from July 7
We started the day early with a hike up “heart attack hill” (named so for its ability to get your heart racing in no time at all), and then did a three hour walk up and down King’s Canyon. The walk was only about 6k and not all that challenging, but it took a while because our tour guide gave us commentary on lots of plants and trees and how the Aboriginals used them.
Then we had a full day of driving. We had to wait around at a gas station for about an hour to connect with another group, and the station was disgusting. There is a mouse plague across Australia, which is news to me, but it’s particularly bad in the outback. Everywhere smelled of dead mice, and the store was so rank I couldn’t go inside the building.
We headed to our campsite in Mala where we discovered even more mice, crawling all over the kitchen tables and scurrying across the ground. We even found a dead one in the sink. Of course everything had to be scoured clean before we could cook, but even then I had lost my appetite.
That night I slept in a swag inside the tent – they are much warmer and more insulating than just a sleeping bag – but I was still shivering all night. Temperatures dropped below zero and someone even got stuck in his swag with the zipper frozen shut. It’s time to start sleeping indoors I think.