We were off in the morning and Rebecca was looking forward to meeting her Dad along the way and passing the baton on to him. He could continue introducing Granny to the nuances of the Australian bush.
Today I saw my first snake. It had probably been attacked by a bird and was cut in to two pieces. Apparently the bird sits and waits until it dies before eating it. That is a good idea, I thought. Both parts were still alive and wriggling. (Does that mean I saw 2 snakes?)
More hot walking and a couple of short sharp hills had us looking forward to the iced coffees and fresh sand rolls we had ordered. The track had been diverted around 2 of the huts because they were doing controlled burn offs. We walked along side the smokey blackened bush for a few kms on a firebreak road.
At about 1pm we saw Cameron striding towards us with a welcome flask of cold water. We were soon back at his truck unloading our packs.
He drove us along a bumpy 4wd track to the temporary campsite that was to replace the 2 huts. This consisted of a port-a-lou and some Jerry cans of water and a fire pit. The Aussies like their fire pits to sit around and share stories on a balmy night.
New Zealand huts have fire places inside the huts to warm us up to prevent hyperthermia and to dry out our clothes that are generally wet from days tramping.
We enjoyed our picnic lunch then drove onto the Brookton Highway where Cameron and I started our 5 day walk together.
It was only about 10km to Canning Hut and we made good time. We went over some rocky outcrops with good views across the National Park
Cameron had brought along a new air mattress for me to replace my leaking one. Just to be sure that it was leaking and not my imagination I let Cameron use it. He definitely confirmed that it leaked as he had to blow it up 4 times during the night. That made me feel better about the $200 spend.
Fire seems to be the biggest risk on this track. There are signs everywhere pointing out that my safety was their concern but my responsibility. The Bibbulmun Track is best walked out of the summer season when the fire danger is high. They burn off the undergrowth at this time of the year so there is less fuel for the fires.