15/10: Hi Ho, Hi Ho…..it’s off to Frankland River we go! I was ready to leave Walpole, had a solid sleep to 5am where Ambles had been up & down to the toilet 20 odd times. My shoulders & feet no longer ached & hurt after the two zero days as I reluctantly heaved my heavy backpack back on – loaded up with food & water. Ambles no longer felt like walking proclaiming he is over this walk now. It’s hard to get back in the hiking groove as we set off at a slow sluggish amble of 3km/hr. The day was cool & overcast with rain clouds looming in the sky above us. Over to Coalmine Beach Caravan Park that sits on the banks of the Nornalup Inlet. A popular spot for Caravans, swimming & fishing.
Ambles takes in the final views of his beloved area before we head inland through Karri & Tingle forest. There isn’t much in the way of flowers, it is more about the Tingle trees & the views back out to the ocean & Inlet. We walk through the popular tourist area where the giant red Tingle tree attracts thousands of people every year, the tree is spilt wide open that a small car can park inside it. We time our photos well, encountering early tourists on the way out.
While we seem to be going slow, we still make good time. Ambles has trouble dealing with the weight again & needs to stop for a rest while I continue slowly ahead. He catches up to me eating a banana. Where did he get that? He smiles happily saying, “The trail provides! I was walking along & found this banana just laying there on the ground. Thought it might be yours. Peeled the skin back & the banana only had one bruise on it! Fresh as! Someone would have been upset to have lost it then!” I hadn’t even noticed a banana on the ground when I passed through myself! 18.4kms hike to our campsite. Small ups & downs but otherwise reasonably easy pathways. We join the Mundi Biddi on a wide track a little ways before heading off on a separate track to our campsite, arriving just as a light rain shower started to fall. Took us just over 5 hours of walking, finishing at midday in time for lunch. This campsite is pretty, the first thing I notice is that it is on stilts, has an undercover decking patio with wooden floorboards, no sand, gravel or wood chips as a floor base right near our sleeping areas. Makes it much cleaner. Also has a resident cheeky mouse & bush rats living here hence another big container to lock your food in & a deterrent system set up on the poles above where we can hang stuff so rodents can’t climb & reach personal items hanging. Should make for an interesting night.😏 The other box has the biggest, fattest book in it – no wonder someone left it behind! Birdman had been through 2 days ago & wrote an extensive list of bird names he had seen on the track to date, but as Ambles pointed out, not in alphabetical order!😆 And the Frankland River runs right next to the shelter, a peaceful lovely little spot. The only problem is the toilet is so far away!
Deb & Mel arrived barely 5 minutes after we had & we all tucked into lunch. Ambles was keen on an afternoon of fishing as the rain kept coming on & off, light rain but annoying if you wanted to sit by the river. If it was a warm day, would have been perfect for a dip in the water. Ambles’s fishing rod kept getting caught in the low branches on the track as it stood out so high, above the backpack like an antenna, so after all that effort, he was going fishing regardless of the rain! Found a decent path to the rivers edge, hopped onto a rock & cast a line. There are too many rocks & stuff in the water so he quickly started losing his hooks as they kept getting snagged. While Ambles tried to fish, the rest of us relaxed in our tents. Mel’s feet are still hurting so much, she hobbles around camp after her horrible walk in & is just happy to have made it to the campsite. One day closer to Albany she says, very determined to get to the end & putting up with her painful condition. My feet were fine today but after stopping, my ankles get swollen & sore, stiffen up, leaving me to hobble about until they warm & loosen up. Ambles called it quits by wine o clock time. Had a couple of bites but nothing exciting on the end of his fishing line. He can try again at Peaceful Bay.😄 The rain finally blew over & we caught the last warm rays of sunshine before the day ended. Another gourmet dehydrated meal for dinner, chocolate for dessert then book reading in bed until shut eye time. We may have found ourselves in between the bubble of thur hikers. Finally getting a quiet shelter to ourselves. It is very quiet tonight with the four of us, no other hikers seen at all today.