Gill Goes.... Trekking the Bibbulmun Track... Denmark to Torbay via Nullaki and West Cape Howe

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June 26th 2016
Published: April 8th 2019
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Day 53

Denmark to Nullaki


Slow start to the morning- with such a short day ahead there is no need to hurry. Indulge in a decent breakfast at the Blue Wren- the kitchen being really well set up we have eggs on toast and yoghurt before making a couple of days worth of lunches and redistributing the food/repacking the pack. Last good coffee (for only a very a few days 😞 ) at The Bibbulmun Cafe before Mark drops us around the Wilson Inlet to reconnect with the track ($50), there used to be a boat but not anymore, so the options available to us were to walk or catch a taxi. The walking is pretty wet at times as the tide is high and the track inundated. Very scenic wide body of water with lots of bird life. Snakes? They were on my mind but none seen. The Nullaki Wilderness Estate has several private jetties and huge estates. Bump into 2 other walkers- Phil (who we have followed in the books and is a day ahead, but we don't know that yet) and his son, Pete. They are packless and appear to be day hikers. We walk to the boatshed/hut/watertank, sign the book and continue on. Lunch is another stop- we take 40 mins to eat very extravagantly- brie and vegemite sandwich (Sacrilege! I hear my French friend shout (in my mind- although I wouldn't mind to hear it in person!!), caramel slice and fruit. Reach the hut at 15:08 to find Phil and Pete already there... set up. It transpires that they had been dropped off and there packs dropped somewhere for them to reclaim. They are really pleasant but I feel officially devastated to learn that they are on exactly the same walking schedule as us.

Unreasonable on my behalf I know. The track belongs to no woman... I know, but, all the same I had idealised a scenario that it'd just be Meg and I especially as we had had pretty much the last week to ourselves. Selfish.. I know.... please don't judge me.

What to do?

Sleep on it.

Impressions of the shelter- Windy night, the right hand corner of the hut was pretty sandblasted.

Body assessment- Excellent but mind unsettled

Total people for the day- Phil and Pete

Day 54

Nullaki to West Cape Howe

17 km in 5.5 hrs

Wake with the dawn chorus. Phil's up and preparing tea on the outside table but very quiet and respectful of his hut buddies (thanks Phil). Up at 06:45 and it quickly becomes light. We all pack up quietly and efficiently with our various routines. I am still really unsure as to what to do for the next few days- utterly torn between wanting no one else in the huts and double hutting to try to achieve this, versus not wanting to double hut because I'd finish a day early... and what's to say that there wouldn't be others ahead anyway... it will work itself out I guess. Anyway.... Meg and I head out to a kangaroo and an extremely easy bit of walking- small undulations. Have a short break at the 5km mark with views over Wilson Head and the Wilson Inlet. The guidebook directions are a bit odd- we pass more bench seats than documented, but a bench seat is always a good thing especially when there is coffee and chocolate biscuits involved.

The walking continued to be relatively dull this morning with intermittent ocean
Small Non-Sleeping HutSmall Non-Sleeping HutSmall Non-Sleeping Hut

This would be at the 4.5km mark if you crossed the Wilson Inlet on foot
glimpses peppered by 4WD track glimpses. We stopped at a super windy Lowlands Beach for lunch and picnicked using the signs at the beach for back rests. Post lunch was a fast walk, really pounding it out just to push it. Highlights of this section were the massive grasshoppers- bird size! (well, small bird size), 3 startled 28's, 2 magpies and a bunch of chirpy unrecognisable ones. Meg spotted a whale!!!! Into camp very early again- 13:34. Phil and Pete are in after 16:00. We're all set up, fed and watered early. Chat for a bit before the mossies descend thick and fast. Putting up the tent inners has saved us from days worth of itching I'm sure.

Impressions of the shelter- Really nice, excellent floor surface. Tent spots are really good here. Superb lookout just beyond the shelter (4G available here).

Body assessment- Excellent, working on the unsettled mind

Total people for the day- Phil and Pete, 2 cars at Lowlands and a lady who we got chatting to who is really keen to set up a horse riding trail from Albany to Esperance

Day 55

West Cape Howe to Torbay

16.5 km

Amazing moonrise. I have no idea what time it was that I woke up to it but from my tent it was very cool. No torch required to go to the loo. Sunrise was equally as spectacular. Energising start to the day.

We seem to be getting up, ready and going in about 75 mins at the moment- very happy with that, thinking back on the beginning of my hike where it seemed to take a lot, lot, lot longer. Set off under grey skies and walk through a lot of coastal scrub and peppermint tree thickets. Few roos around. A big dark stormy sky over the ocean at the 1.5 hr mark and we can see West Cape Howe in the distance- it looks very much like the coast of England or Ireland- very scenic. We take an early break to take it in. Descending down multiple steps the rain starts. We then reach the burnt out area from the fires in March of this year, I actually love the starkness- the colours and silhouettes are outstanding. Some interesting burnt seed pods. Lots of roos. Gwen at the BTF has asked us
to have a look at this section to see how the new signage has gone- it has been well cleared by DPAW and easy to navigate. Several burnt signs remain, I think they should stay as a reminder of the fire. As we progress looking out past Lowlands there is a water spout out at sea- impressive. The limestone cliffs and high winds are making for a massive sensory experience- love it. No windsurfers on the windsurfing platform- ? too windy. No whales. Traverse Shelley Beach - 3 granite rock faces to get over but luckily not slippery. Dingo Beach at the 13km mark is outstanding- beautiful colours, pristine beach and calm. Phil said he spotted whales here- I think we are getting into competitive whale spotting. I think they are winning. Game on.

Arriving into camp at 14:00 we have 2 more hut buddies- they are on Day 2 E2E S2N, I feel envious, so much amazingness ahead for them. With a really great day under my belt I discuss with Meg the possibility of extending another day. She is fully supportive which is great- no double huts to do, just a great last few days. Dinner is
superb- 2/3 of a spag bol portion, a milo and a chocolate bar. The 6 of us have a pleasant, chatty night complete with mosquitos and a quenda! Looking forward to the inlet crossing tomorrow, it was apparently only knee high today so we should be right. Fall asleep working out how to string out my food rations to cover the extra day- carrying over 1/3 of tonight's spag bol to tomorrow's dinner is a start, should be right...

Impressions of the Torbay shelter- Superb views from the upper picnic table, a beautiful pink and blue sunset. Comes with cute quenda.

Body assessment- Excellent, mind no longer unsettled- happy and embracing the last couple of days

Total people for the day- Phil and Pete, Tess and Mitch

Additional photos below
Photos: 47, Displayed: 27


Yellow Club Fungus (I Think)Yellow Club Fungus (I Think)
Yellow Club Fungus (I Think)

A type of coral fungus

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