It drizzled rain all through the night. I had shoved my backpack under the outer tent flap & the tent did well keeping us dry & cosy. But we left all the cooking stuff on the table outside & it was all drenched in the morning. The rain had cleared & we were up early at 5am to pack up. Mr D was eager for an early morning start as it was going to be a long day. All through our packing up & eating breakfast, Claire & Jordan were still fast asleep in their tent. Even Mr D’s Two Shoes alarm didn’t wake them. The tent was still wet on the outside as Mr D grumbled that the wetness was going to add weight to his backpack. 7am on the dot we set off out of Contos. It was a lovely early morning, the sun was rising through the trees & the birds were singing. It was going to be another warm 24 degree day but it was crisp & cool as we set off to Point Road Campgrounds a mere 1.5kms away. It was pretty quiet there too with just a handful of campers. There was a family with loud young kids running around so Mr D was happy we hadn’t camped there last night.
Todays walk takes us through the beautiful Boranup Forest continuing inland before we end up back out on the coast. The track is easy walking on firm dirt 4WD roads. The temperature was cool protected by the tall Karri trees. Occasionally a Kangaroo would be heard rustling through the bushes, a head would appear poking out of the bush, spot us & disappear again. Within no time at all, Jordan caught up to us after starting at 8am. He walks very fast & after a quick chat, he soon disappeared into the distance. Later he said he got in to Hamelin Bay at 1pm! Another couple passed us, an older couple that were completing the C2C in sections with daypacks & car shuffles. We didn’t see them again either as we slowly ambled along – primarily Mr D as I walk at a crisp steady pace.
On Trig Road, Mr D recognised a part of the road he had gone up years before in his 4WD. He wouldn’t have known that years later, he was to hike up that same steep hill. At the turn off for the Boranup Hill Lookout I waited for Mr D to catch up. In hindsight I should of gone up & returned & we wouldn’t of had the drama that unfolded after the good time & ground we were covering. Mr D did not want to walk an extra kilometre to a lookout & back. The guide book bible already puts that detour into the total distance already. So he went on & I was to catch up. I made the lookout in no time, checking out the views over the forest & out to the ocean. Upon leaving, another hiker turned up. A young man hiking by himself with loud music blaring through his headphones. He carries a big camera also & stops to take lots of photos. I didn’t catch his name so I’ll call him Tom, the name Jordan gave him, thinking it was the hiker we had mentioned meeting coz he carries a camera ( Ben ). So after a brief chat about the track, I set off to catch up to Mr D.
I should of caught up to him easily, it was only a few kilometres to the beach & he said he would wait for me just before the beach. I got stuffed up at Boranup Beach Road where the marker told me to go right but after that there was no markers. Feeling I had made the wrong turn, I turned around & went back eventually bumping into Tom whom got his book out & said that is the right way. The markers are non existent here & I was feeling annoyed. I ended up missing the turn off further down, Mr D had done the same earlier. The marker wasn’t visible & I didn’t spot the arrow Tom had created for me. Must of been too busy cursing the lack of signs & not looking down. So I wandered a fair way down getting close to the beach & knowing there was a turn off & I must of gone pass it. So I turned back around again the sun getting hot now, sweating & cursing & feeling lost. I found the turn off the second time. Noticed the hidden marker, over the sand hill there was a further two! I was so damn annoyed by all this as I cursed my way down the trail until I eventually bumped into Mr D whom was coming to look for me after waiting 50 minutes! Needless to say he was unimpressed.
It had been such a good walk until then & we had covered so much ground. Now we had lost so much time & the sun was quite hot with no breeze through those sand dunes. We had lunch there, not an ideal spot, by the beach but there was no other option. It was stinking hot & unpleasant. I put my umbrella up for shade but it didn’t help much. So we had lunch & a cuppa & were soon on our way again. Tom had stopped in the next dune & was having a good time, taking photos, having a swim & eating lunch. He asked if I saw his arrow he made for me. Nope! But at least I was on track now. It was 1pm & now all we had was 6.5kms to go – along the beach to Hamelin Bay. What a stupid idea to put in a long beach slog at the end of a long days walk!
It was stinking hot, my arms were burning even with sunscreen lathered on. Mr D quickly popped his umbrella up a short way along. It was a long, long walk forever it seemed, walking along by the ocean, soft sand sinking underfoot. I gained distance as Mr D became smaller & smaller behind me. Soon he was a small dark dot moving along. I munched on Jellybeans to keep me going as I sweated my way closer & closer to the goal. I passed a couple of surfers & watched the cute little plover birds play along the sand near the waters edge. I was pleased I made good time – 1hr 50minutes. When I got to Hamelin Bay, the Caravan Park was right there & I walked into & stopped at the kiosk that was closed – only opens Friday to Sunday! I pulled off my boots & cooled off, taking a seat under the kiosk patio, going back to the beach & checking how Mr D was getting along every so often. A lady came by & said to me, “Warm out there on the beach for you! This is like an Indian summer! Unusual hot days for May!” Eventually Mary Poppins turned up half an hour later with his little black umbrella, completely wet with sweat & looking as exhausted as I, perhaps more so! It was now 3.30pm we should of arrived earlier!
We trudged up to reception & booked us a cabin for the night. They had no cabins with bathrooms available so we settled for a basic one for $90 a night, it had 4 single beds 1 double bed & a basic kitchen. Mr D was like, “$90 for this?!” But it came with ocean views hence the price. We must of looked so grumpy in reception. I tried to organise 2 more lunches & there was barely anything to choose from. There was no wifi, nothing! Hamelin Bay is very primitive! The lady said on our way out, “Oh, you can just leave the key in the door in the morning when you go.” Meaning they didn’t want to see our grumpy faces again! Mr D goes, “How embarrassing!”
Our neighbours in the next cabin happened to be Jordan & Claire! They must of looked at us & felt sorry for us. We were fed up, sweaty, stinky, grumpy faced, me carrying my boots in my hands. They truly were our trail angels & came over with 2 more bottles of cider plus a plate full of food! There was grapes, meats, cheeses, bread & sweet pastry treats! They were so good to us! We cleaned ourselves up over in the public shower block, I washed & dried our dirty smelly clothes. Mr D boiled up copious amounts of bore water in what he called “Hamelin Bay’s Special”, a kettle with the lid that won’t shut so we used Mr D’s cookware to keep the lid closed while it boiled. He had quite a collection of Powerade bottles by now, too paranoid about not having enough water. With chores out the way, Mr D wanted to thank Jordan & Claire & offer to pay a taxi to the nearest Karridale Tavern 8kms away for some pub grub. Mr D had to use the only phone service available at the nearby outside pay phone using a 50 cent coin. And even then, it has a sign saying it may not always work! 😏 We met Cy Fort, the guy that runs a south west taxi service, assisting C2C walkers largely. Very nice fellow. Claire & Jordan already knew Cy so they chatted away as we made our way to dinner. Cy mentioned one guy that walked it all in 4 days. Too much. When Cy dropped him back at his vehicle, the guy could barely walk, he crawled to his car saying he was fine to drive! The tavern was nice, not too busy, food was delicious. I ordered a steak that satisfied my appetite with a couple of glasses of white wine. Mr D got stuck into ribs & red wine. He was almost going to buy a small liquor bottle for tomorrow night but changed his mind. “Too heavy! Another kilo to carry it!” He goes. Claire said, “It didn’t stop him carrying a 2 litre goon bag!”
After such a crazy day, we were finally relaxed & happy. Glad tomorrow was going to be a short day as we were buggered after that hell Beach walk! Jordan was going to finish tomorrow & do the whole 27kms left in one day. We felt that would be too much. Included in this 27kms was another long stretch of beach walking. Today’s 22.5 kms must of been around 24kms for me! We retired to our soft double bed, planning on not getting up too early the next morning!