What a Difference a Day Makes

Picture of me.

A good day.

Missed the earlier sections? Here they are:
[Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3]

Jan 4, 2015
Day 171
Great Ocean Walk, Day 4

I got up at 7:00 a.m., after eleven hours of sleep. I felt significantly better than the previous day, but I still had no appetite. I cooked a half-sized oatmeal breakfast and did my best to eat. Half of my small meal ended up in the trash.

At least the heatwave was history. I even felt a bit of a chill from the morning breeze as I took down my tent. The only other tent in the campground belonged to Leon and Renee. They had yet to emerge when I started walking.

It was the easiest day on the trail. There were no monstrous hills, and no monotonous sections of beach. The temperature remained nice and cool. I spent almost the whole time in the forest, walking with the wallabies. My biggest mental challenge happened when I saw a sign for free beer and hot dogs, and it turned out to be nothing but a sick joke. I felt a bit hungry after that, but not for any of the carbohydrate-laden food I was carrying. I wouldn't be able to eat anything fatty for a few more days.

Picture of beach.

An ocean-side view.

I arrived at Devil's Kitchen Campground at 2:00 p.m. I was well-hydrated and not nearly as tired as I had been for the previous two days. I probably could have hiked the final sixteen kilometers and reached the Twelve Apostles by dark, but I decided to stay put. I had planned to take five days to do this trek, and I still had plenty of food. In fact, with how little I had been eating, I probably could have rested for a day or two and not gone hungry.

Leon and Renee showed up a few hours later. They clearly had been taking their time, but now there was a problem. As they cooked their supper, they lamented that they were almost out of food. In fact, they planned to snack on a meager portion of nuts for breakfast and stop for lunch in a village, close to the trail. I gave them some spare oatmeal, peanut butter and wraps. They now had plenty of food and I had a lighter backpack, a win-win-win for us.

The three of us tossed Leon's Frisbee in the empty campground. It was a Sunday, the last day of the New Year holiday for many locals. A lot of people might have timed their trek to finish yesterday or today. Still, I had expected the trail to be much busier than it was. Had the heatwave scared off most of the hikers?

Once again, I was in bed before dark. But this time, I felt strong. My appetite was even coming back. I was ready for the final section of the Great Ocean Walk. What a difference a day had made!

Continue to Day 5

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