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Bibbulmun Track 2011 :: Day 52
The Guidebook uses words like "superb", "panoramic vistas", "dramatic views": so we have a high degree of expectation for today It's a short walk today as well, which worked out well because it was a very relaxed start! After breakfast (we are still enjoying the muesli), We wandered up the hill between showers to catch the post-dawn view and try for mobile reception again.
Had the most amazing sleep: right through to 7am (with a pee break at some point). Funny to get up and everyone else is ready to set off!!
Showers came through over breakfast and we rushed out to grab the tent and carry it complete into the shelter: a free standing tent really does have awesome abilities (not the first time we've needed to do this).
Believe it or not, we really had the best sleep. Pretty solid until about 3 or 4, then up for a tiddle and back off to sleep until 6:45am. I couldn't believe when P said that was the time. In the hut they were just about ready to head and we had the most wonderfully relaxed pack up and go: 9:40!! Unbelievable.
West Cape Howe Torbay
|Length||16.93 km||Day Length||5:44|
|Ascend||926 m||Descend||1033 m|
We packed up the dry tent and were very relaxed, knowing it was such an easy day ahead; finally heading off into the beautifully misty morning.
Weather: Today started overcast and showery. The showers lasted maybe only an hour and slowly waned. By morning tea, ponchos off and very watery light. By lunch there were lengthy breaks, at camp the sun was OK, but too many trees to charge.
Walk today was pretty great though it started wet and then not so much rain but a bummer when boots are satched because the undergrowth is so wet and the hanging stuff wetting the rest of the body. I used my stick to whack the moisture off things and it did help.
Once the rain stopped, which was pretty early on and the undergrowth was off the track, the walk was easy and we loped along with some surprising views suddenly revealed through the mist.
Sun came out and was even more pleasant. Quite a breeze but not freezing. Fields of flowers, limestone at morning tea, granite at lunch. Very glad of lunch stop, P could've pushed on but I really needed a break.
After the beautiful views of the crest the Track descends steeply down into a gully and access to Lake William Road. There was evidence of recent work on the steps, and a possibly hasty retreat for some reason?
We arrived at our intended morning tea spot, with viewing seat, only to find 3 day walkers plunging their coffee on it!!
It was really lovely to see the sea blue again and some blue skies. At one point I was wondering what the dark thing on the ground was around Sandi's feet – only to realise it was her shadow I'd not seen in a few days!!
The Track doesn't take the scenic route out to West Cape Howe (probably because there was only one track in and out) and we didn't either (for some reason?), but crossed the tracks and joined the Bruce Tarbotton Memorial Trail over an awesome narrow ridge and past what looked like a great beach (Shelley).
After turning North at the somewhat scary "Albany" sign, the track passes through a wonderful Melaleuca grove and then crosses Shelley Beach Road. A Boot Cleaning Station is just on the other side, these are nowhere near as prolific as in the Northern sections. The three granite slabs sound just the thing for a lunch stop (especially as Sandi is wanting one): and they turn out to be a great lunch with a view! We're in no hurry to get to the shelter either really, and we're enjoying our own company immensely.
We saw 4 snakes: 2 tiger & 2 dugites. First dugite in early morning not moving even a scale! An osprey over Dingo Beach. Both Shelley and dingo beaches looked lovely water and sand a gorgeous colour.
After lunch we just romped into camp. Boots in course of walk had dried out a bit so nothing wringable in them. Nice to relax though buttocks quite sore for sitting: last 4 nights have rubbed in Deep Heat and it does seem to help.
I don't like it when flies get into my nasal cavities, and I hate it when they drink directly from my tear ducts, and although well intentioned, I don't appreciate it when they sit on mass on my cheeks and fan me when I'm hot, or climb into my ears...
Torbay hut is hidden amongst the low trees. The tent sites look a little odd, maybe like they've where the old toilet site was? Well protected under peppermints though, which will steal the early and late sun. No views from the hut, but there is a picnic table up the hill to the South with good views.
After setting up the tent we headed up the hill to the picnic table. There's been a deal of hut discussion concerning the next inlet, especially after the story of the fellow heading North where he was lifted across by the excavator. We're all wondering how it'll be tomorrow, and if we can get a clue from the view: could only just make out the inlet... but the view was just awesome in the setting sun.
But it was a very relaxed day: not many kms and we seemed to relax on our breaks and lengthen them. The track was very easy today too: a great grade. The rain cleared early, so it was nice to walk in the dry, even if the bushes wet us on the way through.
At tea time a Quenda popped out of the bush and showed no signs of real shyness as it gobbled up ants generated by Mr C's tuna drainings. Saw the Albany glow from the picnic table above the hut and stars! Haven't seen those for a while!!
Had a great question and answer with "Mr. C" about Orchid species (I think he'd brought a couple of keys with him), which really satisfied Sandi's curiosity. Today turned out to be an amazingly relaxed wander: only 17kms and at a pretty slow pace (well, it got more relaxed and slower as the day progressed)... and today we clicked over the 1,000km!
Headed to bed, feeling like we were walking deep into the woods, thinking that we'd attempt to catch the dawn tomorrow: it's just such an awesome outlook from this location. The GPS has been handy as it supplies the sun and moon rise times!
|West Cape Howe Campsite||0.0||9:34 AM||0:00||0.0|
|Bornholm Beach Track||3.5||3.5||987.2||10:18 AM||0:44||0:44||281.0||4.8||4.8||3.5|
|Lake William Road||2.5||6.0||989.7||11:22 AM||1:04||1:48||282.1||2.3||3.3||3.5|
|Shelley Beach Road||6.5||12.5||996.1||1:25 PM||2:03||3:51||284.1||3.2||3.2||3.5|
|Torbay Campsite||4.5||16.9||1000.6||3:12 PM||1:47||5:38||285.9||2.5||3.0||3.5|