Day Eight: Monadnock to Mt Cooke

We were tucked away in bed by a very late 8.30pm. It felt absolutely freezing cold outside our sleeping bags, this being after Ambles drama with his head torch dying on him & not bringing spare batteries for it.😏 I didn’t sleep as well & my feet were freezing, my toes were going numb inside my sleeping bag! Just before 6am, we heard two voices coming in. One guy was saying to the other, “There won’t be anyone here. Who would be walking in this weather?!” Shone his torch into the shelter, “Oh shit, there are people here!” They went pass up toward the tent campsite area, moments later we heard a car start up & leave. Who the hell were they? Simone goes, “I hope they left us hot coffees!”






We all chatted over breakfast. Simone only carries a 8kg 38litre backpack – exact same as the one I used for the Camino. She eats all cold food & doesn’t carry a stove. She also has done so much hiking, her longest distance in a day being 77kms in New Zealand on a very wet day. They both met Walking Bushie on the track or they prefer her actual name Sara. Both in love with Sara & fighting over her. Wanted to bring her southwards with them as well. Ambles wanted me to sniff his two pairs of socks, couldn’t smell which ones were the fresh pair as they both smelt fine. Tristan goes, “You’re losing your sense of smell!” They set off before us, Ambles was glad for the peace & quiet once they were gone, he found Simone ‘very chatty’. 🙂 While the sun is out, more rain was forecasted today. That didn’t liven up my spirits. I feel I need a good shower, good pub meal, some rest, I’ll be ready to go again! 7 days until Dwellingup – can we make it?😒





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I was waiting & ready by 7.30am, Ambles was fluffing about still packing, going to the John one last time, still fluffing & sending out a message on his Garmin. I stood quietly patiently waiting – important key words. If it was Ambles he would be voicing his ready & wanting to go polite terms for hurry up! We left 8am, first climbing Mt Cuthbert my favourite hill, just perfect weather, cold n windy but the sun on my face just heavenly! I waited almost 15 minutes for Ambles to make it up the top while I enjoyed the glorious morning views😊.





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Heading down, I passed two middle aged day hiking women. One asked, “Are you out here alone?” I said my husband was behind me. She goes, “Oh! You’re a trail blazer then!” This 7km section is a real lovely day hike which I did before actually on my birthday last year! Heading up Mt Vincent is a bitch compared to Mt Cuthbert. Seems longer, steeper & rockier. I huffed & puffed like a steam train engine & again waited at the top, sun in my face, waiting for Ambles. Thank goodness for this weather! I would have hated traversing this section in rain, it’s slippery as it is! The cold gusty winds almost blew us off coming down. Quick stop at Sullivan Rock for a cheeky extra resupply from our trail angels (my parents).




Crossed Albany Hwy to a smorgasbord on the picnic table – sandwiches, choc milk, iced coffee, crisp chips, lollies, beer nuts, salted peanuts. We gobbled down our sandwiches, the best tasting sandwiches ever! That brief catch up was a real lift me up. Felt better as we swung back out onto the Bibbulmun Track heading now to our next shelter, 6kms away. Total distance about 13.4kms. Luckily this section is basically easy & flat for most of it. The sun was still shining as Ambles  struggled with his heavier pack, now loaded down with another goon bag of red wine. 😁 Ambles doesn’t like using his walking poles, but he got them out for the initial downhill bit saying, “I’ve forgotten how to use these!” Just ahead of us I spotted a Daddy Emu (I have learnt), ushering his babies along the track & into the bush. Was so adorable! The rain came momentarily & blue skies came out. As soon as Ambles got in, the rain started & has set in. Nice to be in camp now. Tristan was breaking up firewood & Simone was having a nap. We heard her screech out loud, “I just brushed off a tick on my leg I thought it was a scab!” She emerged & went to check she didn’t have any more ticks feeding off her. This made Ambles super paranoid in which he checked himself. They are double hutting tomorrow & moving into Dwellingup way ahead of us. So guess we will see whom next turns up that started later than us. I explored & discovered the trickling little brook nearby I hadn’t seen before. Ambles & Tristan got another campfire going even with the rain coming & going.





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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.

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