We had a rather uncomfortable spooky experience at Ellensbrook Campsite. I had ignored the sign along the footpath coming back from the Ellensbrook Homestead. It said to stay on the designated pathways as to venture off them would disrespect the aboriginal ancestors – this area had a huge significance importance to these ancestors. And I thought nothing of walking down a side dirt path to look at the running water creek. But later that evening once it was dark, we heard a weird screaming sound that went twice which sounded like it was made by a human. I said, “You think there is a hiker coming along?” Mr D goes, “No, I think that’s just an animal”. So we went to bed & that was fine. Then I get up for the toilet sometime during the night & Mr D gets up too. There is a strong smell of fire smoke in the area. I go half asleep, “Smells really smoky you know?” Mr D was like, “Yeah, hope there isn’t a bushfire around.” We fell back asleep.
I woke around 6am today. Time to get up & moving. Mr D was like, “Let’s get all packed up & ready to go at 7.30am.” So we had breakfast & 2 lots of cup of teas. Mr D also had tea instead of coffee. Then we started packing up. We noticed the smoke smell was still strong around us. “Maybe the surfie dudes lit up a campfire along the beach” Mr D tried to reassure me. He went up to the toilet & I soon followed to get some water. I suddenly got very afraid, the smell of smoke intensified & it felt like I had walked into some invisible boundary into a sudden spot of intense warmth that felt like I was in front of a fire, then walked straight out of this invisible boundary back into the cool air. There was no fire to be seen, no sound of fire yet it felt so close to us. I was getting all freaked out & as soon as I see Mr D, I’m like, “We have to get out of here! Quickly pack up!” But Mr D casually walked back & began packing. My hands were shaking I was so expecting a raging bushfire to appear suddenly & burn us to a crisp.
We left 8am on the dot. Birds were chirping & playing in the tree branches. Everything appeared normal except for that smoke smell & the sky looked all hazy from thick smoke. We set off upwards & to the right into the Gnoocardup plains. Up & down sand dunes for around 4kms until the path zigzagged to the beach. We were hoofing it along. I wanted out of there. Even when I reached the top of the hill & got a good view all around, I still couldn’t see any fires. There was no helicopters around. Nothing. The smoke smell slowly disappeared as I neared the beach. I felt relieved & safe at last.
Later on Mr D admitted to a possible spiritual presence that was angry I had disrespected their land. He has had a supernatural experience before & didn’t want to freak me out, so he had kept his thoughts to himself. So if you see signs like that, adhere to them! Respect the land & its history. I will not be returning to that area in a hurry! I checked later on, there was no mention of fire or prescribed burns in that area which makes me think there wasn’t any fire at all. I know I can’t explain the happenings, at least I didn’t experience them on my own.
So back on the beach, feeling much more relaxed & can slow my pace down. It was warm, the forecast was 26 today. We wanted to get to Prevelly which was a 12km hike, before it got too hot. But it quickly warmed up. We passed Joeys Nose, a high limestone cliff named so because it looks like a Joeys nose. So there you go. Then it was hard sand plodding along Kilcarnup Beach, pass 4WD cars parked along there, with people dipping their feet in the waves. Over a series of boulders then onto more soft, soft sinkable sand. We passed one large piece of rock that had seashells stuck all over the front of it, like the waves had slammed them into the rock. Mr D was struggling in the heat, walking in the sand, the heavy weight of his backpack. Just before we left the beach, we passed fathers with their small children, fishing. One young girl beamed at us saying, “I caught a fish!” There was a row of dinghies left up on the banks. This is a popular fishing spot. Poor Mr D, he really wanted to go fishing but this walk has been so hard he has no energy left to go fishing!😕
We went uphill to Cape Mentelle, there you get spectacular views out. Mr D had pulled out his umbrella. It was getting serious! I was hot & sweaty. The temperature was now almost 25. We crossed back down, hitting the beach, the ocean & sandbar of the Maragret Rivermouth. The river was well receded back so easy to cross without getting ones boots wet. Already did that & took 2 days for my boots to dry out! There was pently of people there, swimming, sight seeing, kite flying, surfing. And a carpark just up the stairs from the sand & a toilet block where we took refuge on the seats in the shade. One surfie dude showed great interest in our arrival & started asking us questions about the walk & how we plan it, e.t.c. He came from America & is familiar with the big trails over there. Now he enjoys living in Maragret River. A very pleasant fellow to chat with.
After we had recovered enough, we continued the short 1.5kms in to Prevelly Village which is a small diversion off the track. We met a cyclist on the way in. He had rode to Maragret River, 20kms away & back to re-supply on food. He is cycling from Perth to Adelaide & has 8 weeks to complete it. No electric bike either! In town, it was easy to find our accommodation that Mr D had booked back in Gracetown. Opposite the Prevelly Caravan Park was the Prevelly Villas. More expensive & deluxe. A 3 level townhouse with all the creature comforts including a wood fireplace. And to take note, very dog friendly. They even have a fenced off area with a dog kennel, bowls & inside, a basket of goodies for the dog including one of those fetch it ball on the stick that you fling. The owner came around to collect her money, very friendly & helpful.
Just opposite the villas next to the Caravan Park was the only cafe bar where we enjoyed a hearty lunch as we arrived into town spot on at lunchtime. The beers went down nicely with our fish n chips & burger. The cafe is also very dog friendly. Then I did the usual chores of clothes washing, visiting the only general store to re-supply on foods. Mr D enquired at the general store about posting some of his stuff back home. But none could do. He is desperate to lighten his backpack now after packing stuff that he doesn’t need or use. My backpack was getting much lighter, but now I have to add weight again with food to get us through the next couple of days. What a day – I spot the West Australian newspaper with its front headline on the Maragret River killing massacre. Sometimes it’s better to be disconnected to the real world. ☹️ We returned to the cafe for dinner – cocktails & Beef Rendang with rice. To finish off our day, we enjoyed glasses of white vino ( Mr D went to the general store for some alcohol indulging ) in front of our warm fireplace. Then Mr D finished his thick book so he could leave it behind to reduce weight! We have covered 65.5kms of the C2C already with 69kms to go – still! Tomorrow we will be over halfway to Augusta.🤗
About the author AmblingRose
We are keen hikers based in Perth, Western Australia. We have hiked 7 New Zealand multi-day walk trails, the 800km Camino Frances in Spain, the Cape to Cape in WA, Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, Malaysia. We have hiked sections of the 1003 km Bibbulmun Track in WA with plans to complete an end to end this year in Spring, 2019.
Honeymoon Pool to Balingup
Chichester Range Camel Trail