It was raining when I woke after a rest day in Pemberton. So I watched a Netflix movie then had breakfast at the Crossing Bakery across the road. The Breakfast pie sounded good but wasn’t. The coffee was good. So I left about 9 am with 22km and a 2pm arrival time scheduled for myself.
Sharon had headed back to Perth so left me a bright yellow rain poncho whuch I wore all day. There was showers on and off but I was dry and comfortable.
The others all left before me but I caught up with 79 year old Neville. He hadnt done any hiking for 25 years but was determined to compkete the Bibbulmun Track before he turned 80. He had suffered with a very sore and swollen knee for a few days but was determined to carry on. Even having his wife come to meet him didn’t convince him to go to the doctor as he knew he would be told to take long rest. So he bought a knee brace from the pharmacy and plodded on slowly up the hills and even slower down the hills arriving 2 hours after me in amazingly good spirits. He puts his tent up every night too. These old guys sure know how to “harden up and handle it”.
The local tourist attraction is the Gloucester Tree which can be climbed. Sadly it was closed so I didn’t have to do it.
As soon as I opened my food bag I realised that I had left my bag of food containing salami, cheese, a carrit and 3 boiled eggs in the fridge. Thankfully we only have 3 days before the next town and Peter graciously shared his cheese and salami with me.
Most of the crew were in bed by 6.45 but a couple of us stayed up sitting around the fire for another hour or so.
There was a big plastic bin to put our food in so I didn’t need to test out my rat proof system. I was into bed with my eye mask on and sealed my silicon ear plugs well so I didn’t hear any creatures at all. Hear no evil, see no evil = know no evil.
The next day, to Shaefer Campsite was overcast with numerous short ascents and decents so 22km in less than 5 hours. I just toddled on listening to some podcasts. I was getting a bit cold and slightly miserable by the time I arrived. So I was quick to get my pot of soup on then I climbed into my sleeping bag and cuddled up with a movie.
Peter soon arrived and got the fire going so I spent the evening hudled around it talking with 2 French Canadian sisters who were on their first night out of 5, going the opposite way to me. One had a mattress that went down very quickly so I helped them find the hole the next morning before I left for Northcliffe.
Thursday 13th October was a flat 12km walk into the small town of Northcliffe (population 412). Not much to say about these 4 days of walking really. Some changing from green bush to farmland then parts that were sandy.
The Visitors Centre had a good range of hikers supplies and the General Store had everything from lotto tickets to S-bends.
Peter and I had booked rooms at the pub ($65) but no check in until 2pm . So we conned our way into the dining room at 10am to get out of our dirty clothes so we could take them to the little laundrette. I washed everything except my rain pants and puffer jacket as we had an 8 day stretch ahead of us. At least I can start with clean clothes. They won’t stay like that for long. I have a set for walking in and another set for at camp. That is it.
I sat in the bar by the fireplace waiting for my room to be ready and made a couple of phone calls. As I spoke I was feeling a bit warm so undid my jacket, forgetting that I was naked underneath. The poor guys at the bar nearly fell off their chairs!!