in Mount Kaputar National Park, exploring its northernmost reaches around the spectacular Waa Gorge, Mt Waa and Mt Bobbiwaa. It is incredibly scenic country - from a distance.