Waving goodbye to my new friends, I set out on day 5 of my epic adventure. With 178km behind me, I’m now past the half way point and I’ve really found my rhythm. My energy intake is covered well by the food and snacks I have available and my leg muscles, although I can feel them, are not what I’d call sore. So far so good!
Today is another 50km day with an average amount of climbing, but what is on more of the extreme side today are the huts- 8 of them! As I continue through the Jagungal Wilderness area, it feels more like a tourist trail than a remote alpine adventure. I pass countless others in this well-tracked section, which I guess makes sense when you look at the map and see the close grouping of huts.
The first hut I stop at today is O’Keefe’s hut, just to the north of Mt Jagungal. Here I find a few volunteers from the KHA working on the hut.
Next I continue across the Tumut River and take the turn off to Derschko's Hut. Again, here I make friends with a hiker who has stopped to make some lunch and is kind enough to not mind me taking a photo or 7 inside this tiny but quaint white hut.
Back on the main trail and it is next stop Grey Mare Hut. This hut is perched up on a hill, sheltered in some trees, overlooking the valley. Another lovely potential place to stay, with a beautiful view, an outdoor fireplace, and even some old steam machinery hiding in the bushes.
Before the next hut, there is a fairly major crossing of the Geehi River. I say major in that it would be difficult or impossible to cross without getting wet feet, however neither the depth nor flow present a problem. In fact, I take this opportunity to stop for a quick bath…by which I mean jumping in the water, screaming, then quickly toweling myself dry and standing in the sun for 30 minutes. The water is freezing of course, but also refreshing and it feels nice to be clean for a moment.
Next stop Valentine’s Hut, and of course with a name like that what is a hut without a little theming? The inside of the hut itself is basic but nice enough, however with a triple bunk bed I’m not sure you’d call it romantic… I mean unless you’re into that sort of thing.
The exterior however is something a bit special, not to mention the toilet seat. A shout out to my new friends at Mackay’s Hut last night who told me to check the toilet when I got here!
Getting close to my destination for the night, the final few huts are barely 3km apart. Firstly there is Schlink Hut, aka Schlink Hilton, because its modern and has many rooms and beds!
The final hut for today is also my stop for the night, Horse Camp Hut. This is another well-polished historic hut and came highly recommended by my new friends at Mackay’s Hut.
The interior is beautiful and contains real foam mattresses, meaning a good night’s sleep for a weary mountain biker and a keen spirit ready to hit the slopes on day 6!
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