The first day was very difficult for 2 of our party. My sister-in-law , Gwen suffers from vertigo and this was making her hike very hard. The terrain is rough and there is a lot of boulders to cross. You have to be very sure footed, as one mistake can cause a nasty tumble.
After stopping at 10.00, we waited until 11.45 for Colin and Gwen to catch up. At this rate, we realized that it would take them about 2 weeks to complete the hike, so it was decided that they would turn around and hike back out the entrance. It was very sad to see them go, and this was a very emotional decision, which was not taken lightly.
After they left, the speed increased considerably. We stopped for lunch at about 2 o'clock. Cooking in the canyon is not easy. Finding a flat surface which is relatively sand free for the cooker and then unpacking everything to get to what needs cooking takes time.
Here's me making lunch, as you can see the kitchen is best described as rustic.
We did speed up, but still only managed to cover 7kms that day. We made camp just after the Vespa, which had been wrecked and then placed on a rock as a type of monument. From what I gather, 2 Italians had tried to take the scooter down the canyon, with disastrous results .
We had to cross the river to camp that night, and this was when I discovered that packing my "short legs" was not a good idea. I broke the golden rule of trying to cross on my own - it ended with me falling face first into the river. I banged my knee and my cheek - but that was nothing compared to the injury to my pride.
I was the luckiest girl in the canyon though and had 4 of the best guys looking after me. I am all for "girl power", but without those men, I would never have made the end. Every night they would hike another hour just to find enough fire wood, not to mention wash all the dishes. They carried all the heavy stuff and still had enough strength and patience to help me across the river (about 26 times)!
Here is a typical night camp. You will see the kitchen with the main bedroom leading straight off it.
This is for my 4 heroes - Thanks guys you really did stand tall!
I have a hero
I found 4 heroes by the end of the hike
He had to be strong
And he had to be fast
And he had to be fresh from the fight !
I needed a hero
I held out for a hero ’til the morning light and
There was always someone reaching back for me
And they sure were larger than life!
Up where the mountains meet the heavens above
Out where the lightning splits the sea
I would knew that there was always
Watching out for me.
Adapted from Bonnie Tyler : Holding Out for a Hero