Day Off #2. Swan Hill.

Saturday, 16th August 2008.
Today there was a lunar eclipse which was visible in Australia just as the moon was setting. On the Murray at Swan Hill however there was thick cloud and so although we were up at 6.00 am, we didn’t get to see the eclipse. Wills reported seeing a solar eclipse as they travelled through Queensland. he was so preoccupied with the days march that he forgot about the eclipse until the sun began to slip behind the moon.

This was my second day off. Burke spent his time here sorting out his stores and writing an inventory of his equipment. We spent the day in a similar fashion, shopping at Coles, washing the ute, fuel, oil, water, clothes to the launderette, ‘Annie where are all the $1 coins ?’, refill gas bottles, emails, netbank, checking phone messages (another quick beer of two at the Federal).

I also bought another pair of boots. I have been asked how far I am planning on walking and how long it will take. One of the next most asked questions is ‘have you got a good pair of boots?’ I have a pair of Italian made Scarpa boots – probably the best boots available for mountaineering and snow work, but just a little heavy for a walk of this duration.I chose to walk in a pair of Columbia ‘Razor Ridge Mid-II’ boots which are sturdy enough for the bush and yet reasonably lightweight. However the boots were well worn in and probably didn’t have 3,500 km left in them. Now I have had some fantastic offers of support, encouragement, advice and financial suppport from a whole heap of people, some of whom I have known for years and some of whom I have never met, and I have tried to thank each of them personally. It would be ungracious of me to bag any person or company who has opted not to support my walk, but I did get an email from Blundstone offering to supply me with a couple of pair of boots for free.

Blundstone seemed to have a good range of boots, some of which appeard suitable for what I wanted to do, so I was very grateful for their offer and wrote back thanking them and explaining that I would need to break in any boots before I started walking. Unfortunately I never heard anything from Blundstone again, so I found myself in Swan Hill needing a back up pair of boots just in case the old faithfull Columbia’s had a heart attack before reaching the Gulf. I opted for Columbia boot again, a pair of ‘Coremic Ridge Mids’ in this seasons colours of brown and grey which I will break in over the next couple of days.

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