Day Nine: Mt Cooke to Nerang

That night at the shelter it just kept raining. Tristan & Ambles tried to keep the campfire going & us 4 huddled around it under 3 umbrellas chatting before calling it a night at 7.30pm. Sometime during the night, Ambles nudged me saying, “Do you hear that Cuckoo bird?” “What? The Owl?” “Oh yeah, an Owl” 😌 And I coughed all night, keeping Ambles awake again. Tristan woke us up at 5.30am with a huge fart – thanks!

We said our farewells to Tristan & Simone. Simone said to Ambles if she yo yo’s back, then she will have a wine with us. She declines any food offered & has only cold slushy porridge for breakfast, lunch & dinner. And water is all the nutrients she is consuming. But she does readily accepts a hot coffee from Tristan each morning given to her while she is still rugged up in her sleeping bag. Ambles decided as I am quicker than him at walking that he leaves early & I catch up, so he left first & I left camp 15 minutes after him but quickly caught up.

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We had no rain on the climb up Mt Cooke that Ambles was concerned with. The climb on the north side is pretty easy going. The views up along the top glorious, the sun was shining & I was in no hurry but enjoyed taking photos & stopping to watch the traffic go by on Albany Hwy not too far away. Ambles wanted off the mountain before the dark clouds coming in broke rain onto us. Before the descent there is a hidden cave with its own cave book & pens to write in. Also been told by people about ticks in there so Ambles refuses to go near it. I heard him go pass while I was in there, nice & cool perfect if it was a hot day. Then the one bout of rain all day broke & lasted probably only 15 minutes.

The descent on the south side is harder as you have to traverse black open rocky granite steep slopes. And now it was wet. I went down oh so carefully with my poles, feeling my shoes slip a couple of times. Then BAM! My feet shot out under me & I fell onto the granite rock speeding down it with my backpack on, poles waving in the air. The scary moment stopped when my feet hit some rocks breaking my slippery wet water slide down Mount Cooke! I checked myself was bleeding from a couple of cuts on my fingers. Shorts were soaked wet. No rips or tears in my clothing or backpack. I gingerly made my final descent avoiding the black granite rock & walking around them on the moss & rocks. I met Bruce the pink frog still hiding under his rock & safety got off the hill where I tended to my cuts.

It was a total of 13.4kms to Nerang & the rest of the walk was flat & easy. I passed a couple going up Mt Cooke. Had to walk fast to catch up with Ambles whom was way ahead by now. I caught up with him with only 4 kms to go. He was feeling pretty beat & tired. Wasn’t too impressed with my dramas on Mt Cooke either. Was saying, “I told you we had to get off before the rain came!” I beat him into Nerang, had shoes off & enjoying the plastic chairs  Steve Sertis from the BTF left there by the time he wobbled in. This is Steve’s Shelter he looks after & you can tell. Immaculate & tidy, the natives pruned nicely. Lots of extra hooks & even a Shelter map. This shelter has a funny set up with one water tank by the shelter & the other far away by the toilet.

We had late lunch of noodles & hot cuppas. Then Ambles was out chopping up firewood to get the campfire going. Two young people came & set up tent. They didn’t speak to us & kept to themselves. They are doing a section from Sullivan Rock to Dwellingup. Then an older couple in their early 60’s came through from Gringer Creek doing a section to Brookton Hwy. Jill & Ross, their trail name Jilaros. They were interested in chatting to us as they set up their tent on the shelter floor. Jill recommended some places to stay further south. They have a few sections left to finish the whole Bibbulmun Track. And they both have Aarn backpacks like Ambles, only not as big! We had a quiet night by the campfire no rain! Went to bed at 7pm. Too much excitement today thank you!


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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