Leech bites, giant mossies, red bellied black snake, marshy muddy track and rivers to ford in shoes not exactly designed for the mud and 4 hours later we were wondering if it’d ever finish.
What promised to be a lovely leisurely walk along the magnificent slow flowing Glenelg River on a sunny Sunday turned into a bit of a gruelling endurance trek.
I’d decided that I wanted to walk the entire Great South West Walk all 250kms but in sectional day treks. Nice manageable chunks. So I’d “planned” the trek from Moleside Creek to Pritchards which I thought was a leisurely 3 hour walk and miscalculated and it turned into a 4.5 hour marathon.
Now you might be thinking only 1 or so extra hours no big deal but when your feet feel like they’re on fire with every step you take, and the terrain isn’t what you’ve expected you’re perspective changes a little.
But what I discovered on this trek was 3 business ‘must do’s’ so you don’t get bit. Thanks to the brilliance of the ‘Outdoor University’ .
1. Careful Planning is vital to your success (and enjoyment) – take the extra effort
I knew they’d be mossies and leeches so I put aeroguard on, (with a roll-on) but I didn’t want to get my hands sticky (I know but I am a girl) so I didn’t rub it in. Mistake #1. Photo above the result of the leech bite with a constant reminders of itchiness. I took a map but it wasn’t very comprehensive, mistake #2 know how far you have to go. Wore my mesh running shoes, instead of my waterproof hiking boots, mistake #3 have the appropriate equipment.
2. Stop and think before you Act
I think I picked the wettest area along the whole walk to trek and it had been a very wet winter. What this meant for us was lots of muddy track and a few little creeks to cross. First time I was following my buddy and I just trekked through after her and got my sandshoes all muddy and feet wet. The thing about wet feet and walking a long distance is BLISTERS = UNCOMFORTABLE AND PAIN. So next time we came across mud I stopped, looked around and planned a route for the best area to cross. I watched my buddy and figured out the logs were the best approach but a bit wobbly, so I grabbed a stick to steady myself as well. Take a minute to stop and think of the best approach before rushing into things.
3. Seek Outside Support
Walking for 4.5 hours you get time to think about things. I knew there was a bunch of volunteers that maintained the Great South West Walk. So I decided that next time I’d ring one of them and have a chat with them about the section of the walk we decide to walk, and things we need to prepare for, what’s the best time of the year to do it., how long it may take, obstacles and cool stuff to look out for etc. Always check with someone who’s been there and done it and has more knowledge than you. You can save yourself a lot of heartache.
Do business with great like minded people that share similiar interests. This way you’ll always have someone to share a great story and learnings with. It makes life and business so much fun, thanks Manya.
Summing up we still had a ball. Did we learn a thing or 3, hell yes! At the end of the day we’d made the decisions and decided that we’d still have fun no matter how long it’d take to get back to the car. So learn from our mistakes and you won’t get bit.