5/10: Heard the downpour of rain on & off all night. Would splatter loudly on the roof. Seem to ease off around 5am time, ready to get up & head into town! A leisurely lazy 14.5kms awaited us. The sun came out briefly & the birds started chirping but that didn’t last long as the clouds closed in again. Had a good nights rest full of dreams amongst listening to the rain & thinking how flooded it was making the pingerup plains for us 😕. As I gave Ambles one of my porridge sachets for him to have 2 days ago, I had pea n ham soup instead. Wasn’t as good, I’m a routine person sticking to eating the same foods daily normally. Ambles was about to heave on his backpack & realised one of his bottom tube bars on his backpack had slipped undone, so Drew helped him to push it back into place.
Today was an easy flat walk, no nasty steep inclines, nothing strenuous. We say goodbye to the Karri Forest as the landscape & vegetation changes so quickly. Black boys make a comeback which is so nice to see them again. There was more burnt woodland through the remaining forest, another reason I dislike walking through is because all the logs & tree stumps, everything you could sit on is charred black. You sit on it, you get a black ass. You lean against it, you get black stains on yourself. So I just keep moving without taking a sit down break. We move through swamp lands & muddy patches to give us a taste tester of the next section out of Northcliffe. Pass farmlands with lots of moo cows staring at us. A lot of dirt road walking, taking care to quickly move aside when a large truck comes flying through! Then the track continues through taped off areas so you go under the tape & keep moving…..straight into muddy disgusting ground covered in land mines of sloppy runny cow poos. Barf-o-rama! But it gets nicer yes. Head onto a nice single track over the Gardner River & alongside it. Ambles stopped to speak to two hikers going north. One carried the same Aarn backpack. So Ambles learnt today he was missing an extra buckle on each side of the shoulders from the other hiker. Well he discovered he had those buckles all along, they were tucked under & not noticeable. So now he can take proper weight off his shoulders with these buckles – yahhhh! An improvement again.
We arrived in at 10.30am. Went straight to the cafe for coffee & a pie each. Sandals, Drew & Ray were there ordering food & drinks too. Sandals is hiking out to the next camp this afternoon. He joked to Ambles about how swampy the next part is & how Ambles was going to be sucked down into the muddy water by the heavy backpack he carry’s. Haha, Ambles didn’t see the funny side. A young guy gave us our coffees & spilt Ambles cappuccino all down the side of the cup & onto the saucer. Ambles looked so unimpressed 😂. Northcliffe is a pretty small town. Got a hotel & motel, we were in the motel with a room next door to Deb & Mel. Had us a decent shower & freshen up, off to the pub for beers & lunch. Ambles ordered 15 chicken wings with a bowl of chips & another bowl of salad – couldn’t finish it his eyes were bigger than his stomach 😆. My pizza was yummy! I sorted through our box, organising the next food drop, organising what stayed in the box. Get that back to the visitor centre & do some quick laundry washing. Run the usual errands. Bit of shopping, the ladies in the general store very friendly & helpful, then can kick back & finally rest up. Blue skies now & looking that way over the coming days. We continue on tomorrow with our next rest day scheduled in Walpole, another 7 days away. Again there is a serious lack of phone signal along the way so our blog will be delayed. We do our best……😆😆😆
Our day finished with dinner at the pub sitting with Deb, Mel, Drew & Ray. This time Ray was joining in the conversations. Our steaks weren’t done well, over cooked & tough. Ambles been having a real carving for vanilla ice cream. Had some after lunch & more for dessert. No special nightcap drinks tonight. We all hike out tomorrow after breakfast. Looking forward to this next section 😊. Snake sightings: Ambles 1, Rose 0.