A cold, dewy night meant another slow start to the day but again the kilometres melted away under my feet early in the day. My target for the day was another 35 km, but I quickly realised that if I did just a few more I'd be within 30 km of Kingston for the next day.
Luckily an Ecology class lead by my old Professor, José Facelli, from the The University of Adelaide was staying nearby at Old Cantara Homestead and I'd managed to organise with some of the demonstrators to stay with them for the night. No one stopped to say hello today, which meant I made my distance target by 5.30 pm (40 km!) and was picked up out of the mosquito-rich air by PhD candidates Hayley (with whom I had studied Honours) and Casey.
I was in excellent spirits: my body felt great and felt like I could start upping the kms to be ahead of schedule. Plus the thought of a good feed and some great company was tantalising. The trip back to Old Cantara flew by! A dinner serving (or three) was wolfed down with the setting sun before an impromptu talk to the 50 + students of the Ecology class about 1900 Footprints and the motivations behind it. A quick shower and some great fireside conversations and I was tickled to death by my circumstances. What a lovely night!
The next morning I wolfed a few more servings at breakfast (Eggs! Toast! Yoghurt!) before another PhD student (and notable photographer), James took me back out to where'd I'd stopped the previous day. He was kind enough to take some photos of me while I was starting out walking for the day - I look forward to seeing them!I was stopped twice early in the day - firstly by John(?) Marcia and their son, who were kind enough to gift me a litre of cool apple juice and a donation to the cause, then later Phil and Ronda who made me a ham, tomato and cheese sandwich, a donation to the cause and a great conversation about conservation!
Again, the 30 km to Kingston passed quickly and in good spirits until around 10 km out of town when the front of my left shin started to ache. I didn't think much of it until I recognised the pain: shin splints!... I'd think about it more when I got to town... A quick photo with the giant lobster then to meet Camilla from the local paper who was interested in the story. We chatted about the project for a short while then got a few photos and now I'm sitting in the cafe next door contemplating my next move.
I just finished a brief chat with Conrad McKee, who you might remember has crossed Australia on foot! When he got shin splints he needed to get orthotics (8 days on order) plus took 10 days rest to recover. Not good news!
I'll have to have a think about my options and update you all soon...!