Ambles got the indoor fire going but not everyone could enjoy it due to lack of space. Kirsty & Gijs went back to their tent after dinner, probably played one of their card games like ‘Shithead’ until it was time for bed. Us & Veronique (Bab as she calls herself on Facebook) sat silently in front of the fire for a good hour. Veronique Facebooked away not saying a word, Ambles read his kindle while I stared into the flames feeling bored. Veronique sat her chair right in front of the fire enjoying every bit of heat, “I have been so cold these last two nights! No fire!” Ambles at one point asked Veronique about her backpack. She said she don’t carry a tent or a stove or very much at all, her base weight of her pack is around 5kgs without food. She was going to have cold noodles when she arrived but Gijs offered her boiling water. Maybe we have too much creature comforts making our packs so heavy, but I do enjoy my hands around a hot cuppa first thing. Love my heated rehydrated meals & couldn’t stand to eat cold yuck every day. Ambles uses his Axe daily building a campfire for everyone to enjoy, but people ridicule his Axe. Tristan carries his own camp stool chair to sit on. Different strokes for different folks as they say. It was so much warmer inside our 4 walls & Ambles got too hot & slept without his beanie for the first time.
The sun hits the hut early in the morning, quickly warming up the day. Before we had set off, Veronique had a request for us all to sing happy birthday to her grandson as she videoed to send it to him. Her grandson was turning 6 the following day. As Veronique didn’t have a tent, she had to go to Chadoora instead of Dwellingup. The 14.7kms was too easy for her, she left later than us but quickly overtook us with her quick walking pace. The walk started with a long descent down Mt Wells, my right knee still causing issues & throbbing away as I took the descent slowly & careful. At least it wasn’t rocky, just a easy flat descent. I went to the ‘seat’ the Guthook app said was there. But the ‘seat’ was nonexistent. Most of the walk was pretty easy wide gravelly, sandy paths, slight ups nothing too strenuous.
The last 5 kms was all burnt out by some recent ‘Prescribed Burns’ by the Department of Parks & Wildlife. Have to say it’s much nicer to walk through lush green vegetation & wildflowers, birds singing & flying tree to tree rather than some burnt out land of charred trees, leaves dead all fallen on the ground with the subtle small regrowths trying to emerge from the ground. I know it has to be done, but looks so unappealing. And so much of it burnt all the way to the shelter! But we got there, after 12.30 making good time. Veronique had already settled in. It wasn’t long before Kirsty & Gijs showed up.
There was no phone signal, so we had a pretty relaxing afternoon, reading books, chatting away. Veronique made mention of Daisyfish a day behind us. Veronique says people are so inspired by her. “Why me? I’m fit & hike so much. Sure I’m 70 what has that to do with it? I’m inspired by Daisyfish! There is she, 50, a little overweight & not hiking fit, deciding to do this whole track to lose weight & improve her life! Don’t be inspired by me!” Ambles struggled to get a fire going, the wood left by the fire pit was hopeless, the fire kept dying. Until he pulled it out & found better wood, did the fire take off. And there was midgees, they were attracted to the fire & smoke, trying to bite us. Ambles one point totally smoked out the Shelter as the fire pit was very close by. Poor Veronique was sitting in the top bunk, choking on thick clouds of smoke😕. Then these 3 cyclists turned up that shouldn’t be there on the Bibbulmun. One asked Ambles where he was hiking to. Ambles told him hopefully Albany that other hikers tell him off for saying the word ‘hopefully’. The guy goes, “Well mate, there’s a bus you can catch, will take you to Albany!” They must of known they were not allowed to ride there as they soon took off again. I had discovered a small blister on my right heel, my first one so far so quickly attended to it with a needle & fixamul tape.
Two more hikers turned up after 4.30 having double hutted from White Horse Hills. Dave & Jayn, from Melbourne doing an end to end too. Dave said he had been following us all in the trail log book saying to Veronique ‘You are Veronique?’ And looking at me saying ‘Rose?’ Ambles was away chopping more firewood at that time. It is a funny hiking community. Us 5 only been a group of 5 since last night but Dave & Jayn did not feel a part of our group & hung back at another table not joining our group around the campfire. Veronique asked them if they had seen her pink piglet & umbrella she lost on Mount Cooke. Dave goes, “Oh yeah I saw those looked odd both up there but there were all these day hikers so just left them there”. Veronique goes, “Noooo! My poor piglet!” She hopes someone will read her post on Facebook & send piglet down to her, umbrella not so important. Dave & Jayn retired to bed early & the rest of us stayed up to 8pm before calling it a night. This was our last night together & even Veronique had turned very chatty with us, telling us places she has been, places we should go. It was funny, over the table as we prepared our dinners, Veronique goes, “Important question, when I get into Dwellingup, do I have a pint of beer at the pub first or shower first?” We all went, “Definitely have a beer first, then shower & go back for a second pint!” It sure felt weird knowing we were heading into town tomorrow after being bush ferals for 2 weeks! Ambling Rose – Slow Strollers on the Bibbulmun 😊.