Day 40 :: Mt Chance to Woolbales
The Guidebook warns that today will be dominated by water, and Harry said yesterday that we'll definitely be getting our feet wet today: so we're pretty pumped for the use of our sandals. Harry also says that the view from the hill behind Woolbales is the best of the South (we're planning to head up Mt Pingerup for morning tea), and we have a reprise of the Pingerup Plains today as well, so have a lot to look forward to, with the Guidebook promising lots of flowers in the swampy areas.
I'd been getting uncomfortable thighs at night, so we'd bought some Deep Heat at Northcliffe. I hadn't till last night, but it seemed to 'work': though I'm not sure what I mean by that because I'm not sure what the problem was -- not quite a cramp but very uncomfortable and difficult to sleep through (though I could if I set my mind to it). We'd set the alarm last night to ensure that we'd be up early enough for the sunrise...
We woke at 2:30am and P did his deep heat with quite good results. I had a tiddle and then we both got back to sleep again. The alarm woke us in time for sunrise of the rock and that was very nice and not too cold. A couple of showers overnight made the granite a little slippery, plus boots not as grippy as sandals.
Subtle dawn -- misty plains: beautiful
Day 40 Google Earth Track
Mt Chance Mt Pingerup Woolbales
|Length||23:48 km||Day Length||7:30|
|Ascend||824 m||Descend||885 m|
After a delightful half-hour on top of Mt Chance, with a very subtle sunrise and views over yesterday's walk, we headed back down to the shelter for breakfast and to get ready for the today's walk.
Slow packing. Now the day was full of sounds: flies buzzing almost constantly all day, but thankfully not landing. Some lovely birds and great dawn chorus.
The track retraces the 300 metre spur trail back to the junction with the Bibbulmun Track, and then we're on new country again.
After taking the turn to Woolbales we're out on the Pingerup Plains again, and although beautiful, they didn't seem to have the awesome grandeur that yesterday had with its dwarfed & burnt ground and threatening sky.
The Pingerup Plains were amazing again today, but quite different to yesterday: not as austere. The flowers were amazing, not clumped and thick enough to show off in a photo, but a constant array of colours. Th plains had a special sense of place -- like a forest does -- and standing in the midst of that swampy expanse was a special treat. Mt Pingerup was a very nice and relaxing -- more of a focused view than Mt Chance -- not dissimilar to Woolbales, though Woolbales is wider.
Some areas looked as though it could have been die-back damage, and lots were burnt (presumably in a hazard reduction fire) across the low lying plains.
Mt Pingerup is easily observable as you approach it, and the vegetation changes quite suddenly as you ascend from the plain to the better drained soils around Mt Pingerup.
I flunked today really, felt a spot tired before morning tea and made a big effort to get up to Mt Pingerup and it was lovely, really lovely, sitting on a mossy patch with a warm rock at my back and a great view. We were there for ages and I added a couple of lollies to morning tea and I did pick up thankfully.
Saw a big bright green frog dead on the track and just near it a brown frog about an inch long (alive). Fabulous plains, not all burnt out and got into areas of sensational flowers, that cottage garden thing. Really wonderful colour mix and some nice forests as well.
Then a snake, large tiger, zooming off through the burnt reedy swamp and its scales rubbing as it went through made a whizzing whirring sound: quite amazing. Saw a little 9" dugite and a longer one too, just running away.
Lunch was a little delayed as there wasn't a really suitable position where we were, so kept going until we found a nice log by the side of the track.
One section of swampy ground was flowering like a cottage garden!
The track through the swamp today was only 11 metres above sea level!
After lunch the track follows an old vehicle track through better class soils (and taller trees) before it crosses Inlet Road, then Inlet River. All the puddles up to this point we'd been able to navigate around, but we change our boots for sandals to wade our way to camp.
The wading worked out well. We wore boots until the last 5-8km, then put on our sandals and very glad we were. Quite a lot of wading and up to the knees in the deepest part.
The river sandals performed really well again today. They tend to get a bit of junk in them at times, but a deep puddle will clean them out. Very easy wading -- though there were some deep holes that surprised us, and lots of slippery mud; but we managed to get through without falling in. Even in the sticky mud the sandals stayed firm on the feet.
Then suddenly we came upon the campsite. We were both more than ready to finish for the day: I think wading is more difficult than normal walking, certainly slower. I carried my boots in my hand instead of putting them on my pack, as it felt much more comfortable.
Felt like a big day today, though the kms were not huge or the packs too heavy. Certainly an early start up the hill for sunrise, then a slow plod (for Sandi) to morning tea. Wading is not fast either. Both of us very happy to get into camp: one of our latest finishes -- but an awesome day.
We set up the tent, put sandals and boots out to dry, had some afternoon tea then headed up the hill for the sunset...
The campsites [tent sites] at Woolbales are really nice too -- hidden in the Jarrah and level -- plus not too far away!
We've just come down from the Woolbales sunset, but most of it was covered by thick clouds -- but the sky and cloud formations were very pretty.
Today started overcast after a couple of showers early in the morning before dawn. Slowly cleared to a sunny day with passing clouds. The solar access to the hut did not allow a lot of charging of the FUSE after arrival.
Harry can't light a fire tonight as they aren't permitted South of Mt Chance: amazing what a difference that made to the feel of the whole campsite. We generally have not had a fire as we've come prepared to use our JetBoil for all our cooking, so it doesn't make any difference to our meals.
No fires from Mt Chance on -- mainly due to the lack of fuel in the bush, I'd think: and the destruction that would cause with all the walkers foraging wider and wider.
|Soup||Cream of Tomato||4.5||4||4.3||4.3|
|Meal||Sweet and Sour Lamb||4.5||4||4.3||3.8|
Harry and Marg are full of useful information and regale us with stories from their many years of walking the track. They are giving us their Back Country ratings too -- with good cheer (they are not fond of spicy food though).
Thai Chicken Curry:
Marg: 3 [too spicy]
Beef Stew (Mountain House Propak):
Sandi got very concerned with the amount of my weight loss and was complaining that I had turned into a bag of bones, so I augmented what we'd planned with a few extras. Obviously managing the weight loss on a longer walk has different issues than the shorter walks, and our daily walking diet was just a little less than what we needed. I think later in the walk the closeness of the towns made up for this, as we definitely ate a heap when we were in town.
My second day at trying to eat more, as Sandi is concerned. Eating a bar with lunch and having a hot chocolate and bar for supper.
We'll set the alarm for the sunrise again tomorrow morning. I've been just a little disappointed with the sunrises and sunsets, but if you never-never go, you'll never-never know... And so we retire to our little home away from home in a very pretty tent site feeling pretty satisfied with our big day, and wondering what tomorrow will bring: as we finally get to the South Coast and the Great Southern Ocean.
|Mt. Chance Campsite||0.0||8:19 AM||0:00||0.0|
|Mt. Pingerup Walk Track||7.7||7.7||756.6||10:17 AM||11:30 AM||1:58||1:58||211.7||3.9||3.9||3.6|
|Broke Inlet Road||4.6||12.2||761.1||12:15 PM||0:45||2:43||212.4||6.1||4.5||3.6|
|Inlet River||5.6||17.8||766.7||2:10 PM||1:55||4:38||214.4||2.9||3.8||3.6|
|Woolbales Campsite||5.7||23.5||772.4||3:52 PM||1:42||6:20||216.1||3.3||3.7||3.6|
Created by • Last edit by on November 23rd, 2018
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