The Guidebook warns that today will be dominated by water, and Harry said yesterday that we'll definitely be getting our feet wet today: so we're pretty pumped for the use of our sandals. Harry also says that the view from the hill behind Woolbales is the best of the South (we're planning to head up Mt Pingerup for morning tea), and we have a reprise of the Pingerup Plains today as well, so have a lot to look forward to, with the Guidebook promising lots of flowers in the swampy areas.
I'd been getting uncomfortable thighs at night, so we'd bought some Deep Heat at Northcliffe. I hadn't till last night, but it seemed to 'work': though I'm not sure what I mean by that because I'm not sure what the problem was -- not quite a cramp but very uncomfortable and difficult to sleep through (though I could if I set my mind to it). We'd set the alarm last night to ensure that we'd be up early enough for the sunrise...
We woke at 2:30am and P did his deep heat with quite good results. I had a tiddle and then we both got back to sleep again. The alarm woke us in time for sunrise of the rock and that was very nice and not too cold. A couple of showers overnight made the granite a little slippery, plus boots not as grippy as sandals.
Harry says that if we enjoyed yesterday we'll love today: so that's got us looking forward to the day. It's another day that the Guidebook describes as a "transition zone", the hummocks of Karri or Jarrah set amidst open reddy swamps sounds absolutely fascinating!
Slept in after a tiddle at 3 am and got into a good deep sleep, so were late up. P told everyone it was Sunday! They were all ready to head, it was overcast but not raining, hard to predict what it will do. We pottered round, had a good wash, got packed and got away just before 9:00 am: one of our latest ever!!
Encouraged by the Guidebook that the "Sunrise over Lake Maringup will surely be a memorable experience" we set the alarm to ensure that we were up for the memories. Today is a relatively flat section, which the Guidebook warns and our co-walkers confirmed, will be quite wet. David said last night that we should be able to get through to Chesapeake Road in our boots, so we're planning to have morning tea there and change our footwear.
Woke just after 5am with the alarm to the alarming sound of rain on the tent -- lay for just a little while while wondering if I really should get up and see the dawn before remembering our mantra: "We're only here once". So I hurriedly got up and dressed and left Sandi dozing in her warm little bag and headed down to the Lake edge with my trusty camera.
The Guidebook promises us a treat at the end of the day, what it describes as "one of the jewels of the Track": so we're pretty excited! Our fellow co-walkers have been pretty certain about the wading coming up, and sure that we'll be hitting it over the next couple of days: so we're a little unsure, but hopeful that our planning and Keen Sandals will do the job for us And today we get very close to the Southern Coast, which signals the end of our Southern journey and the start of our Eastward trek toward Albany.
Northcliffe feels like the divide between North and South Coast. Last night the lass said a storm was forecast for lunch, so we decided to get away early and try and beat the storm. The guidebook promises an intimate experience with the Gardner River: an attractive water course!
Initially we had to walk what felt like a well-worn track now, back into Northcliffe to get to the beginning of today's section (Roundtu-It is on the near-side of Northcliffe).
A super-short day today, but we've decided to still get away in good time and get to town by lunch (a bought lunch today - which we are very much looking forward to!). The Guidebook describes the Northcliffe Forest Park that as "a jewel": we should have plenty of time to spend time exploring as requested. It will be very interesting to finally experience Roundtu-It Holiday Park: It doesn't get rave reviews in the Track Log Book.
After a wet and cold yesterday it was wonderful to be warm and dry in our sleeping bags, and a wonderful surprise to see a more fine day dawning this morning. Today we have half of the day beside the Warren River, then as the Guidebook says, we "turn South", which feels like the final turn in toward the Southern Coast and the Great Southern Ocean: a bitter-sweat thought.
Once P was warm he fell asleep and missed hearing a tree, or a very large branch, fall down. Lovely comfy night.
Today turned out to be one of the rare wet (for most of the day) days, so the diary is quite different and rather photo-deficient: but it was a wonderful opportunity to wander in the rain and put our gear to the test, although some bits failed.
The wonderfully generous Jared sheltered us in his chalet overnight, with red wine and cheese. Got away early, nearly before Jared got up. Started in light drizzle, which over time generally got heavier and rained most of the day.
Town days can be interesting, not always brilliant: maybe that's because we have too much expectation? We've found that we generally like to get into town early, which takes the pressure off shopping and gets us to the shops before they close... so we've set the alarm to get going early today as it's a lengthy day anyway, although fairly level. We're looking forward to the Arboretum, and hope to lunch at Big Brook Dam. When planning the walk I found it impossible to discern the Track on Google Earth with the Guidebook: today I guess we'll see it foot to ground [see our track here], I hope it's not too confusing (the Track has a habit of getting confusing close to town)!
Today we take our leave from the Donnelly River, which we've spent the last three days walking beside. Jared tells us that we have the option of a coffee at the Karri Valley Resort today, though it is a diversion, and the Guidebook talks up the Beedelup Falls. Before that though we'll aim to have lunch at Carey Brook Falls, which sound nice (though understated in the book); and nothing has jumped out at us for morning tea today