We started out through a valley which gently ascended on its way. 7km and 800m in altitude were ahead of us.

The weather finally got better – first real sunshine after nine days. After one hour we had our second breakfast just enjoying the view over the valley. The ascend continued but was very nice.

Once we reached the saddle we had fantastic views also over the high mountains in the east.

We met a couple of TA southbounders that told us it was only 20 more minutes to the hut we had selected for our lunch break and maybe one more hour to the river. As we will see – not the only time estimation of southbounders that was way off! They must have lost their feeling for time… Took us one hour and 20 minutes.

We stopped at the cute little hit and had lunch. After that nobody really knows wanted to get up again so we just took a really nice nap in the sun! It was almost impossible to get up afterwards ?

We continued down the valley and missed one of the signposts which made us go back 1.5km once we realised – this really sucks!

Today it felt like the first real summer day since the start. It was actually really warm and sunny.

Today I thought a lot about the five stages of grief which you go through whenever something bad happens to you. There is also a model with seven but at the end it’s the same idea. You always go through all of them in the same order but the time you spend in one is always very different and depends on what happened – if it is only the loss of a material item or a beloved person:

– Shock or Disbelief
– Denial
– Anger
– Bargaining
– Guilt
– Depression
– Acceptance

I have the feeling being aware of it helps a lot but funny enough you can’t really skip any of the stages. Even with very little things you start bargaining and feel guilty. When I think of some of the things which have happened to me in the last years it is just so true! Amazing that even being intelligent individuals thinking rationally (most of the time) you can’t cheat this…
We continued and met a few more southbounders which gave us some hints for the next day. Only the distances were somehow weird again. “It’s only five minutes to the river from here.” You could not even see the river! “Really, only five minutes? Yeah, just five km so five minutes.” I don’t know but I have never made 5km in 5 minutes – not even without backpack!

We continued anyways and finally made it to the river after a steep slope.

Our first real river crossing! Not a very hard one but the water had one steep part where the water went almost up to your hips and the current was quiet strong.

Not a serious issue but still a little bit shaky ? But all was good at the end and we continued to find a camp spot for the night.

Unfortunately my left leg started to hurt pretty bad – I guess a bone skin inflammation which I had have before. Almost couldn’t walk at all the last 3km. Hope I didn’t overdo it today with this long stretch. Must have been almost 30km again with a lot of elevation. We only arrived at a decent camp spot at around 21.30h so we all had a fast dinner and went to bed. I had to step out this night and the stars were amazing! There was no artificial light and the stars were amazing…