James offered to carry the water drum to the next mountain but Rob refused saying that it would only slow up the group. The water in the drum was now only half full they had to keep hydrated by drinking at least two litres each every two hours in order to stop heat exhaustion. Rob was hoping that they could locate a water source before their water ran out. Rob was relentless in his pursuit for the gold he kept going and going. Robert was now feeling weary. His legs were tired and his back ached.
The girls were also feeling tired as well but Rob would not let them stop; he urged them ever onward.
“It isn’t far now he kept saying as he edged his way up another rock.
It was nearly eight that night when they reached the summit of Mount Sonder.
The dropped their packs then headed to a spot to relieve themselves before setting up their tents. Rob got to work on the fire so that they could boil some water to heat up in the Billy can. the pasta meals they had brought with them. The plastic sealed bags once filled were left to stand for ten minutes and stirred before eating.
Eleanor said she could really use a bath so that she could soak away the aches in her legs. Becky agreed with her.
Rob handed them all a meal and then refilled the Billy can to make them a drink.
We haven’t far to go now we are about half way.
If we can push on tomorrow we should reach Mount Zeil about eleven o’clock tomorrow then its Mount Barren after that.
“Would it not have been easier to walk across the National Park asked Robert?”
“Our water wouldn’t have lasted Da’ plus we didn’t know what hidden dangers there would be waiting for us. We would be sitting ducks out in the open. “
“We are now are we not said James.”
“Yes but we will be able to hear them coming and take cover here.”
“Rob took the telescopic from the rifle and used it to scan the landscape.
I cannot see anyone following us but that’s not to say they are not out there some where.
They opened the sealed bags and began to eat the rehydrated food Rob passed round a pack of salmon that was thinly cut for them to eat with the pasta meal.
“I suggest that you all bed down; I will take the first watch then you James said Rob. I will take my turn too said their father.
“Sorry dad but you need rest; you are the oldest here and we need you strong. There will be time for you to help when we reach Mount Barren. There will be plenty to do then but you will have acclimatised yourself by then. The air is thinner up here and you use a lot more oxygen.” “Mount Zeil is the highest at 5023 feet. It will tax all of us so we mustn’t be in to great a hurry, we must pace our selves.”
“Rob’s right said Eleanor we have to take extra care.”
“We only have enough food to last us three days so it is imperative that we find some food to sustain us as well as water so keep your eyes open.”
“I’m turning in guys I’m bushed said James; me too said Becky.
Everyone knew they were an item now and they were spending time in the tent together for a while.