I get up and set off for 5:20 am. Puss has already gone and Cookie is still asleep. It’s a slow slog up the hill, the sun as it always does appears at half 6 and the heat begins it daily onslaught. There is no shade as the forest has been burnt out. It’s so hot as I hiked out of the valley and enter a wind farm, their hum rather ominous. I make the 10 miles to the water source and take a break to cool myself down while drinking 2 litres. A group of 5 hikers are chilling there and I sit in the shade, eat noodles and down another litre.
I set off again but only walk 5 miles, the midday heat getting to me. I try to take a siesta but none of the burnt-out trees give a good shelter. I stay for an hour till I can stand the flies no more and head off into the hot afternoon. I trudge along the trail, the sun shining down. I pause in the shade and sweat from every pore. Soon I came upon a campsite in a meadow. This place actually had green grass which bowed in the wind. It would have been lovely to have stay there but I need water which is 9 miles away. Clouds have been in the sky for the past few hours now but for some reason they seem to be repelled by the sun. Thunder roared out in the distance and I can see patches of rain over yonder. I ascend up the grassy hill and find a tree with shade - finally!
I’m getting thirsty by this point and drinking water down eagerly. It’s a shame I was speeding through this part as fast as I could. My brain counting miles down and thinking of Coke or Pepsi or milk or Sprite or Fanta…..
I climb over fallen trees and perch on huge stones, tiredness setting in. I have a great view of a town down below. I enter a dirt track and find the magical 600 mark. I sped up, heading up hill. 2 miles, 1.5 miles, 1 mile 0.5 miles and I arrive at Robin Bird Spring. It’s 8pm so Gone hiker midnight and getting dark. I sped to the water speed and meet Puss. I down a litre and filled up my bottle again. We chat about the heat and the trail as I drink. Then I put up my inner tent, eat a poptart and climb into bed exhausted.