Sunday, 1 December 2013

Day 46

Day 46 started with the usual 05:00 wakeup call and 05:20 serving of porridge.  Mark was less than enthusiastic with the porridge and complained of feeling unwell.  The outside temperature was starting to rise however Mark was feeling particularly cold.  We agreed to get some electrolytes back into Mark and that he would rest a little more before reassessing the day ahead.

Close to checking out time at the RV park Mark made the call that he would use day 46 as his first rest day and that we would remain here, in Port Augusta, for another day.

While Mark slept I made the most of the 'luxuries' on the site; laundromat and supermarket.  At midday Mark was starting to feel a little better and his appetite had reappeared.  A trip into Port Augusta was the plan.

On Friday evening I received a message from an ex-colleague telling me to keep an eye out in Port Augusta for 'a lady wearing a Newcastle top - Natalie from Cramlington'.  As we hadn't planned to stay any longer than a few hours overnight I thought the chances of this happening would be slim.  As we were wandering down the main street Mark spotted a 'lady wearing a Newcastle top'.  Never one to be shy Mark approached and asked if she was a Geordie - he was greeted with a very excited response! Yes she was.  Now, what would be the chances of this being Natalie from Cramlington…it couldn't be that much of a coincidence could it? i took my chance to ask - "I don't suppose you're Natalie from Cramlington are you?" - "YES!"

It was great to meet Natalie, she had been expecting Mark last week (as per original schedule) and had been parading around in her Newcastle top hoping to catch him then! Natalie made a very kind donation which resulted in the charity fund breaking the £25,000 barrier!

Mark was also able to share his story with the local police, although one of them wasn't too pleased when Mark explained that he was a Geordie - the guy to Mark's left is a Spurs fan!

After a 2 mile walk and a seafood lunch Mark was back in the RV.  The temperature peaked at 34 Celsius but tomorrow was forecast to be higher.  Another luxury to this RV site was a swimming pool. Mark used this opportunity to soak which seemed to have a great impact on reducing the swelling in his feet when he came to put his trainers on in the evening.  

Whilst sat at the pool, Mark got chatting to an Australian couple who had been touring the country.  They were familiar with Mark's route so were able to share their own stories.  Having experienced the perils of the flies they were also able to suggest something better than the usual repellant - Desert Dwellers.  This was recommended to them by a tour guide and is a blend of natural ingredients (it smells like Vicks).  Fortunately the local chemist stocked this and we took the last two tubs from them.  Fingers crossed that this does this trick.  

Along with this new product we were also able to test out a substance which would hopefully help to repair Mark's feet.  He soaked them for 15 minutes and then I applied an overnight dressing.  Having only seen pictures of Mark's feet before arriving in Australia I can certainly confirm that they are as evil as they look! Hopefully we will see a little improvement tomorrow morning.

Having lost a full day of running, the target for day 47 is 40 miles minimum.