19 Jan. Only a 12km, 500m climb, 4.5 hour day. The altitude was lower and the track followed valley sides with many creek crossings. Not the long distance views of previous days but different and interesting country none the less.
It was going to be longer day, going on to St Arnaud, but Stefan was ahead and hadn’t registered in the Redhills hut log book when I arrived. So when Holger arrived later and hadn’t seen him on the track, I alerted the police. They control search and rescue and are an emergency service (dial 111). I was concerned that he may have had a fall on some of the steep sections. Luckily Redhills hut has mobile signal about 10 mins walk above the hut. Eventually I managed to contact him via mobile. He was off the hills. Worries over and search and rescue cancelled.
As it was 16:00 by then, I decided to stay the night at Redhills Hut. Willem from Sydney arrived, another ICU nurse. He is travelling fast. Ocean soon followed. They both like my collapsible bucket for washing 😊 .
Later evening arrivals were Troy and Jordan, Nicolas, who has caught up with me again, and Ruben from the Netherlands. The latter two guys are travelling really fast, doing every km of the trail by foot. Purists in the TA trail jargon.
Nearly all the TA walkers use two walking poles and I had been using one pole over rough ground. Sometimes poles get in the way so today I didn’t use a pole as an experiment. It seemed easier as the mind has only two legs to consider for balance, whereas with poles it complicates that mental assessment, especially in the rough ground where pole placing is often not as secure as you think. Anyway, I don’t expect to convert any two pole walkers as they reckon it saves their knees and there will be times when an extra point of ground contact will be useful.