My son Cameron drive us the 50 minute drive out to the Perth Hills town of Kalamundra where the Bibbulmun Track starts.
Rebecca had filled my trusty old Zpacks pack with her gear and 4 days of snacks while I loaded my brand new shiny Zpacks pack with my gear and 4 days of food for the 2 of us.
Rebecca is a slim wee 17 year old so does not have the womanly hips that her Granny has, so I had bought some lambs skin seat belt pads to pad out the hip belt for her. The aim was to help it fit her and reduce any friction on her hips. This did help a bit, however a rolled up fleece top was added to bring her up to Granny size hips. Something for her to aspire to maybe?
We has a 22km day through the outskirts of the town and past small farming blocks. The track is marked by Warguls, which look like “Beware of the snakes” signs. They actually represent a mythical creature who wandered through the land creating rivers and mountains after the long cold time.
We arrived at the Camel Farm at exactly noon so decided to needed to forgo our cheese and crackers lunch and eat at their Cafe. It would be rude to just walk past looking at their camels and not spend any money there, especially as it was toilet time.
So we had the best bacon and egg roll and an iced coffee while being watched over by the beady eyed Maggie the Magpie.
We had lunch number 2 overlooking the Mundaring Weir
The dam was completed in 1902 to provide water to the gold mining towns 600km inland from Perth. This was to be the highest dam in the world at that time and the first metal pipeline and the longest pipeline. Many people did not believe that it was possible.
When all the work was completed many people were stationed along its length to open the valves at a given time to let the water flow. The chief engineer and many officials stood waiting but no water came through! The poor engineer left the scene and sadly took his own life.
Three days later they found that a couple of the valves hadn’t been opened and then water flowed. It still keeps the mines and towns well watered today.
The moral of that story is that one should just wait another 3 days before making any life changing decisions. Things will probably get better.
We saw a family of Kangaroos and some very pretty birds dumpster diving in a skip bin at the back of the Mandaring Hotel.
22km is a long day for a first day out there so we were pleased to reach Ball Creek Hut. I didn’t see any balls or any creeks but this is Australia and they do have some funny names here.
We had the hut to ourselves and there were two tents up close by. One of the occupants came and chatted but we didn’t see the other one. He was a young guy finishing and E2E, S2N which means End to End, South to North.
I am an E2E, N2S.
The huts on the Bibbulmun Track were built by inmates from a Perth Prison and I must say they have done a good job. Unlike NZ huts they are only 3 walled shelters with sleeping platforms but no mattresses. They have nice tables under shelter and out in the open, with a fire pit and a circle of seats around it. This is perfect for the climate here
NZ huts are enclosed buildings with mattresses and fireboxes inside to warm the hut.
Arriving at 5pm we just had enough time to get settled and make our dinner before it was dark. Then we were in bed by 7.15pm.
That made it for a long night for me as I had forgotten that my mattress had a slow leak that I had been unable to fix. So I was up puffing into the nattress 4 times through the night. We were on the main flight path into Perth so I heard planes coming and going all night as well as some boy racers on distant roads.
No snakes, spiders, scorpions or ticks so a 5 star day.