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Bibbulmun Track 2011 :: Day 24
It's interesting what captures your imagination and what you look forward to, especially after the calming effect of 3 weeks on the Bibbulmun Track. After reading the Guidebook last night I'm really looking forward to the Balingup Brook footbridge, which is reputed to be an "outstanding blend of function and aesthetics": sounds delightful - can hardly wait!
|Length||21.01 km||Day Length||6:02|
|Ascend||689 m||Descend||856 m|
Not the best night ever in all sorts of ways. Poor P woke at 2am, up to toilet, but his outside thighs wouldn't let him settle well. At 5am he was ready to call it quits, but I cuddled him up and by some miracle we both dropped off again until a dawn chorus at 6am. Dawn choruses have been very nice. Last mornings probably since about Collie.
To my great consternation I found the period I thought might be coming had most certainly arrived and the adrenaline generated by worry of besmirching the sleeping bag propelled me out of bed, out of tent, to toilet and through a cold wash and into clothes before I realised how freezing it was!
Breakfast seemed a bit light on and P had a supplementary Oat Bar, so I was glad about that. Got away in pretty good time, no rain over night. A few stiffish but short climbs and some lovely country, quite a number of log landings (now we know what they are).
The Track quickly crosses Tower Road, after which we were surprised to find all sorts of contraptions, presumably put in place by car campers: putt-putt golf and even something that could have been a spit roast (hopefully for some of the wild pigs we've seen evidence of). The Track then makes good use of old vehicle tracks on its way to Kirup-Grimwade Road.
The Track passes through some beautiful Sheoak and Banksia bush, although the number of escapees from the Pine Plantations were remarkable.
After Kirup-Grimwade Road the Track ambles down to, then along Mullalyup Brook with accompanying swamp species, fungi and a wetter track before climbing over a low hill and picturesque farmland and down to Grimwade Road.
Bobtail hissing at me (completely oblivious which made P wonder about my ability to see snakes!). Also, P spotted a wonderful golden jelly fungus: nice and globby. Wonderful.
The walk down to Grimwade Road threads itself through various private properties, eventually crossing the road to find, in our case, a most unwelcome sign!
A nice walk along creeks a couple of places. Yarri seem to be large gumnut makers? Quite a number of stunning orchids. After TGD (the great disappointment) we decided to have lunch and there was a great spider orchid (not white) and donkey ones and painted ones all clustered on the top of a tree root ball!
Only just held life together when we found out that DEC had closed the Balinup Footbridge two days ago. Unbelievably disappointed that we were going to miss our highlight of this section. Rang the DEC phone number only to be put through to a voice mail -- so immediately rang back saying I was standing at the sign and leaving a message was not going to work. Rachel, the girl on the other end, said "was it stopping me do something?", and I replied, "It's stopping us walking the highlight of our day!" She was very apologetic, but had no updates, so I said my thanks and trudged off along the temporary diversion, along the road to Balingup.
Yes, this was very disappointing and P suggested we just go and try anyway, but I just didn't think I'd be able to cope with retracing all that way if it was impassable.
So after admitting defeat and having lunch in the presence of some gorgeous orchids, we set off along the road to Balingup. We never find bitumen walking particularly easy, and this was no different (even if the views were nice).
Very pleased to get to Balingup, sussing camping area en route. General store really lovely and very helpful. Sussed out town, there was a Bibbulmun book at the visitors centre, so signed in. Booked into Tavern for a 6pm dinner, Tavern looks great.
Les mentioned at Noggerup that you had to specifically ask for a non-powered site at Balingup Transit Park or they would charge you for a powered site -- which proved very helpful, as they were going to charge for a powered site, and it saved us $10.
The lady at the Alpaca shop said it was going to be showers for the next two days. We'd asked about getting gloves if it was going to get colder. She said it was 2 deg in Balingup last night.
Went back to Mushroom Cafe for afternoon tea and had brilliant scones. Then headed back to General Store, shopped (Rye bread, Pads, sardines & sun-dried tomatoes) and headed on special path to camp area. SHOWERS! Yeh.
|Restaurant / Cafe||Total||S||P||S||P||S||P|
Finally got the tent organised in my head whilst Sandi was having a long hot shower. The wide edge of the footprint is the head; the side with the curve zip edge points to the head (logo at front); the fly has the logo at the head end: and it all fits and works well: the cross pole is invariably in the middle with ends inside reinforced triangles. To make sure, we put the fly on loosely (clipping to footprint), then peg annex (making sure cross pole is correct), then tighten ends, adjusting as required to make sure cross pole stays correct. We only guy the ends if rain is expected or extra ventilation is required.
Tent up and a great meal at the Pub: Steak with pepper sauce, a few chips and wonderful salad with honey mustard dressing and stuffed mushrooms, salad and Turkish bread and capsicum dip. So much fresh food. So glad P remembered about wanting fruit and vegetables and asking for that option. Very tasty. Only desert on offer was tinned fruit salad and ice-cream and no coffee (P would have had affrogato), so I opted for my schooner glass with 1 scoop of ice-cream and a can of coke. Great spider!
After a very relaxed dinner we wandered back to our little home away from home feeling very well done by - and not really disappointed that the Bronze Cafe (that we knew as the 'Red Cafe') was not open.
I mentioned to Sandi that when we got to Albany we should get the tent out to dry if it was wet. The refreshing of that realisation, that Albany represents the end of the walk has prompted us to refer to Albany as "The town who's name can not be spoken".
Pity the Red Cafe was not open (though Bron had told us that it would not be).
|Restaurant / Cafe||Total||S||P||S||P||S||P|
Well, today ended up a little shorter that what we'd planned as the temporary diversion was not as long... but it certainly can't have been as nice We also did an extra 5km around town, got extremely clean in extremely long & hot showers and had an awesome meal What could have been better? Balingup Brook footbridge, I think...
|Grimwade Campsite||8:22 AM||0.0|
|Tower Road||1.1||411.8||8:43 AM||0:21||0:21||119.7||3.1||3.1||3.4|
|Kirup Grimwade Road||5.9||7.0||417.7||10:07 AM||1:24||1:45||121.1||4.2||4.0||3.4|
|Grimwade Road||9.6||16.6||427.3||12:57 PM||2:50||4:35||124.0||3.4||3.6||3.4|