BT Day 3: West Cape Howe to Denmark 87km (20.1km)

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Spiderwebs covered the track this morning. Catching the sun light most were easy to see. The odd one slipped my view and I ended up with a face full of web. Real thick, sticky web that is hard to pick off. For most of them you just catch them in eyesight and come to a dead stop using hiking poles to knock them out the way. Doing my part for those following behind for the morning.

Great trail this morning. Well maintained and recently done by the look of some of the fresh cuttings on the ground.

I tried my stiffer in-soles for first part of the day. So far so good but they change the position of the heal and in combination with wet socks and shoes I could feel a hotspot developing on each foot. A quick stop to apply some sports tape as a preventative measure had that sorted out.

The air is thick. Cool but humid. My shirt is damp with sweat in combination with the moist air. It stinks already. Cold and clammy on the skin when you stop. Yuck! But that is part of long distance hiking. The worst is when you can’t dry your shirt overnight and having to put it on in the morning. It soon dried as your body gets going and produces heat, until the sun comes out and it’s sweaty again.

Had my first first tick this morning. Caught it before it began to latch on. I didn’t really know they are an issue on the trail until the day before hitting the track a work colleague who had worked over this way alerted me to them. Apparently they love the grass trees.

I was aiming for Denmark today and out towards Nullaki campsite. From Nullaki the track continues west towards Wilson Inlet where there is a crossing that has to be waded across and is dependant on the right tides. There used to be a boat crossing across from Nullaki into Denmark but the operator is now sporadic and expensive for a solo traveller. Details on the wade crossing were sketchy at best talking with other hikers who had come that way and it would mean back tracking from Denmark which I didn’t want to do either.

The other option to Denmark was an alternate route from Nullaki on roads. A 25km road bash. I decided to go with the road option and was not looking forward to it. An official alternative but not offical Bibb Track kilometres.

My feet weren’t loving it. The stiffer insoles not doing much to help and probably making things worse as they really drove into my arches accentuating the plantar fasciitis problem I’ve had on every long walk. Lucky for me I was only 2km in when a local women pulled up and offered a ride into town. She was on her way to dentist appointment. How could I resist. This would mean no road bash and an early finish for the day, a longer chance to get scrubbed up and resupplied for the next section.

Tip for future thru hikers: try to avoid Denmark on a Monday or Tuesday as there is not much open if you’re looking for a feed instead of cooking for yourself.

I found a cheap hotel for $80 and checked in. I’m done with hostels unless absolutely necessary. Located the laundromat and had the opportunity to clean my stinky clothes. Stinky after only 3 days. They are going to rank after a month of this caper. Found my way to the supermarket for my first resupply. I didn’t need much as I still had a couple of days food. I always seem to overdo it with food. Better to have some extras than be desperate. With nothing is the way of a pub meal I grabbed a roast chicken, some rolls, lettuce and aioli for a dinner in the local park down by the river. Denmark is really small but seems to have a vibrant arts culture.

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