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Day Sixty Two: Mutton Bird to Sandpatch

26/10: Sleep eluded me for awhile. Ambles had an eventful trip to the toilet sometime in the early morning. Could not be a simple trip to the loo. It had started to drizzle when he went & while he was sitting in the toilet doing a big job, a gang of mozzies started biting him on any exposed piece of skin they found. Then his head torch battery indicated it was about to go completely flat with several warning flashes. He is slapping at the mozzies & as his light flashes he catches a glimpse of a big black spider coming out of nowhere catching a mozzie & eating it. Ambles was like, ‘I’m out of here!’ With his head torch flat now, he stumbles back in the dark & now the rain which was more than a drizzle, back to the shelter. I didn’t get up at all until after 5am. The sky is overcast but as morning wakes up, some blue skies start peeking through. Very briefly, then an annoying constant drizzle of rain starts & seems to have set in for the morning. Ambles fetches water from the tank & gets a spider come out of the tap into his bowl! He must be having an insect kind of day.😊

 

 

I lay cosy in my sleeping bag with my first cuppa until 6am. Then I get up with my second cuppa & start packing my stuff up. Before porridge, Deb & Ambles do their push up challenge. Ambles goes first & does 24 push-ups, not full ones the cheat! Deb does 25 – take that! But she pulls skin off her knuckles this time & decides she better not do any more. Ambles returns for another 24 push-ups, knees dropping, struggling with the effort. The trees close by the shelter become full of white tailed cockatoos, chattering away to each other, flying back & forth, the branches sagging under their weight. White tailed Cockatoos have a pleasant melodic call, unlike the screeching raucous that the red tailed cockatoos make.

 

 

We had all packed up & watching the rain, where did this weather come from?! Our weather apps mention no rain, cloudy with top of 20 degrees. We hang back procrastinating to go. The next campsite has no shelter as Sandpatch shelter was burnt down in May last year from a controlled burn that got out of control. Deb & Mel were even considering staying two nights here & walking 24kms to Albany tomorrow. We watched the cheeky magpie lark return & scavenge for any food scraps. By 8.30am, the rain was slowing down & a hint of blue sky could be seen. The rain stopped so we quickly packed & left camp leaving our northbound hiker whom his name is Tony we found out, behind. A lazy 12 kilometres to the next & last camp. It was humid to start with & flies buzzing about my face. We hadn’t gone a kilometre when we could see rain over the ocean coming in again. Before long our umbrellas come out as we walk along in the rain some good kilometres before it stops for the last time. Views are limited through the rain haze. It is what it is. We pass alongside the Albany wind farm, lots of wind turbines turning & turning. If they make a noise it must be a low hum as I hear the waves crashing louder in my ears than the turbines. The first wind turbine is broken & doesn’t move as if to say to the others, ‘Stuff Y’all I aren’t gonna work no way! Can’t make me!’ Another wind turbine further along has a missing head. The rain lifts & the views return as we walk into Sandpatch. Two men are getting ready for some hang gliding & Ambles stops to talk to them & explain what we are doing out there. Then we join tourists on the boardwalk around to Sandpatch beach, one tourist couple are brave to ask the stinky funky smelling hikers that is us to take their photo. I’m all obliging. Another hiker comes up behind us. A man whom carries a big pack & maybe he is a thur hiker as well. He must be triple hutting into Albany & came from Torbay I guess. He grunts a hello but doesn’t stop to chat. A man on a mission! We spot Mel sitting on a bench, she is waiting for Deb to return whom has gone down to check out the beach. They both set off to check out Sandpatch campsite & decide what they want to do. It’s midday as I go check out a lookout first, the guide book highly recommends it. So Ambles hangs around on the bench Mel was sitting at & I go check it out. It’s well worth it, with views over the whole wind farm & at the higher lookout, views over to Albany! The end goal is in sight! Now only 14kms away😁. I’m ecstatic as I head back down passing toilets & bins. Hence I head back up a second time to empty my rubbish bag!

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It’s an easy 2.6kms now to camp, entering the area that is rejuvenating after the May 2018 bushfire. And there’s so much flowers, a rainbow of colours & green bushes amongst the blackened trees. So we arrive a little after 1pm to a construction site where the foundation of a new shelter is being started. There’s a water tank & drop toilet. No trail log book to write in. No red book to read peoples comments & stories. The tent sites haven’t been maintained & have bushes growing all over them, unlevel ground & chunks of rock stuck in the ground. How they were ever tent sites I don’t know!😕We find the best one under the shade of a tree. It’s the only shelter we can find. Bit of a slope but it will do. There’s a lookout at top to watch the sunrise & sunset over the ocean. Unfortunately the ground up there is not good for a tent either. Mel hates the site, the whole place & Deb has called their accommodation place in Albany & booked tonight as well. They will continue on into Albany today.☹️We all sit on the ground & have lunch. Deb had a speech prepared as her farewell to us, she read out her speech which was lovely & touching. They really enjoyed sharing their journey with us. So Ambles did an impromptu speech. Just after 2pm, Deb & Mel walked back out to the track. And now for the second time on this trip, we will have the campsite to ourselves! I can see no one stays here. I’m sad to see Deb & Mel go, but will enjoy my last night on the track. We have some hard work preparing the ground & putting up our tent. It is harder without a picnic table, sitting on rocks on the ground preparing meals & cuppa teas. Almost like roughing it but we still have a water tank & toilet close by! The afternoon has warmed up, hopefully the rain now stays away!

 

 

We prepare dinner early so we can eat, clean up & be ready for bed. Then we can watch the last sunset before crawling into bed. Take our remaining vino up here & admire the glorious views. ☺️ Can hear the wind turbines now whirling loudly, sound right behind us but they are to the west of us so their sounds must be echoing through the valleys. I can hardly believe this is the final night! What a whirlwind of an adventure it has been!🤪

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About the author AmblingRose

We are keen hikers based in Perth, Western Australia. We have hiked 7 New Zealand multi-day walk trails, the 800km Camino Frances in Spain, the Cape to Cape in WA, Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, Malaysia. We have hiked sections of the 1003 km Bibbulmun Track in WA with plans to complete an end to end this year in Spring, 2019.

All posts by AmblingRose →

2 Comments

  1. I will miss reading your witty, engaging and fun blog posts! I’ll do this track one day, you’ve inspired me to!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    1. Yes you must one day – it’s a truly amazing adventure!

      Like

      Reply

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