Not much time tonight for writing – and a bit sore and tired too. Today’s leg of the pilgrimage covered the one outstanding difficulty of the route of this Camino – the section between Bridgewater Lakes and Lake Mombeong – it is simply too long and too isolated to be covered without much more time, backup support and stamina. We will solve it one day, but for the moment, the only solution was a bus journey from the school camp at Cape Bridgewater where we were staying to the camping ground at Lake Mombeong. However, from here on it is walking all the way.
It rained lightly for the first couple of hours walking today, but was not cold and so was not unduly unpleasant. We walked on the Great South West Walk all day, the first 10 or so kms of which was in fairly thick coastal bushland in the broader swamplands associated with Lake Mombeong. We then went out onto the beach again, then a section on the dunes, and then a very long stretch, about 10kms, along the beach until we came to the Glenelg River. We then headed into the township of Nelson, and made base at the local hotel (although most of us men are staying up at the Kywong Caravan Camp 2kms away). We are five to a small cabin. While this means a cheap overnight stay, it also means reproducing the best of the Camino tradition, including snoring, coughing and farts disturbing the peace. I can’t complain too much – in this current arrangement I have scored the double bed in the main section of the cabin, while the others are squeezed into the bunks behind the curtain.
We had our evening meal and drinks down at the pub, and got to speak to a wide range of locals. A Parks Victoria employee came in with a baby ringtail possum in his hat. A older couple on holiday from Edenhope – Bevin and Monique – provided pleasant couple over the sirloin steak which was the kitchen’s special.
I found the opportunity to pray the rosary while walking on the beach today. There are very many in my prayers as I walk, but especially my aunt and uncle, Jan and Carl, and my good friends Peter and Suzie Holmes and their little baby Albert. I am also praying for the soul of Fr Des Byrne – a good priest who died just recently. And of course for my family, for Cathy, Mad and Mia. I carry you all in my heart as surely and as unforgettably as I carry my backpack on my back.