Day Eight: ZERO

A ‘zero’ is a day where you walk ‘zero kilometres’ along the track (this does not take into account walking to/from a local restaurant, post office or bottle shop).

I had my first zero today.

Did anyone notice I mixed the days around last post? Oops! Time is already getting muddled.

I mightn’t have remembered how many days I’ve been doing this, but I DID remember it was Mother’s Day in Australia (do I get extra points because it wasn’t yet in America but I still remembered?).

I wasn’t actually planning on staying another night. I had my to-do list: charge the powerbank, write a blog post (or two), call Mumma, do the laundry, and I figured I could squeeze out an easy five miles before bedtime.

But life happens.

I called Mumma and Dad super early, and we laughed away half the day (or so it felt like ❤️).

Gotta give it to them: you can teach them new tricks, like getting the camera on right to take a screenshot of our FaceTime. Kinda.

Talking to them is the best.

There was a bunny sipping out of the puddle in front of me as I chatted with my folks. He was pretty friendly, and the sun and conversation and Alice in Wonderland vibe all lulled me into total relaxation. I could always do laundry later.

Some of our crew turned up, and were spending the night. It wasn’t that hard to talk me into staying, and I’m glad I did!

It’s so much fun swapping stories and looking back at our wildly different experiences of the same path. My absolute best night so far was Khaleesi’s worst. Doc couldn’t wait to have a foot bath, while others raided the hiker box (where hikers put unwanted belongings for other hikers to take: think water bladders, moisturisers, leukotape, and food).

We helped Doc figure out why his neck had been feeling a little weird – dog tags on sunburn. Doesn’t mix well, for future reference.

I had a nap, bought some fresh socks and gaiters from the mini store, spoke to the Smith’s (Solly’s still got three words down pat: Mum, Dad, and Nay ❤️ Clever boy!) and stayed in holiday mode.

Then the water ran out. On the whole base. Which is unprecedented, and therefore, how to fix said issue is unknown. And a big deal. As well as hikers coming in straight from days on the trail and seriously needing a bucket shower, I still needed to do laundry.

It didn’t end up happening.

My bad.

Should’ve done it yesterday, or any time during my long, lazy morning. Dad suggested I let it teach me a lesson: to do what I need to do before relaxing, but let’s be honest.. It’s just not my priority. Those things will work themselves out eventually, and I deserved the nap.

After another dinner at the same restaurant in the same gaudy pink dress, we walked the mile back to base, keeping warm purely because of the merlot and the exercise. It’s cold here, and I MUCH prefer that heatwave than goosebumps and shivering.

Doc wasn’t too impressed with our group photo – he had been inside and missed out, despite our calling for him – so insisted we wake the others and get a proper one all together.

They were already awake, thank goodness.

My biggest takeaway from today?

A thru-hike done solo is not a thru-hike done alone.

Eight days ago I didn’t even know any of their names; now, they’re my best friends. I am so lucky. I love this adventure.

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