Everyone should "End to End" The Bibbulmun Track once in their life. This is a record of our attempt.

Location: Australia

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stage 2 Denmark to Walpole.
We had a great rest day at Denmark at the Blue Wren Backpackers. It is run by Graham (with help from his golden retriever Flint) who also has a lot to do with the Denmark Festival of Voices. We know several people in common, and it was a very enjoyable stay. Stocked up on provisions, but found there was a convenience store at Peaceful Bay, just 3 days away, so we didn't have to carry too much. We also posted about 4kg of unnecessary gear back home.

Day 1 Denmark to William Bay 9.7k
Graham drove us out to the base of Mt Hallowell, and it was good to be walking among trees for a change. Over the top then back onto coastal scrub to the hut at William Bay (and onto the second map. There are 8 maps in all.)

Day 2 William Bay to Boat Harbour 24.7 k
Over the hills from the hut to Mazzoletti Beach, and a hard 8 k walk at high tide (this meant we were walking on soft sand) to Parry Beach, and a very welcome cup of tea from Sam, the caretaker of the park there (complete with cream biscuits!)
12k then through the coastal dunes to the hut at Boat Harbour - and the first hut on our walk that we had to share. Tristan, and his father in law John from Bunbury were walking in the opposite direction, and were looking forward to finishing at Denmark. Tristan had grown a great crop of blisters!

Day 3 Boat Harbour to Peaceful Bay. 24k
This was our hardest day yet
10.7k through coastal dunes - 5.3k along another soft sloping beach, across the Irwin Inlet by boat, and a boring (never ending it seemed) 7.6 k through coastal scrub & sand hills to Peaceful Bay.
Fish & chips for dinner, and we managed on the eve of Easter to scrounge an onsite van -with the most comfortable bed yet!- at the Caravan Park. Hot showers and as I said fish & chips - but you had to order them ahead! Slept from 8.00pm right through to 7.00am without moving once!

Day 4 Peaceful Bay to Rame Head 12.4k
A nice fairly easy days walk.
From Peaceful Bay out the coast - on the beach, and in the dunes- to Point Irwin. Along the coast to The Gap, then the track has been re-routed inland through some pretty boring country to Rame Head. Once again a share night. Tim & Mila from Perth (Tim also has a house in Walpole) and Marie the Kiwi from Toodyay, and her friend Meg from Geraldton way. These four became great friends all the way to Walpole. Also that night we had the pleasure of the company of Sally (with the killer smile!), Karen & Clair - three young mums taking a couple of days out for Easter for a bush walk. Got to be one of the highlight evenings of the walk!

Day 5 Rame head to Giants 17.7k
Pretty nice days walk. 3k from the hut to Conspicuous Beach then inland to trees again! We lost the track at the beach - someone had souvenired a marker- but followed roads for a few kms until we picked it up again. A pretty tough 1km climb up the hills before reaching the Giants Hut. Company again! We slept 15 in the hut, plus at least 6 tents scattered around outside - it is Easter after all! We were still in bed by 7.30pm though.
Day 6 Giants to Frankland River 13.9k
2k out from the hut we came to the tree top walk, but is was a bit early, and it wasn't open yet. We did it anyway and got caught and severely reprimanded (and also had to pay $6 each!) Ah well, life can be like that!
A gentle walk through the tingle forest to the Frankland River Hut, and another crowded night. (Tim & Mila, and Meg & Marie of course who were travelling in our direction) and would you believe, a bunch of 7 or 8 Kiwi "trampers" who had flown over to "tramp" the Walpole to Albany section of the track. (What is the collective noun for Kiwis? �. A flock ??) Great people- but it was like being on an overseas holiday with all that foreign language around!
When we arrived at the hut, Tim & Mila were already there (they are fit, and fast walkers!) plus two kids in their 20s - Justin & Doug. They had been at the hut all day drying out. They had slept outside the night before, and it started to rain (actually it was more like a deluge than rain). Everything they had was saturated. Instead of coming inside when the rain started, they decided to stay out in it. They spent all day in the hut hanging out clothes, sleeping bags etc to dry. When the Kiwi mob arrived, they decided the hut would be too crowded, so at 4.30pm they decided to walk on to the Giants Hut - a 3 hour walk. Crazy bastards!
Mila sat down that night with Margaret, Marie & Meg and did a personality profile on them. Much laughter and merriment. They all worked out that there was no hope for any of them. Margaret reckoned that you couldn't improve on perfection anyway, and the other Ms were only too eager to agree!!!!!

Day 7 Frankland River to Walpole 17.4k
A most enjoyable days walk - except for Margaret's last 3 k - but more of that later.
A gentle 7 k walk through the tingle to a track where we hid our packs in the undergrowth. Then we "put our tables away, returned our seats to the upright position, fastened our safety belts, and began the 10k descent into Walpole".
3ks from Walpole, Margaret's blister on her little toe went squelch (she went 'bugger') and our pace appreciably slackened. She limped into Walpole and an hour later we booked into the Tingle All Over Backpackers where we are treating ourselves to a (we think) well earned rest day.
Tim went back in his car to pick up the backpacks and we were reunited with them mid afternoon.
Time to stock up on provisions, and wash ourselves and our clothes - the few we hadn't sent home from Denmark- and sample the local wines. We had a bottle of Frankland Estate Shiraz with our dinner at the Wooze & Sues Cafe.

Talk to you in 8 days time from Northcliffe.
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The Southern Ocean Posted by Picasa

Point Irwin - The other direction Posted by Picasa

Point Irwin Posted by Picasa

Meg & Marie Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 09, 2006

After a 6hour bus ride from Perth, we spent a most enjoyable night with John &
Barbara Watson in Albany. They cooked us a beef roast as the last meal of the
condemned! then delivered us next morning to the Albany visitor's Centre - start
point of the Bibbulmun. Finally....
The longest journey begins with a single step...... one small step for
man....and all the other misquoted cliches.

Day 1. Albany to Hidden Valley Hut. 19.4km
After a long boring walk around Princess Royal Harbour on a paved bike track,
and up over the hills on the edge of the Torndirrup National Park, we travelled
west along the coast through the majestic Wind Farm. A long 19.4 km with sore
feet, and a refreshed memory of just how heavy a fully laden back pack can be,
we arrived unheralded at Hidden Valley Hut. An early dinner and then bed - only
to be woken at 12.30am by of all people "the Phantom" and his dog "Sparky". He
was just passing through, Stopped for a cup of tea - then on to Albany. He had
left Torbay Hut - that we were making for the next day- at 6.00pm. He waded
across the fast flowing Torbay Inlet at 9.00pm, and nearly lost sparky to the
fierce current. The bar had been opened on Tuesday and the current was still
fierce. He was making for Albany where he had a 9.00am appointment. (We reckon
with his shrink!!!)
Day 2 Hidden Valley to Torbay Hut. 16.9km
Sore feet again but hey - how sore can they get!
4.5km through coastal scrub then down onto the beach at Muttonbird Island.
8.8km along the sand in bare feet. The sand was soft and we had to wade across
the waist deep Torbay Inlet (by now the current had eased)and our feet were
cool. At Cosy Corner we left the beach and climbed 100meters or so of
stairs!!!!!, then a short 2.5km to the hut, which we had once again to
ourselves, and without interruption.
Day 3 Torbay to West Cape Howe 16.7 km
Threcing through some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. The pristine
West Cape Howe National Park - home to kangaroo tics, snakes, blistered feet,
heavy back packs, and a set of stairs that make yesterdays look link gives its
a wheelchair ramp! (It also name to a rather nice drop of red!)
We stumbled into the hut mid afternoon, and did nothing. We were
absolutely..........,,well we were pretty tired! After all it was the third day.
Day 4 Cape West Howe to Nullaki 16.7km
We found this day to be a hard days walk. The ups seemed to go forever, and the
downsdidn't last long enough. Two small snakes that got out of our road pretty
quickly, and three hikers coming the other way were the 'stand outs' for the
day. Once again some magnificant scenery, but half the time, hey who cares..
Going through my mind...
Margaret: "I've just been bitten by a tiger snake!"
Geoff: "So, what's your point?"
Still we made it into the hut in time for afternoon tea, and a good lie down!
Rang the ferry to arrange to get across Wilson Inlet and into Denmark in the
morning, only to find that the water was too low for the boats to opperate.

Day 5 Nullaki to Denmark.
Plan 2 - take a taxi!
We hiked down to Eden Rd and met out taxi who took us in to Denmark, and the Blue
Wren Backpackers. Had a shower and did some washing!!!!
We are told the pub does a great steak....sounds good to me.
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Boardwalk over Swamp - take 2 Posted by Picasa

Boardwalk over Swamp Posted by Picasa

The Track Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 03, 2006

Our home Posted by Picasa