Today's section follows the Donnelly River all day, with many crossings. We're planning to have morning tea at the cafe marked on the maps at One Tree Bridge, which is a little late in the day for morning tea, but hopefully it will make up for the wait...
John yesterday said that DEC in this area (manjimup) had decided to make the track accessible by 4-wheel bike (emergencies) and something else that they use to carry things like chainsaws and other equipment. This has turned the bush track into a bush highway -- very wide. Some bridges were not 4-wheel friendly either. Generally, despite the obvious benefits, I didn't like the look, or that bike tracks can be seen all along the track now.
It was crazy to think that we were now halfway through our trek: both wonderful and scary. It was certainly amazing to realise that we were actually achieving it -- and terrifying that the result of our continued success would be the end of the walk. We were all ready for a fast get-away this morning as we'd packed the night before with everything folded, set up for breakfast and under control.
4:30am: P got up to go to the toilet and locked the key in so then turned around and broke back in through the kitchen window: bare bot, bare bot...
It was when I was leaving the kitchen / toilet: the light was off (I didn't turn it on when entering), and I had this funny feeling I was forgetting something. I put the key on the microwave when going in, at the time thinking I MUST remember to pick it up again on the way out... it wasn't until I got back into bed and Sandi said, "You remembered the key didn't you?" that I did remember it. I didn't want it to delay us in the morning, so I immediately got up to look for a way in. Thankfully someone else had not shut the kitchen window properly and I was able to climb in. The only issue was that I hadn't put my pants on for all of this... which only seemed to make it more funny to Sandi which she immortalised in a cartoon (The "I'm in" reference is to the movie "The Matrix".)
Halfway day: halfway in time and halfway in distance -- not sure if the glass is half full or half empty at the moment, but that's what we're hoping for is that we will remain in the moment. It's a fairly easy walk today, and we have Donnelly River Village at the end of it, where we're aiming for a bought afternoon tea We were in for a few surprises today though: not all of them appreciated either.
The glory of yesterday's weather seemed to overflow into today: no wonder many people say that Blackwood is their favourite campsite! We have another diversion today, and the Guidebook has promised the first Karri as the vegetation slowly changes to more damp communities as we head South.
For some reason it felt a little odd putting everything back into the pack again: it was almost like starting again. Had a real 'gulp' at all our stuff on the picnic table. But we have what the lady at the Alpaca shop said is the best view on the Track coming up this morning, and a pretty stiff climb at the end of the day.
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!
It's a pretty level day today, through attractive forests, according to the Guidebook: so we were looking forward to the ~22 kms when reading about it the night before. The night was very cold though and the morning the coldest of the walk (I reckon)...
What a cold night and morning!
I think we woke up with the smell of hamburger in our nostrils: amazing what not being able to have something does to your desires... So Mumby Pub has to be the main goal today. Bron has briefed us with her stories... and we can't wait!
I got up early during a break in the morning showers and took a couple of photos while Sandi slept. We eventually got away in pretty good time, under heavy skies, to walk the even grade through lovely Jarrah forest down to Glen Mervyn Dam.
This morning we will, hopefully, finally sort out our wet weather gear and Sandi's socks. We'd had a wonderful break, but are excited to be heading back out again; very happy that we'd managed to hit our two time targets: it feels like the rest of the walk is a little more stress free.
After rising at 6pm to change batteries on the charger, the morning was spent sorting packs, making lunch and eating breakfast. In the end, all the batteries were fully charged, including the FUSE battery.
What a great snoogly night it was and not a bad sleep either, rained through the night pretty constantly, and kept raining.
We got going as the dawn chorus was in full swing. Got pretty organised, but in the end still had to walk into town in the rain. Bought P camp socks from Coles, turned out Explorer wool blend seemed the best option.
Camping store sorted out my socks: one pair even half price. We chose ponchos: waterproof nylon long size and hopefully. Set off, sun now peeping out.
Collie :: Rest Day
A rest day -- with nothing to do but to wander and relax and eat and have fun.
Great big breakfast of sausage, egg, beans, tomato and mushroom; and many, many cups of tea! Woke just before 6:00am and got up to do batteries and have a really wonderful hot, long shower: bliss.
Collie is an interesting camping ground (each one is quite different).: the kitchen is well stocked with everything you'd need (except a can opener or a grater) -- but the backpacker accommodation (which shares the kitchen) is somewhat less than what you'd expect. Tent site is great though, with good weed cover and early sun.
The weather forecast for today is for possible thunderstorm, but it's bright, clear blue skies at the moment. Monday is possible thunderstorm too and colder (25°c), with showers for the rest of the week -- looking forward to getting our rain jackets sussed tomorrow.
I was a little disappointed with my laksa yesterday -- although absolutely delicious, it lacked vegetables and had too much meat. I think I should have asked for something vegetarian instead -- I heard another patron ask, which is when I realised... must remember for the future cafe meals.