The alarm went off at 5am. We leaped eagerly out of bed.😏 (don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story right?!) The first day was easy yet not so easy. Easy as we were ‘slack packing’ leaving some gear behind in our room & carrying lighter backpacks. Not so easy as we were doing a 19.5km day to start.
Thankfully the sore throat I had the last two days had cleared up with the Betadine throat gargle. The hotel doesn’t do breakfast until 8am so we had quick porridge & a hot substance drink. Then it was a quick drive to the start where my mum & dad were waiting in the chilly cool morning air outside to collect our car to take back. There was some mandatory happy snaps at the north terminus end & well wishes. As our car drove away, it was now all up to us, no turning back, all we have to do now is walk. So off we set.
The first 5kms in are a slogfest, over ankle breaking loose rocks & pebbles, down steps, up steps & clambering over boulders & large rocks.
I decided on a short detour to Rocky Pool where I had my breakfast bar. Ambles or AKA Mr D, went on ahead. Didn’t see him for an hour or so. I fluffed about taking photos & destripping off outer layers. The coldness was quickly evaporating as the sun bore down on me.
Ambles being on his own, managed to get lost! Actually at the least likely spot one could get lost. He plowed straight ahead pass 5 glaring markers, one with BIBB in big yellow letters with an arrow pointing to the left. This same spot we once got lost before all those ‘extra’ markers went up. Still he soon realised his mistake & back tracked, I was still somewhere further back taking photos. Didn’t actually catch up with him until after Fern Road. I had my little Galicia cow bell dangling from my backpack, ding-a-ling away for anyone in the immediate vicinity of me to hear. Actually can be annoying the constant sound even to me 😁!!
We had met this 74 year old man earlier before Rocky Pool, had spoke to him then. He was saying how he is going Shelter to Shelter for 3 nights then going home. When we saw him again at the first shelter, Hewitts, he had forgotten about meeting us earlier. He was going on about an older man that had lost his younger woman hiking partner as she stopped to take photos. (This would be us!) Then proceeded to tell me how he was going Shelter to Shelter. Nice fellow with a good sense of humour & love of being outdoors in the bush. We enjoyed a sit down lunch as I took great delight writing in the trail log book – where are we going? To Albany hopefully!
Someone had left two full goon bags of red wine at the shelter. Tempting as it was, we settled for a more civilised cup of tea with our lunch😊. Ambles, AKA Mr D, AKA Loose Lips 😉, the latter was the case during our meal, was busy on his Garmin InReach, receiving well wishes from our group of followers. Every 10 minutes, the Garmin tells them where we are, so it’s like a band of Big Brothers are watching 😂😂 As we set off, waving goodbye to the nice fellow we had met, I grew excited about meeting more people on the track. It was blue skies & warm as we set off for the Mundaring Weir pub. Easy 7kms to go with a walk across the Mundaring Weir Wall where the breeze felt quite cold. As it was a Monday, there were a few tourists around but largely quiet. Ambles was checking his watch & saying “we must hurry to get to the pub before 2.30pm otherwise we can’t get a dinner organised! What will we eat instead?” I was like “I’m not hurrying. It’ll be fine. We can always eat one of the dehydrated meals or better yet – get Uber eats! It’s only 18kms from Kalamunda”
Ambles enjoys my company & humour, which is why he chose to walk 1000+kms with me😂. As it was, we got to the pub right on 2.30pm. Ambles was concerned with his right heel playing up, legs were feeling tired. We got dinner alright – the chef finished at 2.25pm, the bar lady went to ask him if we could get dinner. We ended up with a huge tray filled with 2 x Guinness pies, 2x salads, 4 bread rolls, a huge container of peas, big bowl of chips & 2x pea n ham soup! We joined the cheeky chip stealing twenty eight parrots out in the beer garden with a pint of beer each & our bowl of chips. If you going to do a hike – do it right!🤣
Our last night of luxury until we get to Dwellingup. We are enjoying the fireplace again, Ambles is enjoying watching Australian Survivor. He is quite upset about missing the remaining final episodes😕 Worse than that, we have 983.5kms to go……😁😁😁
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