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Bibbulmun Track 2011 :: Day 53
We know we've got a diversion today: there's been quite a bit written in the books -- a lot of soft sand and aching legs. Also another 7km beach walk, with the crossing of Torbay Inlet: which we know had only been opened in the last couple of days. So there are quite a few unknowns today and we're wondering how we'll go.
After 40 minutes and 86 photos we headed back down to the shelter to breakfast and go: determined that we were going to enjoy and savour these last days.
Torbay Hidden Valley
|Length||17.11 km||Day Length||4:54|
|Ascend||824 m||Descend||765 m|
We were 1st out this morning, who would've thought it though everyone looked more or less ready to go at the same time. So out just about 7am.
Set off through some quickly changing territory, lovely Sheoak and scrub, then down to Cosy Corner. Very happy to see a toilet!! Yeeharr!! Just the trick, and a tide chart: High tide @05:16 and 20:something, so low must be about 12 or 1pm I guess?
The inlet was flowing quite strongly, so boots off and by wading out towards the waves and we got through just over the knees. Some parts softish, then along firm beach again. Foam near inlet was wild, hunks would blow off and then roll up the beach like tumble foam.
We did the rest of the beach barefoot as the sand was nice on the feet and we didn't need our sandals. It was nice to get the boots back on though: it's funny how comfortable they are (even if they've just about worn out)!
Did some beach writing along the way. Got to the end of the beach and morning tea up in the gazebo lookout and put on our boots. Mr C arrived just as we were going and we could see the intrepid 3 just getting to the inlet.
Mr C commented that he thought we were making very good time. We weren't really rushing, but the beach walking doesn't inspire us too much, so it was good to get it out of the way. After the beach the Track crosses Mutton Bird Road and then used to pass through the Shooters property, but I think that has ceased to be (for whatever reason: we were glad we didn't have to worry).
Over the hills was simply gorgeous and a pansy orchid! Gorgeous and wonderful views. Utilised pack relieving seat and Mr C passed us with intent to double hut.
We'd sensed that people got the rushes when in sight of Albany -- we were referring to it as the Albany Rush -- and as "Mr. C" marched off with determination, we were very happy to continue our dawdle through the hills.
The heath on top of the sand hills was just amazing again – burnt in the last 1-2 years: the burnt wood and new growth is a wonderful juxtaposition. Fantastic view up and down the coast. It was another wonderful romp today – the beach was wonderfully easy: we really did seem to zoom along. Can't have been 7kms?!?
Onto the diversion and not as bad as expected, but still tough enough and my knees ended up quite sore.
Got to the hut in time [for lunch and] to farewell Mr C. Chap in hut starting out from Albany yesterday and very fatigued.
Hidden Valley is quite bizarre being so close, or within, a construction zone – with graders and cranes rumbling by 50m away and 'Keep OUT' signs everywhere. The turbines are not an issue – though it's funny to see them turning just above the bushes. It does give the site a funny atmosphere though, that I wouldn't describe as pleasant. Tent sites seem new, though level were a little small – and the mozzies were voracious!! Well protected too and close: though only 2.
1st of these kilometrico papermates has just run out: a better run you'd have to say!!
Nathan, the young fellow heading North, has had a tonne of questions – it'll be a steep learning curve.
After lunch (with tea), diarising and getting Nathan's story, we head off to pitch our little home away from home (for the last time). Bump into a cute little wax eye and a huge windmill:
Dennis and Beth have been a mine of good information about cafe and restaurants in Albany: so that's been a good start to a hopefully successful cafe experience.
Weather today was mainly overcast. Beth reported forecast was for a few showers (not the sunny day of a couple of days ago), but it was dry all day. A hazy sun tried to break through, but the blue patches were commonly not over the sun and shadows were soft when there. The sky cleared more in the afternoon, but the FUSE was inside by then.
Although the first day [of this section] was a long plod, the last two have been a wonderful romp – hopefully a good preparation for tomorrow's walk into Albany. Not sure how bitter or how sweet the experience will be – but Albany has been pulling us ever closer everyday (whether we like it or not – we almost have no choice at this stage).
This last section had turned out to be a very rejuvenative time: much more than the rest days I'd planned around Walpole. I'm not sure if it's just the end of the walk that's filling us with energy or the nature of the days or just that we've become super fit (unlikely), but it's been great walking these past days (shame we've got to stop because it feels like we're in the rhythm).
So FUSE finished on 1 light after seeming weeks of overcast skies. Very thankful of the closely spaced towns, where we could charge via the wall.
I was initially hoping that the FUSE would keep pace with our battery requirements, but the weather has just not been conducive to good charging.
Looking forward to the shower tomorrow. The showers in the towns are an awesome, and generally long, luxury. Standing under a full jet of hot water, looking at the 'Save water - have a shorter shower' sign... I can only think that I must have a lot of water credit in the bank with only 8 showers in 2 months!
We're planning for an early get away tomorrow, so that we can take our time and still get into Albany in good time; so we head down the sandy path to our tent having packed everything that we could: We'll just have to eat and get dressed and we're off! We think that we should get to Albany for lunch (what a funny feeling to think that...)
|Torbay Campsite||0.0||7:05 AM||0:00||0.0|
|Cosy Corner Beach||2.3||2.3||1002.9||7:40 AM||0:35||0:35||286.5||4.0||4.0||3.5|
|Torbay Inlet Channel||3.9||6.2||1006.8||8:33 AM||0:53||1:28||287.4||4.4||4.2||3.5|
|Precottvale Road||7.8||14.0||1014.6||11:16 AM||2:43||2:43||290.1||2.9||5.2||3.5|
|Hidden Valley Campsite||3.1||17.1||1017.7||12:03 PM||0:47||3:30||290.9||3.9||4.9||3.5|
Midnight and we can't sleep: what's the story? Were the preceding days too easy? Are we too excited? or too anxious? or maybe, too hungry? Try carb treatment with some left-over bars...
We spend time mulling over what everything means, jot down plans for Albany into the diary, and basically after an hour there's just nothing more to think or say because we've said everything a couple of times. It is a very odd feeling being at this end of the Bibbulmun.
Sandi and I an hour later are ready for sleep...