IMG_1772A brisk sunny morning greeted us at Kapunda this morning. Single digit temperatures with just the slightest of breezes made for a  refreshing start to the day.  Would have even been sufficient enough to wake me up without my “grande” coffee on the way this morning.

Rich green is everywhere now. We have had sufficient rain for the farmers to sow their fields, and with some follow up rains soon will ensure a bumper crop this year.  It’s always good to see the farmers do well.  “There’s money in mud”, so they say, and I guess they are right.

Big sky

Big sky

The following walks after this one have limited road access for start and finish points, so we wanted to end this walk at the turn off at Cornwall Rd to make the next two walks reasonable lengths.  We decided to push the distance to 27 kms.  Well, let me tell you that if ever we were going to stuff up, it would be on a longer walk (as has happened before).  A few kms down the road. we came to a T junction with no Heysen sign!!!! Oh dear. We just stood there looking at the road and then at each other.  Then we consulted the map, and yes you probably guessed it, we had missed a turn off!

IMG_1719-001So, walking back from whence we had come, we found the partly hidden Heysen sign and fence steps leading into a field. We had just added two plus kilometres extra to our very long walk. Grant stormed off at pace swearing and cursing at our incompetence, which let me off, really.  I quite often beat myself up over mistakes, but Grant did such a amazing job at self abuse, he allowed me to be a little reflective and restrained.

Back on the trail again, we continued our quickened pace.  This year, our fitness has been pretty good, such that our pace had increased from an average of 4 to 5 kph last year to just under 6 kph this year.

IMG_1721-001One of the most important pieces of equipment when walking the trail, is your footwear.  For the first three years on the Heysen I sported my trusty Timberland’s. Rubber soled, upper leather. They have been with me since 2002 when I started bush walking in Tasmania.  They had done well for 10 years but, after nearly coming a cropper on some slippery slopes a couple of times last year I knew it was time to update my treads. But what to buy? Good walking boots can get expensive, and do I go with synthetic or leather? Too many choices, and the budget’s a bit tight too.  I did a bit of research, Google, Youtube, etc. The usual sources, and had settled on at least the type and style of walking boot. Light weight, goretex and mesh upper, well cushioned sole, three quarter boot, which would suit the medium type trekking we would be doing on the Heysen.

IMG_1738As it so happened when shopping for something else, I happened across some Salomon Xtempo’s which were on sale. Now they were last years model, but hey, they were about half the price of the new release, and, they were incredibly comfortable.  Done.  Now Grant, however changes his boots nearly as often as his socks. His latest choice of pedal power? Ahnu!  Never heard of them personally, however, his Ahnu Mendochino’s look great being all leather and are totally waterproof, however I do wonder about a boot that is fully closed in. It’s gotta smell after walking 20 to 30 kms.  Anyway it is worthwhile to do your research for good hiking shoes or boots. Your feet will thank you time and time again.

In short:

Distance : 27 kms (although we ended up doing 29.9kms)

Duration : 5 hrs 7 minutes walking time.  3 breaks for a total of 44 minutes.

Speed : 5.83 kph (10.18 mins per km)

Terrain : Roads, good tracks, and some fields. Undulating landscape. No major hills.

Best Part : All the green, the ruins, and of course my car when we finished.

More Pics.