The winds continued to gust, rain came & went yesterday afternoon & I felt so cold with all my warm clothes on. Ambles as people know, cannot sit still. He rested a tiny bit then was bored. “Should I start a campfire? Maybe not. It’s too windy. Do you want a cuppa tea? My hands are cold. I’ll use another solid fuel. Maybe I should rest my foot & knee but. Probably better idea.” Lays down for a nana nap. 10 minutes later he opens his eyes looking at me, “Want some wine?” Then he wonders about the campfire procrastinating, finally decided, “I’m going to start a small campfire! Keep it low, it’ll be fine.”
We had one lone young guy show up 3.30 in the afternoon. He started at Brookton Hwy this morning & hiked around 22kms to get here. “I was going to hike on to Waalegh, but I can’t be fucked now!” He said. “Hiking 3 days to Kalamunda. Gonna go set up my tent”. He just kept to himself & didn’t join us. We enjoyed my delicious home cooked Ranch Pasta with wine, & an extra cuppa tea as Ambles boiled the water in the billy over the campfire. All done by 6.30pm, in bed by 7pm just as the rain started again. And it bucketed down all night, the heavy rain waking me up. Ambles said he was scared at times listening to it & wondering what was he doing out here, doing this! The worse thing was having to get up & pee during the night, twice leaving my warm sleeping bag to venture out into the cold & wet outside 😒.
I was surprised to see the guys tent hadn’t been washed away overnight. This morning we had nothing to worry about as there was still enough fuel for our morning breakfast. Ambles wanted to get going at 7.30am telling me to hurry up! Then I was ready & waiting for him as he fluffed about with his gear, went to the toilet…. He don’t like it when I say “I’m ready!” Grumble bum haha. We didn’t leave camp until 8am. He still had his head torch on as we left! The lone hiker guy came with his gear to pack up his sodden wet tent, planning on a 30km day. Better him than us! We only have 11.3kms today.
The Track was quite wet from the rain, muddy puddles & slippery in places. The rain had stopped, we were going pretty good. The first hill climb, Ambles was under attack by fire ants, they were swarming up his shoes trying to bite through his socks. He had to fend them off with a tree branch. Did I see them he asked? Nope, was going to fast for them 😁. The second hill climb the sun was out, it was quite hot so I stripped off the warmer layers. Got to the top, saw a dark rain cloud. This don’t look good🤔. Bam! Mother Nature changed the temperature in an instant as I was hit by a mini hail storm. Suddenly I was freezing cold in shorts & shirt, sheltering under my umbrella, the winds threatening to steal it. The hail hitting me at all angles. Ambles got caught in it still heading up. He goes, “Geez! 4 seasons in one day!” As quickly as it came, it vanished. As we made our way up the final 3rd hill, it was blue skies again – WTF?!
We made quick time, getting to Dale Road at 11.30am to catch up with our trail angel & good friend, Kerry & collect our first food box resupply. I must admit I was in better spirits knowing I was catching up with my friend. Yesterday’s weather had dampen my mood somewhat. Kerry had coffee & fresh fruit waiting for us! The things you miss when on trail. The rain came back so Kerry popped out her gazebo over the picnic table. We plowed through our food box topping up our backpacks, Ambles unloading some of his gear. Then we all trooped down to Mt Dale Shelter only 2 kms away. I dreaded carrying my backpack as my food bag weight had gone back up again. But the weight felt fine, must be getting use to it. Ambles tossed the idea around of losing the new goon bag of red wine, for a few seconds, then decided to take it.
Kerry stayed with us a bit before she headed off home. Had a cuppa tea & collected firewood for us. So good to see her, looking forward to seeing my parents soon in 5 days time. We are expecting another rain font tonight. Mt Dale is getting full with 8 of us here. But the real cracker of a person here is ‘Walking Bushy’, this Swiss lady hiking from North Bannister to Kalamunda, Sarah Marquis her actual name. She has hiked all her life & hiked the Bibbulmun 5 times already. She has a wicked sense of humour & cracks everyone up darling! Who knows how many more will come?! Hang on! Two more guys have come in & Walking Bushy has decided to set up her tent away from the shelter now! Look out for her book, Wild by Nature, she’s a travel writer. Wanna take her with us to Albany! Gonna be a noisy night in the Shelter. But Ambles don’t want to set up our tent, too much effort he says, can’t be bothered. 😉 Hope for some blue skies tomorrow.