Tuesday 28th June

We descended through the rainforest into another breathtaking valley - and had to spend a bit of time finding our way through a maze of fences and gates to the dirt road. By now, it was getting to be late afternoon, so I was looking for a campsite - and spotted one down Kingfisher Lane, on the inside bend of a very fast flowing and icy cold creek. I had set up the fence, hobbled the horses and sprayed Sarah with insect repellent, when a little girl and her dog came over - turns out I was on private property. Oops! She said her mum didn�t mind, though, so I went back to trying to start the fire (cursed rainforest muck).. She re-appeared later with her brother and a jug of hot chicken and corn soup. Yum! This is just typical of the hospitality I�ve had along the way.

Writing up my diary

Up before dawn again, we followed the road through vast sugar cane fields into Mossman. First stop the P0 - letters from Libby, Ronnie and home, as well as the first of my drop-offs. But to tell you the truth, I don�t have room for it all - so I�ll send some back, and eat/drink a lot of the perishables before we leave (including two litres of port!)

I arranged the vet�s vaccinations for 11 am tomorrow - tetanus and strangyles - so will probably stay here tomorrow night. And I�ve met some interesting people here too.. .Gabrielle, a girl doing the horse trail with another girl approached me at the P0 - she�s already done a lot of the NSW leg, and now has come up to avoid the cold weather with their 7 (!) horses. She�ll probably be back later to help me drink this port.


She did return - with her travelling partner and Theresa, a local horse owner. They didn�t drink much of my port, but we sat and swapped stories, then went Out to dinner. I had already feasted on fruit cake and port, so settled for a few mini spring rolls. Gabrielle is a lovely person - biological science graduate who used to work for the DPI - but I found the other two loudmouthed.., and although initially amusing, eventually quite rude and self-absorbed. I can see why Gabrielle wants to start trekking by herself.

I didn�t sleep that well either - and awoke groggily thanks to my little aboriginal friends. Not only tired, but a bit of diarrhoea as well - not a pleasant way to begin the day. We took the horses down for a swim in the river - I�m glad they�re gradually getting used to the constant scares of the city and little kids... although it�s a different story when you�re leading them. I even had a hot shower at the caravan park on the way back - well worth $2 after the cold river!

I walked Nugget and Sarah through town to visit the vet without any dramas - I was amazed at how calmly even Nugget took the needles. I got swindled into buying some specialist fly repellent for Sarah - although looking at the ingredients, it�s exactly the same as the black�n�gold spray can I�ve got.

Walking through Mossman

The girls just came around with more fruit for me - including passionfruit, rambutans, starfruit.... Yum! And visit from Douglas Shire Council; I just had to reassure them that I�d be gone tomorrow morning!

I have been considering getting a dog to accompany us on this journey - a lot of the trekkers take them and aren�t hassled through the National Parks as long as they are always on a lead. I got the numbers of some possibilities from the vet.. .should I bother?