Gill Goes.... Trekking the Bibbulmun Track... Gardner (not yet finished) Shelter

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June 10th 2016
Published: January 21st 2019
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Day 37

Northcliffe to Gardner

15.2 km

Couple of items of business to attend to this morning- had an extra week of leave confirmed from my manager, called my friend, Meg, who wants to join me in Walpole to do the Walpole to Albany section- she's still keen, and posted the book that I had finished to Jude, one of the sisters I met on the Balingup to Pemberton leg. So, a later start than anticipated but another relatively short stint today so no big deal.

Soooo much weight with the new food package!! I feel about 3kg heavier with all the food I ate yesterday too! Really excited (and re-energised) about this next 7 nights of hiking into Walpole (my last 7 by myself). It is quite an easy morning of sandy flats, very few hills and the Gardner River as a constant. Lots of small stream crossings, more areas of bushfire regeneration and farmland. Lunch at a really nice bridge- leftovers from the salad bar in a ziploc bag and coffee. Arrive at Gardner at 1.55. Contemplate continuing on but decide against it (17.1 km to next hut).

Gardner is still being rebuilt- the walls are up and there's a portaloo and water tank. Importantly though, the firepit complete with wood shelter and axe is there. There won't be many more nights to have a fire. I put my tent up and do my usual wood collecting/log splitting routine and the 2 guys I met last night arrive. They are just stopping for "lunch" and leave after 6pm (with about 4 hrs minimum still to go of their day) - they are trying to cover as much ground as possible as fast as possible in this section as they don't have tents and heavy rain is forecast later this week.

Dinner tonight is half a chilli portion with dehydrated pumpkin soup stirred through- it is really, really delicious. Given that I have ditched all my Moroccan beef I've split my chilli portions in half and am bulking them up with "other stuff". Eat my Northcliffe Co-Op apple too - that will drop the pack weight by at least 100g! And a Snickers bar- another 35g right there!

My fire is epically good, enjoy it under a bright quarter moon, starry sky.

Impressions Gardner- Love it. The site is really appealing, situated high above the river it sounds wonderful.

Body assessment- Excellent (the 3kg gain of yesterday has already disappeared)

Total people seen for the day - Peter (South to North) who has run out of gas (he is overjoyed to be picking up my can from the new hiker box in Northcliffe), David and Patrick (the two other N2S E2E's) and their guitar.

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