8/10: Maringup shelter was much more appealing in the morning. The winds died down overnight & I got a good sleep. I think it was Adrian’s sleeping mat, was the loudest mat to date, every time he moved, the mat crunched away super loudly. Heard a dog barking at one point. Ambles heard a loud car horn woke him up during the night. The morning was calm, cool with a lovely sunrise over the lake. One could hear the ocean this time. Ambles was not pleased about today being almost 26kms long & wanted an early start, so we got up 4.30am. We compromised as he wanted to get up at 4am! Deb was up early like us as well, she had her tent packed up & all by 5am! We left at 6.20am, the first out of camp. We took on a good steady pace 4.5kms/hr. Not long into the walk, we encountered more water to wade through, the morning consisting of walking through Karri Forest, low swamp lands, open grassy plains & wading. The first puddle I tried to go around, sliced a nice paper cut on my thumb on some sharp plant leaf & decided to wade it after that grumble grumble! The second puddle had a boardwalk like some do, this one however stopped short of the dry land so had to wade again – bloody useless walkway! I stopped for 10 minutes after 2 hours where Ambles just keeps going, leaving me behind, I walked alone for 2.5 hours. Lucky for me as Ambles saw his 3rd snake, a big fat black dugite slithering right towards him before taking a left turn & disappearing into the undergrowth. Today was warming up – finally! Blue skies called for my hat & sunglasses which were collecting cobwebs by now. 😊I haven’t seen any Roos or Emus for weeks now, well it feels like that.
Saw Deb & Mel behind me a way off, expecting them to pass me but they didn’t. Caught up with Ambles & we had a 20km mark break for a good 20 minutes. He said he had been hallucinating seeing water ahead on the path but getting there & finding no water. Maybe he has dreaded daymares about more water wading! Feet were getting sore. The worse was yet to come, no more wading but a long trudge along Dog Road, a dirt road, mostly flat but long & hard goes up to the campsite under the full glare of the sun. Deb & Mel appeared behind us again, I figured maybe Mel was having troubles. She had trouble with yesterday’s wading, undid her strapping tape on her foot so she was hurting again. I was struggling to keep up with Ambles that quicken his pace, put my pole down right next to a tiger snake I didn’t see until I saw it’s long body slither away quickly from my pole. Not a fan of seeing snakes! We arrived into camp 12.35pm, taking us just over 6 hours to get here. Pretty good. This campsite is by far the best one, I would consider the jewel of the track! Right by the flowing Shannon River. Another Rammed earth shelter as the old one burnt down with Gardner shelter in the 2015 bushfire. First thing Ambles did after getting his backpack off? Go down to the river & hop straight in with his walking clothes, boots & all! Didn’t think about the temperature first. Found it freezing cold & quickly got out! As soon as I removed my sodden boots & socks, some cheeky ass March fly landed on my big toe for a bite! Yep, the marchies are awful here! Sprayed myself head to foot with repellent spray.
Daisyfish was there already as she had a short walk in. Enjoyed her free camping spot last night. Al was chatting away to her when we arrived, a section hiker that now only hikes the good bits so bypassed Maringup to avoid the swamp parts. He is moving on later to free camp further on. Poor Mel was suffering on arrival. Had a bad day. She had hit the wall so to speak. Ray & Drew arrived 2.30pm, Ray decided to tent as he always sleeps in the shelter. Said it has been too noisy in the shelter to Mel.😏Yeah, he didn’t say a word (not that he talks much anyway) to Ambles this morning or afternoon. Think he was annoyed with us waking him up at 4.30am! Coz he says he don’t get up until it’s light outside. Oh how I will miss his enjoyable company tonight😁. Decided I’m going to have a swim (finally!) after lunch, it really wasn’t too bad, I stayed in for quite awhile enjoying it! Deb & Daisyfish came in to join me but didn’t linger long as they found the water too cold like Ambles. They just looked at me like I had gone mad, while I merrily splashed about😆. I averted my eyes while Drew went down, stripped off nude & went in for a wash in the river. All us hikers do that, modesty is no option on the track!
Now why would you want to leave this glorious spot?! We had the most peaceful & relaxing afternoon enjoying beautiful sunshine for a change. At least my socks have dried & my boots partially dried by the sun😂. We do have more wading tomorrow & the next day unfortunately. This is the last campsite with a campfire ☹️. And Ambles decided not to bother lighting it up as it was a warm evening ☹️☹️. Now all of us are in tents, 2 in the shelter & 4 outside. Lock away our gear as we been warned of a critter in our midst at this shelter, chews through backpacks, earphones, clothes pants & food bags, a super vermin critter! Everyone is very quiet tonight, retiring to their tents by 6pm. Deb used the last of the toilet paper in the toilet so makes number 6 shelter with no toilet paper – Ambles is still counting😆. And the mean toilet seat pinched my bum!
Snake sightings, Ambles 3, Rose 4.