The gushing water was the first sound of the day. We had decided to walk up the valley towards the snow covered peaks we had seen as we had travelled up to the camp site at Diety Orgus. Having consulted Saied we knew we were in for a long walk if we were to reach the point where the valley opened out and the snow capped mountains would be fully in view.
After breakfast we packed up food for lunch and by 9.15 we were leaving the camp. Our route took us up through the natural spruce pine forest and followed the stream, which we were to do all day. Three times we crossed the river and gradually worked our way up the valley.
At one point two horsemen appeared on the track coming towards us. In our usual friendly greeting, we waved and one got off his horse and said I should get on it for a photograph. Always one to try to get out of a photo opportunity, I reluctantly complied. Now I know I may no longer have the spring into saddle that I might have had once, but I still do not think it was necessary for him to place a large hand on my bottom to get me into the saddle….. I am not sure if Keith tipped the man for allowing me to sit on his horse for a photograph or for the look on my face as I was helped into my seat. Either way they shook hands thoroughly once cash had been exchanged to seal the deal!
We continued up the valley. There were horses, cattle and sheep grazing with the occasional goat intermingled. We rarely saw stockmen on their horses. Supervision of their charges seems very cavalier to me. The river continued to gush down along side us. The walls of the valley are lined with a natural spruce forest. Now and then there are clear gunnels running down from the hill or mountain top to the valley floor, apparently where at some stage in the past there has been an avalanche which has wiped out all the trees in its path. This seems to have created a natural fire wall every so often and shows a patch of light green in the otherwise towering dark green blanket of pines.
We eventually climbed up to a dividing of the ways and turned right. All of a sudden a new valley opened up in front of us – this one much broader. The scenery was amazing. It was definitely Sound of Music or Heidi material, it was magical just walking along the valley floor. About three hours after we started out we stopped for lunch. The sun shone down and a snow covered mountain peaked over the shoulders of the two mountains in front of it. We started out on our journey back. As we neared our camp we picked up fir cones and tinder for the camp fire. We felt we were thoroughly deserving of the large beer we consumed when we got back to the camp. A great walk and a good day.
It was still only mid afternoon, so I spent a happy hour or so writing up the diary and enjoying my beer.
After contributing to the chopping and chipping for supper, the meal consumed, I adjourned to consider the wardrobe for the next couple of days as we are going straight on to another two days of ‘outward boundness’. I think it is the first time on the trip that I have felt a bit overwhelmed with the challenge of finding enough clean warm clothes for the next stage when there has not been an opportunity to turn things around in the washing department. I eventually juggled the options until exhausted from a 15 mile hike and the clean clothes challenge I adjourned to bed.
Rain is forecast for tomorrow…….