(80 km of 894 km, overnight hike)
I invested in a lighter tent and better fitting backpack. It made a huge difference. We set an ambitious goal of 38 km over two days. The backpack I chose was the Gregory Baltoro 65. It's a bit heavier than normal, but it has a suspension system that makes carrying heavier loads a breeze. Here I am with the new pack in action.
At this point, I had a better idea of what to bring and what to leave behind. Below is a picture of some of the gear I was carrying. You can see I have two hiking poles in the picture. I am definitely a big fan of hiking. Not only does it give you stability, it also takes wear and tear off your knees. It allows you to walk faster because you can push off with your arms.
We thought we were hearing gunshots and soon found this interesting sign along our trail. The sound of gunfire could be hear close by. We carried on, but we kept our heads down.
One thing about this section of the Trail is that you are beside wineries the whole way. The entire two days we heard air guns being shot to scare off birds. It really took away from the hike.
Also note, if someone were to set up camp, not on the trail of course, it would be advised to bring ear plugs because the shots only stop between 1am and 4am (which I did not experience on my own by camping on the trail, but was informed by a winery owner =).
Here is my friend helping a slug cross the trail. Despite being slimy and gross, to ensure nothing happened to him, she picked him up and placed him on the other side of the trail.
Below I'm waiting for my friend to make it up the hill. You can see the white blaze marked for people travelling the opposite direction.