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Published: April 10th 2019
Day 57 Mutton Bird to Sandpatch
12.1km, (08:15 to 14:45 with 2 long breaks and 2 big detours)
Another stunning moonrise and wake up to a clear sky. Up at 06:30 but we have a quiet and slow prep to get ready for the second last day. Suboptimal sunrise- ah the problems of first world hiking... The food rations have diminished a lot to the point that I will walk in to Albany with nothing left over, not even my emergency packet of Mie Goreng. Kind of wishing the trail mix I left in Denmark was not in Denmark but in my food bag!
The wind turbines come into view almost immediately and are to stay with us for much of the day. Hit the turbines and dramatic coastal views at the 1/2 hr mark. Interestingly I can't hear the turbines but the sound of the surf is very loud. Go through a lot of woolly bush trees and banksia groves. Some flowers are out. Have a break at 10:00 overlooking the coast. massive waves, divine colour. We take a side trip up to turbine #10 for a closer look. They are so massive! Not too noisy,
just a constant whump, whump, whump... Other interesting moments- 3 whales!!!! Awesome. And 2 maintenance vollies on track pruning. Have a chit chat.
We then have our eyes peeled for the trail that leads down to the beach- the guidebook says it is at the 6.6km mark. We think we spot it and head into the bushes but it seems to be an animal track. It has us ending at a limestone over reach not the beach. We can see some timber stairs off to the side but can't work out where they actually begin. Ultimately give up- a challenge for next time. Continue on, we are on boardwalk by 12:07 so take a long lunch break overlooking the ocean. Polish off more of the precious remnants of the food stash. Sit up there for ages looking for whales mostly- no luck. After that we head up to the wind farm to look at all of the display boards. There's some nice mosaic work depicting the Aboriginal seasons and some big lookout platforms. A worthwhile detour. Good toilets!
Soon after we reach a steep staircase leading to the beach. 507 steps down in fact. Ditch the packs a
One of the other E2E-ers who I never met but spoke and texted with a bit was given the trail name of Magpie. I must have sent him a hundred pictures of magpies over my 2 months! I didn't get a trail name, just signed myself GillG. Any suggestions?
bit of the way down, thought about leaving them at the top where they'd probably be completely fine, but with more people around decide not to. Excellent spot to watch the water but complicated by attack seagulls. Breeding? Not sure but they were aggressive. The 2 sooty oystercatchers, by comparison, are placid, peaceful birds. I like the sooty oystercatchers with their orange pencil beaks.
Just a few kms from here to Sandpatch. We arrive to Pete and Phil already settled in. The sun is out, it's very peaceful. I have decided to camp in my tent tonight being my last night. I find a good spot and invite the others to give me their opinions. They dutifully do. Pitch the tent and it starts pouring. Then it pours again but consistently and for a very long time. Aaarrrggghh. Wonder if it will clear or if my final night is going to be a very wet one. Sure going to be a solitary one. The hut here is well positioned with a better wind break as opposed to the gale force winds cutting through the shelter last night. Time for some coffee, follow it up with a cup of soup
Grasmere Wind Farm
The Albany Grasmere Wind Farm has 18 turbines all up- originally 12, 6 were added in 2011
(utterly starving today!) while reading the red book. I am touched to see several messages in there for me- so nice (thanks Sue-Ellen, Jodie, Didier and Hugo!). Take a while to compose my last entry...
Last night....wow Addit- tent stood up well to the downpours through the night. Really relished the noise of the wind and the bush.
Tot: 0.043s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 8; qc: 23; dbt: 0.0055s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb