Well, instead of stepping out on Six Foot Track walking to Jenolan Caves and back for our 6th week of training... I was taking Sandi down to Emergency at Nepean Hospital.
After our wonderful wet walk over Mt Solitary Sandi developed pain in her shoulder and then neck that got worse through the week until Saturday morning after a sleepless night when I pulled the plug.
Nepean admitted her to the Neurological ward as some oddities showed up on the CT and MRI scans, and it seems that a previously undiscovered haemangioma had bled (though they weren't sure).
This poem was written over the days that Sandi was in hospital.
We'd actually purchased The Packas about 10 months previously, but up to this weekend had only used them as pillows: they are good pillows, but not really why we bought them The previous 4 weeks of training was in hot and dry conditions, this weekend was humid and drizzly with showers and storms — perfect really
After 4 weeks of feeling like we were dying of thirst, it was an amazing experience to spend 3 days walking in the rain. One of the enduring images of the last four weeks is the one from last week where Sandi collapsed on a rock 'table' on the track (looked uncannilly sacrificial): it was another hot day in another hot weekend (probably in excess of 38°C )
This weekend's walk (an easy 33km over 2½ days: Google Earth track) started with drizzle, then a shower... more drizzle and a thunder storm... more drizzle then a patch of blue sky before being enveloped in cloud. What a privilege it is to walk in the rain!
This week we headed out on a walk, well, a couple of walks that we've done numerous times before – but never together before: Glow Worm Tunnel down to Newnes then across the Pipeline Track to Glen Davis; returning the next day.
The weekend turned out to be full of Blood, Sweat and Tears.
This week we're out into the real bush... well, it feels like real bush
We planned to head out along Narrow Neck, down Tarro's Ladder and over to Mobb's Swamp, and hope to climb up to Splendour Rock for the sunset and sunrise, and head back via Cox's River and Ironmonger Hill.
This week we'd planned a short two day walk from Glenbrook down through the Glenbrook Gorge then up to Lapstone... actually, some time ago Unfortunately, it was still 36°C at Springwood at 3PM when we were heading off (probably warmer down the hill a bit...), but we were still all smiles heading off.
With just 10 weekends to go before we set off on the Great North Walk 2014, and 2 of those taken up with other activities, we were keen to get our poor old bodies used to track life again (it's been a looooong time since we finished the Bibbulmun Track).
But it's amazing what starting the training does: it's focused us on the upcoming walk in a very concrete way. It's like the mind and body has just changed gear: certainly makes you feel quite different
- Walking is a very unreliable activity with which to charge solar panels:
- Tree canopy: dappled shade to dense shadows.
- Direction changing constantly: Not directly angled to sun
- We were 2-2.5 times short on charging ability, which could be ameliorated by:
- Increase charging ability by adding more solar panels
- Use an extra battery to maximise storage
- FUSE has great portability and flexibility
Our best charging rate (one FUSE Battery per two days) is probably the best we can expect to achieve whilst walking — Though what we needed, for our current battery requirements, was the FUSE to be charged once per day.