2nd November, 1997
Stages 1-5 of Maclehose Trail
Well after two weekends break fishing in the fantastic rivers and creeks of Bathurst Island it was a harsh return to reality for me this week as Allan and I set out to conquer stages 1 to 5.
Meeting at Choi Hung at 7:30am (a 5:30am wakeup for me) we were joined by another hiker (Robbie) for the first three stages. Getting underway by 8:30, we steamed through stages 1 & 2, finishing in around 4:15, and were off starting on stage 3 only 4 and a half hours after starting. For me stage 3 was a new record in just under 2 hours. Robbie (who finished here was about 5 minutes back and Allan (feeling the pinch from a new pair of shoes) came in after 2:25.
Many thanks to Tony, Teresa, Aiden and Karen who met us at the end of stage 3 with food, drinks, lights, clothes and some encouragement. Without their help we would have not had enough supplies to complete stage 4.
Speaking of stage 4, this is where things started to slow down. In fact from the start of 4 to the shop part way through stage 5 was a staggering 4 hours for me, and around 4:30 for Allan. This is at least 45 minutes longer than I anticipated. Fatigue was definitely a factor on the hills, but stopping was not an option!
After a phone call to check with Allan and a couple of drinks I left the shop and completed stage 5 in a respectable time of around 1:45. Allan followed around 25 minutes later and we took the cab all the way home!
This is the longest walk I've done to date and all up it took me just under 13 hours. Today I have a few sore muscles, but can safely say that finishing the Maclehose is definitely within sight!