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Mittagong to Katoomba: Summary
Well, it's been a couple of weeks since we finished the walk; I've been doing the webpage, blogging the Track Diary and doing the photos and reliving those wonderful 10 days.
This walk certainly pushed the envelope more than I was expecting, but I remember one night (in the first half) lying in bed feeling totally exhausted and having nothing left except Sandi, a bit of faith and some determination to see it through... and realising that I loved it and it was a rare gift to have your superfluous layers stripped off and that it couldn't be manufactured!
Hard walk, very mentally tough at times, especially the 1st few days when the thought of trying to walk back out was just as daunting as going forward! A spot of Agent Orange and the river walking would've been easy! It was all flat and the crossings weren't bad.
Days 4 & 5 needed grit for climbing and distance, as did Day 9.
The second half of the walk was tough without my orthotics.
Enjoyed the fungi and further butterflies, plus some hitherto unencountered wildlife.
Great having a variety of accommodation, which broke it all up considerably.
The highlight had to be Beloon Pass! Incredible finding ourselves up there so unexpectedly.
Lovely being away together, such a mellow and sweet time.
One of the aims of this walk was to test and get some usage data on some of our new gear. I'll do some more extensive reviews, but initially my thoughts are:
- The SteriPen failed (almost) completely: we got one treatment from it and none others. I'm in contact with their customer support.
- The FUSE Solar Charger performed better than what I'd hoped. I have not crunched the numbers yet, but I think I'm impressed with the low level of sunlight it needs to charge.
- The JetBoil was a complete and utter success! It's enabled us to easily have soup or tea at lunch: I mean, who can complain with 2 minutes to boil the water?
- The SPOT GPS Messenger was also a success, which was a little bit of a surprise after my web research had uncovered a lot of unsatisfied customers.
- The Best Bushwalking Camera (SONY HX5) performed to expectations; well, sometimes far exceeding them and other times not quite meeting them. I took over 1,000 photos and the vast majority were more than acceptable. A couple of hundred will be stitched into panoramas. The ability to quickly do an in-camera pan panorama is very useful, and generally it's super quick to get set up and the photo taken (which is what we really wanted).
- Our wet weather gear, without getting a rigorous workout, were comfortable enough.
We're also busily planning for the Bibbulmun in September, which is necessitating some more gear purchases (to lighten the weight mainly).