25/10: Ahhhhh…..tick tock, tick tock, it sounded like a loud ticking clock next to my head. After awhile I realised it was just the sound of dripping water on the outside of the shelter wall dripping from the roof to the ground. Went on all night. Rained a small amount too a couple of times. The winds had finally died down. Had to get up to relieve myself & looked up at the night sky on the way back from the toilet. It was a clear night & the sky was covered with impressive stars. Woke up after 5am stretching out leisurely in bed. No need to rush, an easy 12.4kms today. We originally were going to do 24kms but changed our plan as the sands were tougher to walk in & take us much longer. But they are easy this side of Denmark than the other side, much easier! Anyway, nice to enjoy our final last days on track instead of rushing it. Ambles had another wacky idea – instead of camping at Sandpatch tomorrow, walk into the outskirts of Albany & stay at a hotel on the track – this idea got quickly shot down in a ball of flames. Ambles is out numbered by three women to one man😂. I wonder if we will get any more End to Enders that started later than us, catching up at this end? Many people double hut through to Albany from Denmark. Ambles & Deb did their early morning push ups again while preparing breakfast cuppa. We did a real lazy pack up leaving camp after 7.45am, I was ready by 7.15am so sat & passed time watching the male & female wren birds chase each other through the foliage while waiting for Ambles to be ready.
Most of the walk today is on beach & the sand is firm enough making it easy to walk along. We had a short 2.7km walk out to Cosy Corner Beach where we start, finishing at Mutton Bird Beach. There is used / unused toilet paper heaps of it just dumped into the bushes on the side of the track. Reminds us of the Camino, 😆😆but very bad to leave that there when there is bins only a kilometre away! Somewhere in between there is Perkins Beach but there is no sign on the beach so unfortunately can not know when we were walking on a beach named after us!😂 Deb & Mel left earlier than us & scored a free car ride to the Cosy Corner Cafe which was up Cosy Corner Road some couple of kilometres. Shame it wasn’t closer at the beach, we didn’t feel like some 1.5 hours return walk for coffee. The only other person on the beach was a man & his dog. The weather was good, somewhat cloudy & cool, making good walking weather. Halfway along we have to scramble over rocks to the other side while the waves pound into the rocks, sea water spraying in the air. I really enjoyed this bit. Ambles was feeling tired & lacklustre of energy for beach walking. This is our last beach walk so I really enjoyed it, watching the birds, the waves, not much else to watch, no strange objects washed up on the beach, no dolphins, no bluebottle that Guthook says there is. This is where I guess Perkins Beach is – east or west side of Torbay Inlet.
Torbay Inlet is closed again after being manually opened recently in the last week. Lucky we didn’t arrive earlier October, we would have to wade across ankle to knee deep water or take a 15 kilometre diversion around. Phew! Wading required only through 1cm of water sloshing across the sandbar from the ocean! A man with 5 dogs walked pass. Then it was less than 2 kilometres to the Mutton Bird Beach, back up some steps passing another guy & his dog. Seems to be man & his dog/s day today.😊The last few kilometres are easy back along the inside dune vegetation passing the rifle shooting range where Ambles thought about going in to have a shoot….then decided not to.😁It was very convenient today to have toilets to use & bins to chuck my rubbish into! We arrived at Mutton Bird Campsite shy of midday. Nestled in out of the wind but not having ocean views to look at. Some lazy person had dumped all their rubbish in the bucket beside the toilet. Poor form😡. The platforms in this shelter are narrower so our tent has to sit a different way inside. Deb & Mel came in at 12.30pm & told us about their awesome second breakfast they had at the cafe & had bought us a slice of cake to share between us which was very nice of them!
The sun has come out this afternoon & so have the trillions of annoying flies. There is a cheeky magpie lark that was wandering about outside camp looking for food, thought Mel’s Luci light might have been edible & knocked it off the post Mel had it on. Must be careful not to leave food out! A young man came through at 1pm having walked in from Albany this morning! Young & fast, he finished his end to end a month ago & was walking on this afternoon to Torbay or West Cape Howe. Just doing a section as he enjoys it so much.
The best thing way to pass the afternoon is hide in our tents from the flies & mozzies. Ambles has a Nana nap & all is quiet but for the buzzing of flies, the unseen ocean waves, crickets, the winds through the trees & the periodic crunching of sleeping mats as someone moves position. Very civilised!😊 perhaps we were all deep in thought about each of our own journey to this point. What it all meant & memories made. What will happen when we return to our homes?
Late afternoon sees another hiker join us. He has left Albany also today & section hiking to Denmark. Feeling not part of our group, the man sets up his tent outside. But joins us later while we have dinner. Ambles & Deb challenge each other with push ups again. Deb beating Ambles again 25 to Ambles 24 – close! Might be set match tomorrow! Our second last night on the track – exciting & sad at the same time!😊 Our last night in a shelter. I went searching for a good sunset, went back out on the track & found an old slightly overgrown goat track leading me out to the cliff edge about 200 metres where I soaked in my second last sunset out here watching the waves crashing far below, the sun setting on the horizon to the west & the wind farm to the east. Well worth the effort, I felt on top of the world. All this for free so to speak. Yes! It’s good to be me!😁