Heysen Trail III - Day 16 - Melrose to Murray Town

How exciting! Just talked to my dear friend Shazza (Sharon) and she is going to come join me walking for a couple of days around Crystal Brook. Not the most spectacular section to walk but the company will be excellent and I’m sure time and distance will fly by! I woke to a somewhat overcast and chilly morning. No hurry today as I’ve got a short walk, a bit under 20 kms; perhaps four hours. I’m heading to the Murray Town Oval. The small community of Murray Town has no hotel or cafes but they make their oval available to campers including a nice camp kitchen with power, lights, a jug / microwave and a shower! They even roster cleaning duties in the community to keep it tidy. I could walk on and free camp somewhere but it’s a good camp and sets me up for good walking distances between camps on subsequent days. I’m also wondering how my damaged Thermarest pad is going to perform tonight but I’ll soon find out! I put on my pack, say goodbye to Wozza at the BnB and walk just 30 metres before stopping for a big cooked brekkie at Store 54 (recommended - great cooked brekkies!) After a fantastic brekkie, I get stuck into the walking. I walk past the Melrose brewery which has been mostly restored and is now open on weekends. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there when it was open. I climb the hill outside town and admire the Adelaide Geosyncline geology exposed in the historical road quarry. Soon after, I cut across fields and follow fences. I do my best to avoid disturbing the sheep and lambs but it is nearly impossible to keep them from running as soon as they catch sight of me. I emerge from the cross country section and follow dry weather only dirt roads. The skies are clearing and walking is pleasant. As always, my thoughts roam. I consider why I like hiking the Heysen Trail so much. Part of it is because I like the South Australian countryside to the point that now I have gotten to know it well, I feel a special connection to it. Another part is that I like the sustained physical challenge of the hike and feeling my body strengthen and improve day by day, week by week. Finally, there is a real feeling of accomplishment in overcoming challenges and perceived fears. The kilometres flow past and in just four hours I am approaching the Murray Town campground/ racetrack. I’m not there too long and I hear steps. I look up as another thru-hiker walks in. It’s Brett Bovey, a maths teacher from Port Macquarie, is taking a year off and doing walks around the country. Bovey, as he likes to be called (or Bovey Badger on FB) is a super nice chap and we hit it off immediately. The rest of the afternoon and evening flies by as we swap hiking stories and talk gear, tips and tricks. I finally head off to bed at 7:30 because I’m cold and want to get in my sleeping bag. As soon as I sit on my inflated mat, I hear three loud pops as more ribs let go and my mat delaminates further. Soon it will be useless to sleep on. I’ll freeze if I sleep directly on the ground so I’ll need to be quite careful placing my weight onto the pad in the hole of arresting the progressive delaminating failure. I hope I can manage to Spalding without too much drama! Light rain forecast for dawn and into tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes as I climb up to Go Cart Shelter. Carl / Pilgrim

Hiking/Backpacking

South Australia, Australia
gstreet photo
time : Jun 29, 2022 10:13 AM
duration : 3h 42m 30s
distance : 17.9 km
total_ascent : 269 m
highest_point : 484 m
avg_speed : 4.9 km/h
user_id : gstreet
user_firstname : Carl
user_lastname : Greenstreet
How exciting! Just talked to my dear friend Shazza (Sharon) and she is going to come join me walking for a couple of days around Crystal Brook. Not the most spectacular section to walk but the company will be excellent and I’m sure time and distance will fly by! I woke to a somewhat overcast and chilly morning. No hurry today as I’ve got a short walk, a bit under 20 kms; perhaps four hours. I’m heading to the Murray Town Oval. The small community of Murray Town has no hotel or cafes but they make their oval available to campers including a nice camp kitchen with power, lights, a jug / microwave and a shower! They even roster cleaning duties in the community to keep it tidy. I could walk on and free camp somewhere but it’s a good camp and sets me up for good walking distances between camps on subsequent days. I’m also wondering how my damaged Thermarest pad is going to perform tonight but I’ll soon find out! I put on my pack, say goodbye to Wozza at the BnB and walk just 30 metres before stopping for a big cooked brekkie at Store 54 (recommended - great cooked brekkies!) After a fantastic brekkie, I get stuck into the walking. I walk past the Melrose brewery which has been mostly restored and is now open on weekends. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there when it was open. I climb the hill outside town and admire the Adelaide Geosyncline geology exposed in the historical road quarry. Soon after, I cut across fields and follow fences. I do my best to avoid disturbing the sheep and lambs but it is nearly impossible to keep them from running as soon as they catch sight of me. I emerge from the cross country section and follow dry weather only dirt roads. The skies are clearing and walking is pleasant. As always, my thoughts roam. I consider why I like hiking the Heysen Trail so much. Part of it is because I like the South Australian countryside to the point that now I have gotten to know it well, I feel a special connection to it. Another part is that I like the sustained physical challenge of the hike and feeling my body strengthen and improve day by day, week by week. Finally, there is a real feeling of accomplishment in overcoming challenges and perceived fears. The kilometres flow past and in just four hours I am approaching the Murray Town campground/ racetrack. I’m not there too long and I hear steps. I look up as another thru-hiker walks in. It’s Brett Bovey, a maths teacher from Port Macquarie, is taking a year off and doing walks around the country. Bovey, as he likes to be called (or Bovey Badger on FB) is a super nice chap and we hit it off immediately. The rest of the afternoon and evening flies by as we swap hiking stories and talk gear, tips and tricks. I finally head off to bed at 7:30 because I’m cold and want to get in my sleeping bag. As soon as I sit on my inflated mat, I hear three loud pops as more ribs let go and my mat delaminates further. Soon it will be useless to sleep on. I’ll freeze if I sleep directly on the ground so I’ll need to be quite careful placing my weight onto the pad in the hole of arresting the progressive delaminating failure. I hope I can manage to Spalding without too much drama! Light rain forecast for dawn and into tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes as I climb up to Go Cart Shelter. Carl / Pilgrim
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