Greg Nelson and I woke up early this morning after the disappointment of origin last night.
We were looking for a coffee in Lithgow and walked across the highway to a small cafe.
As we looked up we saw the most spectacular sun rise and as it dawned on us that it was bright red we knew the day was destined to be a tough one.
“Red sky at morning sailor take warning”…. By the time Dianne and Jannine turned up to do the day of walking with us we were all strapped up and ready to go.
Cameron McInnes also arrived who is our well loved team member and physio who had a horrific accident three months ago falling off his two story roof.
He bravely fronted today to do the walk and get to work on rub downs at the end of the day.
The trusty road crew were feeling well (which is always a good sign) and Crossy had set out supper early as usual. We hit the road winding our way through the hospitable township of Lithgow to many waves and greetings.
The streets were beautiful with gold and red leaves in full show, however the dark grey clouds loomed in the background like an angry warning of what was to come.
The road wound up through the hills toward Hartley and as we took on the massive down hill heading into the valley below, all were in good spirits despite the temperature drop.
We had asked the road crew to be on the job as soon as there was any sign of rain, however as the first fee drops fell we knew there would be a delay.
I think most of us were drenched before they caught up with us to get the weather proof jackets into play. By then it really didn’t matter as we were just covering up the wet clothes which made it feel like we were walking in a sauna with heavy rain falling for the rest of the day.
Reaching the historic Comet Inn at Hartley Vale, complete with Kangaroo at the bar was a small amount of respite.
Jonathon Green ran ahead to use the facilities and found himself unable to enter. The lady who was there alone didn’t like the look of him so denied him access to the pub. After a little of the Green magic she relented and let him in.
As Jonathon stood in front of the fire, he was welcomed by a large dog at his back. As he turned to greet the canine he realised it was actually the resident pet kangaroo and nearly jumped out of his skin!
She then kicked him out to meet us on the verandah so we had a little cover to take in a quick lunch before we got off road on to Lawson’s Long Alley. As we took on the dirt track we soon found that the footing was unstable as the rain had turned the track to mud.
Greg, Rob, Trent, Cameron and Mark all took off quickly and set the pace today through the bush. Even having a short run at the end of the climb.
Tony Bowden had a spill today injuring his knee, however he bravely continued on and did us proud taling on the big hill through the bush that we all talk about throughout the week as one of the toughest of the walk.
The man of the match today goes to Cameron McInnes who was back in form up front after such an amazing recovery, Cameron you are truly a tough man and we are so happy to see you back to your usual self after the tough last few months.
We would also like to say how special Cameron’s wife Genevieve is in supporting him through this ordeal and keeping their life afloat, with the practice, house and three beautiful girls she was the angel he deserves.
Tomorrow we venture down the hill to our destination at The Grandview Hotel Wentworth Falls for a lovely night with the wives.
Dougy Walters is said to be making an appearance so it will be a memorable night. Keep up with our daily diary and if you would like to donate to the cause please look up our bank details on the ‘Donations’ section of our front page. Hopefully the rain will clear in the morning.