Rivers and Rotting Sheep

The next day started with a beautiful river trail. From the maintained-for-public-use trail, we proceeded into sheep pasture–where we would remain for 6 hours to come. Unfortunately, most of the day wasn’t as beautiful as the pictures (we rarely take pictures when the trail sucks–too busy).

After the river section and the beginning of the sheep pasture, we followed a river along a narrow, unpleasantly slanted track as it wound up and down steep, forest-covered mountainsides. All through private land, so the farmers of each section chose where we walked and what kinds of conditions we experienced.

It was one of those days that never ends. Hours and hours and minutes and minutes and minutes and seconds and seconds and seconds and seconds and milliseconds and milliseconds and milliseconds and milliseconds and milliseconds. All day we hiked on through rough, slanted track. We both ran out of steam toward the end.

This hike also marked the most dead sheep bodies anyone should see in a life. We had been hiking through lamb tails that drop to the ground after the babies are vaccinated and docked–which is pretty gross–but now we were in fields of dead sheep bodies. Georges never seemed to notice them until I pointed them out or asked if we could stop to read the map somewhere other than right above a dead body. It’s weird being in a country without any predators. There’s simply nothing to eat dead bodies. They rot in slow slow ways…nothing but flies and bacteria to break the bodies down.

Eventually, we finally came out on the gravel road we had been waiting for all day. Following the road for another hour, we saw our first sign of humans–a man on a four-wheeler with his dogs. Waving, we kept hiking. He came back about a half hour later and stopped to chat. Turns out he owns much of the land we were walking through and informed us there would be hitching the next day’s ten-hour road section. He offered to let us sleep in his yard (one of three in the whole two day section) or to give us a ride to the main state highway. From the highway, he assured us we could hitch to our next day’s sleeping location, a campsite ten-walking hours away. G and I thought about it as we walked to the guy’s house and decided we would take the ride.

A ride, a hitch and 3 more km on a dusty road later we were at the campsite which was the next day’s sleeping location–an extreme relief after such a long day. We didn’t know if we would sleep there one night and start the next forest a day early, or if we would sleep there two nights and take the next day off.

We set up our tent and met the neighbours–Bruce and Lillian, traveling by luxurious RV. We tucked in, still not having decided how many nights we would stay. I told Georges to pick and just let me know in the morning.


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