I have blisters (20kg of pack is heavy and gives pressure weight to the feet, in spite of excellent boots).
I have bruises. Lots of sharp things out in the woods.
I have cuts and scratches. Sharp branches and rubbed knuckles and probably ticks as well (I haven’t looked too closely).
I have aching knees, due to all the up-and-down-edness of the terrain. My middle-aged, arthritic right knee particularly wants it to be know that it did NOT appreciate being forced through 70 plus kms of hills.
I got lost. A lot. Maps and vague wiggly lines don’t translate well when the trail markers have been burnt off in bushfires or when the trailwalker is engrossed in grief and doesn’t pay attention. I ended up backtracking a lot, up more damn hills that I shouldn’t have walked down in the first place; that usually added at least another hour onto my day.
I smell bad. Correction: I did. I am now showered and in fresh clothes, after six stinking days of wet-wipe washes and two sets of clothes: walking ones and night time ones. By journey’s end it was hard to pick the difference.
I was so hungry. Six hours of walking a day does that and I ran out of food this morning.
I was so cold. The temperature was really chilly every night (think 2 degrees celcius) and this morning it went below freezing – I know because there was a film of ice on my water bottle. I slept in opensided wooden shelters, with every item of clothing I could find, in a sleeping bag rated zero, and I still shivered my way through the nights.
Was it worth it? Yes.