William Bay to Rame Head. What a day, after having a day off yesterday today was 8 hours of hard slog all day. The beach along Mazzoletti was very soft, and my pack weight has ballooned out to 16 kg with 5 days off food and no water, so 18 kg with my standard 2L of water so much for being light weight, how did things get so out of control.
I found the most beautiful little Nautilus Shell along the beach here, and wondered what to do with such a delicate treat. Initially I carried it, then it sat in a front pack pocket. Of course it wasn’t going to last who was I kidding they are just so thin and delicate.
I was tempted to leave it with the caretakers at Parry’s caravan Park but I was greedy and kept it, and of course it broke. Now I’ll probably just photograph it and leave it in the hut at boat harbour here.
But back to the day. After heading off the beach at parrys you walk up through dunes and scrubby vegetation over point Hillier. The country is pretty similar all the way to boat harbour, up n down Sandy dunes before you got one last short beach before boat harbour.
I made decisions I regretted today. I decided to leave my water filter behind. I thought it had been the cause of me getting water in my bag and I’d not come close to needing it once as topping up at the hut was good water and more than enough. Today was warm and sunny and I started with just under 2 lites. When I got to parry’s I’d finished one litre so went to fill my empty bottle, all their taps had sticklers saying boil it, but I was used to ignoring these sort of signs though when I filled my bottle it didn’t look great. A bit yellow and quit a lot ofof sedeme in it. Oh well I had one litre of good water and a litre of not so good. I ended up needing a couple of mouthfuls of the bad water before I got to boat harbour, I was getting really dehydrated. When I got to camp I sculled over a litre of water.
Tested out my shower tonight as I’m the only one here. So nice to wash the sweat off with some like warm water. The shower is a spare lid for my water bottle filled with small holes, fill the bottle with warm water, screw on the lid, turn it upside down and squeeze. Beautiful… It’s really chilling down. Time to eat.
Dinner at boat harbour was 2 minute noodles with home dried dehydrated vegetables and beef jerky. The meal was surprising tasty and easy to make. I cut up the beef jerky into some water, add the veggies and leave for 10 minutes or so to start rehydrating. Break up noodles adding them to the pot with noodle flavour sachets. Slowly bring to the boil then whack it into my pot cosy and an leave it for 5 to 10 minutes to finish cooking.
Great day today but also another long one. As I went to bed so early I was up at 5am so had a slow start watching the first light of dawn having a couple of coffees and early breakfast. Was on the trail just as the sun was starting to come up. Lots more scrubby coastal walking today with some hills and then a few hills. I met a guy doing a sectional walk from Walpole to Denmark so stopped for a bit of a chat, I was the first person he’d seen on the track since he started.
After a while the trail snaked around and onto the beach, just as I stepped onto the beach I found another Nautilus shell much larger than the first one. Seems I’m destined to have one, I was going to try and look after this one a little better. All I had to do was get it to somewhere that I could come back too later and pick it up in my car once the walk is finished. Which in reality means I’m going to have to carry it for many hours. Although there are some 4×4 tracks around I wouldn’t know how to get to any of them later on so I needed to hide it somewhere near peaceful bay.
More beach walking, then back in the dunes for more up and down hills on the little Sandy trail. Some of the country side in here was interesting, it was as if the ground was cleared and pastured though I’m not sure it was I think it was natural, perhaps fire damage. (I later found out this section is called “the show grounds” and it’s naturally bare but in spring it comes alive with flowers, I may have to come back).
There were some areas that were definitely fire damaged. At one spot where the vegetation was all burnt out I was cursing the 5000th hill in front of me that the trail went straight up, when I noticed that there was a 4×4 track heading off to the side of the hill, from here there was an easier angle climb along a ridge to get to the top where I could see there was a post, I assume with a track marker. So I headed off to the side along the 4×4 trail and began climbing the ridge to the top. I was only a little way up when a realised that I could see a marker down low on the other side of the hill. Typical the trail goes straight up and over the hill when it could have easily gone around it. Oh well I get to go around it. There’s a bit of a win.. but then again if you don’t follow the trail and you take short cuts it doesn’t count as an official walk. Ok I’ll rephrase the last paragraph. I got a little lost but quickly refound the trail. 😉
Not to long after that I could see the inlet, see that she’d on the other side of the inlet? That’s where I need to get to. I headed down some lovely new stairs off the last large big dune down to the boat shed.
I wondered about this bit of the track, many of the people I’ve met on the track are not young and getting one of these things up and down from the shed would not be simple for everyone. In fact one woman I met told me that it’s far easier to just keep walking the beach all the way to peaceful bay, that’s what she had done, it cuts perhaps about 6km off the day and her reasoning was that “it’s a walking trail not a canoe trail”. Sticklers for the rules must do the canoe section, the bib foundation states that bypassing them means you have not finished an official end to end.
Ok here the fun starts. I had to get the canoe out and paddle across the other side then replace the canoe in the shed over there. I was sure something was going to go wrong here but amazingly it all went to plan beautifully. I didn’t even damage the Nautilus shell in the crossing, or get the slightest bit wet. The track along here towards peaceful bay was lovely, it was all moss grass trees and peppermint trees.
The ground was carpeted in orchids this would be lovely when they come out into flower, and many were just beginning. You can’t help but walk all over them but I’m sure a percentage of them would do well. I must come back with my real camera one day. Then it was back into more hills for a bit before hitting the road into town. Well into “caravan Park” because that’s about all that is here.
Now this place is well known for its fish and chips and I’d been thinking about them for the past 3 or 4 hours. Would I get 2 serves of fish? Why not maybe 2 different types of fish I know they go out and catch all the fish locally. Friends of mine had managed the park for a while so I was keen to give it a go. I pulled in at 4.15 and entered the office, all good, yes please I want a camp site, and can I get some fish and chips too. No sorry, shop closed 15 minutes ago, we shut at 4 on Sundays. Like I had any idea what day it was. Of course she had no idea that the thought of their fish and chips had kept me going for hours.
Oh well the camp food I had was going to have to do, curried mince vegetables and rice with peanuts. Set up camp, andand h a cup of tea. What no tea bags? Some how I had only packed one tea bag for this section. I’ll go for a shower, it’s been a couple of days since I had a real shower it will be nice to stand and soak the weary bones for a while. Arriving at the shower block there’s the guy I’d seen earlier in the back of the shop. Naa mate cleaning.. give us half an hour.. ok.. I go back to the tent everything is soaking wet with dew already. Go back half an hour later for my warm shower. Great. After stripping off and jumping in the water starts to get really hot. I fiddle with the taps for a bit only to discover that the cold tap doesn’t work. My nice warm soak in the shower becomes a quick duck in and out of the scalding hot water just trying to get clean.
Morning, have another shower. This time in a different shower where I can soak it up. This morning everything is soaked the dew was so heavy overnight that I have to pack the tent and wrap it in my raincoat to keep other things dry.
Today starts again along the beach. What’s that Bob, did you say the name of the beach is “soft beach”, I wonder how it got that name. Around a bit of a rocky point some huge whale bones on the shore then as I lift my head to look out I see whales frolicking just off the coast.
Today is once again some minor beach walking, then some up and down over dunes as well as rocks headland. So looking forward to this day as it’s short, only 12km which seems strange, with the last 2 days both over 20km, still I’m not complaining. Also the terrain settles after walking behind the main set of dunes it becomes quite flat, what a treat. Evidently they must get a bit of water through here as there are a few sections with a raised walkway. No sign of any water though.
Yes the boardwalk isn’t made for little people like you Bob. A little more up hill out towards the point, I can see the hut off in the distance a couple of KMS away. What a treat to arrive at a hut at around 2 in the afternoon. Still I need the time to get all my gear out in the sun to dry. My gear is spread everywhere over bushes and tables, hanging in the hut . Even my sleeping bag and mattress got wet from the condensation in the tent. Magnificent view here. Just magic.
A young couple arrive so I try to clean up a bit little of my gear. They are doing Walpole to Denmark and it’s good to get some advice about what is coming up. Sounds like some nice country on the way. The days are shorter only 17 or 18 kms
And I’m pretty much done with the sand for now, yay. Of course I had to give them the good news that their sand journey was only just beginning.
Bob’s tip. If your a little unsure where the bib track might be have a quick look around, is there a big hill near by? Head towards the big hill, that will always be where the Bibbulmun track goes.