Day 13 :: Dwellingup to Swamp Oak
Today we head back out into the bush after being refuelled in spirit, soul, body and supplies. The Guidebook doesn't paint today in gorgeous colours: Pine Plantations, Blackberries and swamps all colour our expectations. But it certainly will be nice to leave town behind again. Looking forward to really using our new wet weather gear: I love walking in the rain when you're well protected.
Terry was right about the weather: it was a wild night where the storm woke me up it was so violent! And we got the greatest shock getting out of the tent to find that we were in the middle of an inland sea!
What a wild night again -- wind howled, rain poured down and in the middle somewhere lots of thunder and lightning. Very pleased with the tent -- even though we woke up with the tent in a deep puddle we were completely dry and warm inside. The packs outside were in the puddle and wet (so not even a ground sheet would have helped) -- but everything else was dry!
We packed sleeping bags and mats away inside the tent then transported them undercover. Then we moved the tent "as is" to the clothes drying area where we pulled it down without getting the inside wet and draped it on to the lines to drip (the area is covered).
Tent was pretty amazing, particularly considering it ended up in a puddle. Extraordinary storm, quite amazing hearing the wind rush past like a steam train across the area. It was a very bushy caravan park, rather nice with all the tent sites randomly nestled in and about the place. So pleased our bedding and tent contents stayed dry, gives me confidence to push on today.
P and I used good teamwork to pack up tent and transfer stuff to dry. Very good all together.
The whole caravan park seemed to be breakfasting and packing up, making it feel chaotic with the rain still falling. The weather certainly helped confirm our minds about charging our batteries from the mains and treating our jackets again. Explanation: Over the past months preparing for this walk we'd been instructed by Mountain Designs to refresh the waterproofing of our jackets by a treatment in the dryer. We really should have tested the jackets properly, maybe we had too much other stuff in our heads, but we were taking Mountain Designs at their word, but the few showers over recent days caused us to worry about the effectiveness of the dryer refresh treatment's effectiveness.
Now in the camp kitchen with a million other noisey bike riders with the rain still coming down. Decided to dryer treat our jackets AGAIN as they didn't seem to be repelling the water the same as the pants.
Last camera battery is charging (from the wall).
Had yoghurt with breakfast: a nice treat. Took our time charging stuff and organising things until we were finally ready to head just after 10am. Rain starting to break up and sun shine through. P grumbling, wanting to walk in rain, me so thankful.
Day 13 Google Earth Track
Dwellingup Swamp Oak
|Length||13.00 km||Day Length||3:47|
|Ascend||735 m||Descend||868 m|
Walked again into town, a very worn path by now. Interestingly the Guidebook starts outside the Supermarket, not at the Trackhead? In fact, the Guidebook's lengths today were quite different to our odometer, which in itself caused some confusion... A little confused with the start of the Track: apart from being inauspicious there wasn't a Waugul in sight, so though not entirely sure just followed our nose.
Met a couple coming the other way and chatted. Not long after hit first shower of rain and it lasted a while and our jackets: babong! terrible almost seemed wick water in!! Pants however with boots and gaiters were fabulous: very comfy feet.
So very annoying and now we still have damp thermals, damp camp jumpers and wet jackets. Not good at all. Press on and the rain went and came and went and that was the situation. Quite a quick walk, possibly due to the chill being damp brings.
Took the opportunity of a sunny break to have morning tea at the top of the 'hill' and send our SPOT Check-in/OK message for the morning. We weren't feeling very comfortable: we were wet and cold and feeling very disappointed with our Mountain Design jackets. After morning tea the Track descends into the valley to cross Davis Brook, and passes through a couple of pine plantations which made us feel even more uncomfortable with a slippery track and blackberry: overhanging wet branches (with blackberry - meant couldn't just push through).
Saw 2 different lots of Kangaroos, some great fantails and that robin like white breasted bird and a surprise cormorant.
Walked through some very gloomy pine forest, dark and sunless, some great mixed jarrah. Saw an enormous jarrah.
Despite the rain and the wet, or maybe because of it, we were quite hot and sticky, the sun came and went but we didn't think it was a good idea to take our wet weather pants off: the last thing we need at this point was wet socks as well! Because of the inclement weather and that we were already wet we didn't want to stop, so pushed on... the bush really did take a turn for the better after the plantations. Very excited to finally see some Jelly Fungus!! After seeing the amazing photos in the GuidebookGuidewe'd really wanted to see it in the flesh.
Finally got into camp and everything out to air, clothes changed, boots off, soup made for lunch and two things happened... A crack of thunder and darkening skies had us scurry to get stuff under cover and then an Indian family turned up!
It turned out they were lost, can had broken down yesterday (ran out of petrol) somewhere on a shingle road from Dwellinup and got lodged on a log. They slept in their tent overnight but got wet then after lunch today set off to find help, and ended up here. Quite bizarre and worrying. The 2 girls I gave sweets and hot chocolate to while Perry tried to work out with the man the best and easiest way to civilisation and help. They ended up doing a photo on the mobile phone (no reception on theirs or ours) of the wee map in the bookand with extra lollies, set off about 3pm. They did have water with them.
We prayed for them and felt quite worried, but by then P had really chilled off and lunch failed to warm him so he huddled into a sleeping bad and 2 hours later was a bit better and got up for dinner particularly as bad cramps came.
It was surreal: I looked up from my soup and said to Sandi, "There's a woman in a white dress!", thinking I was maybe hallucinating. They were walking toward the sound of the road they could hear. The only problem was that it wasn't a road: it was the Worsley Alumina conveyor belt that could be faintly heard. They had no idea where they were or where they were going...
Got to camp, dried stuff, got changed into nearly dry clothes and started lunch. An Indian family wandered (literally) in during soup and we never finished lunch till we tried to sort them out (goodness only knows what would have happened if we were not here to tell them they were going the wrong way?). But the temperature dropped with a huge storm and I started feeling cold. After lunch I kept feeling cold and colder -> into sleeping bag -> colder -> put on socks -> colder -> sleep (for an hour).
Finally felt OK and got up and put on boots and had dinner. All a bit of a shock how quickly it happened. Then it hailed briefly.
While we were both in sleeping bags, him asleep, two very blue wrens and 1 blue and tan, came right up: very cute.
S and I kept wondering if we'd done enough for the Indian family?? Heard a low helicopter last night... and wondered again...
We were to regurgitate the episode of the Indian family for many days, never sure if we could have, or should have, done more. But they were a little difficult to help (in that they resisted the help we did offer) and we were getting past feeling safe walking out into the bush again hungry and cold. Made me all the more disgusted with our rain jackets!
Words can not describe the level of disgust I feel to our "rain" jackets: after looking forward to setting off in the rain all geared up in our refreshed jackets, new pants, etc. -- the jackets failed on the first shower!! The pants -- same Mountain Design fabric & style -- kept us dry all day. In fact, it was the pants that showed us conclusively that the jackets were hopeless. I don't think they've ever kept the rain out -- more the opposite. We bought them for the Great North Walk, but didn't get rained on till the last day, well the morning of the last day. It wasn't conclusive though because the rain didn't continue.
The next walk was the Kanangra Walls walk, which was a huge fail and made us realise we needed pants as well. When we went into Mountain Designs to buy new jackets and pants they said the jackets should be dry and to refresh them in the dryer for 20 minutes on low. Did that, but didn't get a good opportunity to test, but didn't think it was perfect. Yesterday, with access to a dryer, we did it again.
I'm heading back to Mountain Designs first opportunity to complain and give them an opportunity to stand behind their product. At the end of the day yesterday, we decided we were no wetter NOT wearing the jackets and we put our jerseys in the pack to stay dry.
|Nanga Road||6.0||6.0||220.4||12:18 PM||1:55||1:55||65.9||3.1||3.1||3.3|
|Swamp Oak Campsite||7.0||13.0||227.4||2:04 PM||1:46||3:41||67.7||4.0||3.5||3.4|
Created by • Last edit by on November 21st, 2018
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