We planned to walk out of Donnelly River Village early . But it rained , so we found ourselves snugged up by the fire in the little shop , eating chocolate and Cheese toastys . Their are some things in life that can only be overcome with chocolate , I believe that this could be a medical fact , but as yet , I have not deeply researched my hypothesis . I do have wonderful support however from Melanie , who takes great pleasure in my earnest theorising around these finer points of holistic well being .
Sadly the rain stopped at about 10am and we found ourselves unable to procrastinate around the cafe without drawing too much attention to ourselves . We decided that we would embark on our journey to Tom Road camp site , a 16km amble through delicious damp mulchy forest.
It was hard to leave some of the inhabitants of Donnelly River , the Roo’s had grown quite fond of us , and they showed their affections by attempting to nick off with our food each time they spotted us .
It took me a fair while to get into my stride . The temperature had dropped massively last night , and my shoulder amongst other bones had stiffened quite badly , still , at least the legs are still working ey !?
We stopped for a short while and the rain clouds seemed to catch us up , so we tried to become a moving target . So that was how the day passed , the two of trying to nimbly keep one step ahead of the next drizzle patch .
I noticed that the forest has now completely changed . At first I thought it was just the rain , but as the walk today unfolded I can see a change in the forest canopy , and when I listen , I also notice the subtle changes in the birds song . New trees and new birds have replaced the Balgas and the Cockatoos . The firest floor has filled with bark litter , slowly mulching down , and a haven for bugs . So we are seeing more wagtails and wrens , little birds whose diet consists mainly of fly’s and such like .
We find ourselves at the most magical hut , the name Tom Road , does not really do it justice . The general consensus amongst Melanie ,Spambo and I is that it should be renamed ‘The glade of the unicorn campground’ . Tiny purple flowers crept up into the trees , and the section of the Donnelly River that ran by seemed so truly magical that if a Hobbit had appeared at the hut , we would have simply invited him in for a cup of peppermint tea and a bit of Elvish bread .
We spent a precious morning there , listening to the bird song and soaking up the still waters down at the front of the hut . We had to push on though , boarding house camp site lays 24km to the south , and we knew from looking at the topography of the map that we also had a few ‘bumps’ to negotiate on the way .
If we were worried about the extra km’s today , the track certainly didn’t disappoint us , we had a very long and frustrating walk into Boarding house hut , just a couple of kilometeres out ( which felt four times that length) an intermittent shower started , which followed us all the way to our destination .
We met a couple of north bounders at the hut , we made our dinner whilst the rain pattered on the roof , and I wandered around in a state of unparalleled stiffness. The dampness has really sunk into my bones , and I found today the most challenging of all days so far on the Bibbulmun . However tomorrow promises a set of more formidable hills .
On a lighter note though , we did pass this sign in the woods today , which gave us a great deal of joy .
I wasn’t bored of porridge oats yesterday , but I am today . I’m not sure if I can bare to eat another sachet of Uncle Toby Oats . I have tried all of the old Scottish invocations to Robby Burns, William Wallace and Billy Connoly , but they just don’t seem to be working for me .. I just see lumpy wallpaper paste and dream of crumpets ,fried eggs , chocolate donughts and hot spicey chai . Maybe I’m coming down with something !
We have been thinking about todays section of the walk for quite a few days now . Lots of other hikers have said that the next 20km to Beavis Hut are some of the hardest of the trail , so we are a little tense this morning to be honest .
We set out early in the morning light,we have packed quietly and leave Spambo still snoring in his sleeping bag . He doesn’t do mornings .
We walk into some blue sky’s early in the day and find our pathway today is wide and soft on the foot . The mulchy forest floor is comfortable to walk on after the rocky-hot-dry trail that wove down from the north section . Tall trees are our constant companions , they soar above us and draw the wandering mind up their straight slendour trunks . Soaring upwards 30 to 40meters these giants have slowly crept around us , and now seem to follow on our tails .
Around half way through todays trail there is a massive drop , a rollercoaster type hill that suddenly runs down 150 metres into a valley below and then reaching the river level immediately climbs back up . Its as exhilarating as it is exhausting , and the two of us are super stoked to reach the top . We know from here to Beavis camp site it’s almost all down hill , and the best thing is that it’s still before lunchtime . We are going to have a lovely rest today for sure .
Beavis Hut proves to be super . An absolute gem . I find a magical bird watching/photography perch on a massive fallen log , and Melanie reads her Kindle by the dam. Its a very laid back day ,and after an early dinner and a guest cameo appearance from Spambo , we decide to knock off a bar of dark cocoa and call it a day . Snugged up like a pair of catapillars in our sleeping bags , we drift off into a peaceful night of slumbering , as the waxing moon gives its silver shadows to the tall tree tops and the lullabies of the birds are never far from our ears .
Today is Beavis to Beedelup hut . A 20km jaunt that takes us through the Karri Valley Forest and past the Beedelup falls . That will leave us a day out from Pemberton , and on for a hot shower and a cooked breakfast at the YHA . Bliss !!
We are fine tuned now . A 20km day does not make us flinch . In fact it makes us question , we poke about at the map this morning , looking for clues if the pathway onward . Seeking insights into the day ahead , we look for places to stop for food breaks and question if there are hills to navigate , we are becoming compitent and it shows . Our faces have become leaner , our eyes brighter , and we have begun to wear a lightness about us . Nature is nurturing us . Bringing us in to a deep embrace . Our longing for connection is being satisfied amongst the everyday sights sounds and scents of the forest .
Each day brings a new surprise , a waterfall , a brook , an unknown bird , an intricate and infinitely delicate blossom or the rustling of the unknown amongst the forest litter . These days bring us enthusiasm , a high energy born from inspiration and balance . A place that we are exploring both outside of us and also inside of us , as we discover the place that we are reflected .
The sun is resurfacing from the clouds of yesterday and the pathway is wide and clear . We laugh easily and chat like a pair of Cockatoos . I am loving this days walking , and realise that the pains in my bones have melted away with the warmth and I’m effortlessly clicking away , as my sticks go tick tick tick tack .. another day in the Bibbulmun track .
More tomorrow …..