Everyone should wake up in the morning and play with a dog or two for a while, not only is it a great mood lifter but you get a great warm up for the rest of your day. While Lauren made the breakfast I threw a stick less burly than the ridiculous bit of 2×4 the dog was making fun of us with. Out of nowhere a labrador shows up and joins in on the fun. I always wonder how dogs don’t get bored of playing fetch, running back and forth chasing the same object over and over again, but looking at myself I realised that perhaps we get the most pleasure from the simplest things like walking day in day out, essentially chasing the same thing over and over again.
We shared a moment with a pair of deer at the end of Merrivale Road after passing about twenty plucked possums littering our paths. Arriving at Bald Hill we could see Bluff in the distance, it felt strange, the thing that we had been chasing for five months was finally in sight. At this point I was a bit overwhelmed, I realised that I didn’t want to catch Bluff so soon. Bald Hill is a telecoms mast, a harsh reminder of the reality we were about to return to, but we had to move on. I could barely take eyes off Bluff until it went out of sight, but that was a good thing, out of sight out of mind. As far as the trail was concerned we were about to head back into a thick forest. After a near miss on the road, we entered the forest after a spot of lunch in the sun, glorious.
This was the last bit of forest we’d be walking through so we were soaking up every last drop of it. The tiny paths and moss covered trees made for a beautiful walk with added photo opportunities. It was getting late when we hit another clearing before the hut, Bluff looked nice in the low light, but the sun was setting in more ways than one. Back into the bush to find the hut and we arrive to meet Rich, Moritz, Thor and Katrin. They had camped up at Bald Hill the night before. Unfortunately we didn’t get to sleep in our last hut, but it would be our last night in our tent along the trail.