In Tasmania Day 3
Junction Creek to Watershed Camp 20 km
Solitude! A full 24 hours and a long walk without seeing a single human (or mammal for that matter). My misanthropy rejoiced; my knees and feet did not. Today was a quintessential bog hike, slogging through shoe sucking ankle deep muck mile after mile. The landscape was magnificent when visible, but it also rained most of the day, so it was no surprise when late in the day I finally encountered people, coming out of the densest of jungles. An Italian couple, the woman leading the way. She asked if I were hiking the trail, then immediately said “It’s not pretty.” She and her partner were clearly exasperated by the conditions and disappointed in their choice. I nodded, wished them well and struggled on. I was to later learn they had left from Huon campground, hiked a few days and turned back. She staying at Huon while her partner did part of the Western Arthurs’s loop. Once I got used to walking a nearly non-existent trail —the path only the faintest of tracings—I just ground it out, setting up tent in the rain and slept like death.
T. Hugh Crawford