- Day 29 :: Tom Road to Boarding House
- Day 27 :: Gregory Brook to Donnelly River
Day 28 :: Donnelly River to Tom Road
It was crazy to think that we were now halfway through our trek: both wonderful and scary. It was certainly amazing to realise that we were actually achieving it -- and terrifying that the result of our continued success would be the end of the walk. We were all ready for a fast get-away this morning as we'd packed the night before with everything folded, set up for breakfast and under control.
4:30am: P got up to go to the toilet and locked the key in so then turned around and broke back in through the kitchen window: bare bot, bare bot...
It was when I was leaving the kitchen / toilet: the light was off (I didn't turn it on when entering), and I had this funny feeling I was forgetting something. I put the key on the microwave when going in, at the time thinking I MUST remember to pick it up again on the way out... it wasn't until I got back into bed and Sandi said, "You remembered the key didn't you?" that I did remember it. I didn't want it to delay us in the morning, so I immediately got up to look for a way in. Thankfully someone else had not shut the kitchen window properly and I was able to climb in. The only issue was that I hadn't put my pants on for all of this... which only seemed to make it more funny to Sandi which she immortalised in a cartoon (The "I'm in" reference is to the movie "The Matrix".)
Day 28 Google Earth Track
Anyway, we didn't really get back to sleep properly this morning after P's escapade. Eventually got up and felt like I'd had a good sleep on the foam mattresses with pillows (very heavy foam mattresses P took off bunk onto floor and put together: they didn't move apart) and our sleeping bag. Had another shower, but quicker this time and it was wonderful to put on the clean clothes our labours of yesterday had won for us. Didn't take long for us to breakfast and we were pleased to have the Kakulas muesli again. The previous one just seemed tasteless. Looked good with fruit, coconut shavings, bran, but failed to deliver on flavour! Finished off the fruit juice that the plums had been in and it was yum.
Donnelly River Tom Road
|Length||16.99 km||Day Length||4:18|
|Ascend||812 m||Descend||843 m|
Returned key and posted postcard and then we were off, initially with Munda Biddi Trail and then on roads and finally into bush where it seemed to be the day of the small orchid that is difficult to see until right beside the track was what I dubbed the "Praying mantis" or "Jackal" orchid with some classic red on it. Quite a surprise, and a great one at that.
First 1.3km of notes quite confusing and didn't really seem to match the reality on the ground, but we didn't mind too much as we kept following the Wauguls.
The Karri forest is just amazing -- they are so tall and straight -- and some so huge!
Then near a brook and we were powering along. There was a light drizzle coming and going all walk and thankfully it never got heavy enough that we needed our wet weather gear. Much easier walking without it.
We spend a lot of time next to the Donnelly River today and cross it a number of times, often on "twin bridges". After the first crossing the Track immediately turns down Meldrum Road, which had a gorgeous display of powder blue flowers. It's a little early, but we had an early start, so a morning tea stop is called: but it took a little bit of time to find a suitable location as everything was wet and there were no stumps. Eventually we found a fallen sapling. After morning tea there are more rivers to cross and roads to walk, but the walking is very easy.
The Tom Road section was a disappointment: what was described as excellent views of the river must have been written after a fire had cleared out the soap bush and water bush.
P remembered we had the quiches for today's lunch and said I could light the fire to heat their bottoms: so was quite stoked. That spurred us on and we got into camp to find a wood shed. Gathered some bracken and dead twigs, P utilised the supplied axe for some kindling then a shower fell. Marvellous timing and then we got it going. Preceded by Mushroom Soup. We then sat the quiches on the plate over the fire and browned their bottoms and in the process warmed them. Smelt and tasted great.
Here so early is really is amazing. Gorgeous hut beside the river, lovely big swimming holes, very nice indeed.
Sandi did a great job on the quiches, so great, it left us wanting more; also satisfied Sandi's desire to light a fire. The day has been overcast all day, only with a few patches ow watery sunlight this . Almost misty drizzle a lot of the day (except when we'd arrived when a real shower went through). Glad we didn't have to walk through rain, but we had our ponchos out ready in case.
A DEC man, John, arrived mid lunch, so we chatted to him. Shy bloke, but quite nice, from Manjimup Office. Biggest problem with quiches is wanting more! My bottom felt sore sitting on the seats. So with heavy packs today I think we did quite well.
We asked John about "Soap bush", and he said it was because it lathered: must try this... well, it's not the leaves or flowers!!
It certainly felt just a little odd to be "in the middle of nowhere" and be chatting to John the DEC man: but we had heaps of questions over lunch, then we helped him unload his load of wood for the fire. We were here so early, it was like having another day off! Went for a wee wander around the area, the only original campsite left from the first alignment.
Luxury: hot afternoon tea and a fire for dinner!
It's chilly this afternoon, we both have jackets and hats on!
|Soup||Mushroom & Croutons||4.5||4.5||4.5||3.9|
|Soup||Red Thai Curry||4.5||5||4.8||4.8|
|Meal||Sweet and Sour Lamb||4||3.5||3.8||3.8|
John said that in their DEC area (Manjimup) that they had a walk-about mill and milled all their own timber. The huts were all built from trees in the forest in which it stood!! Same for benches and picnic tables. Fantastic.
After writing up today's memories and reading ahead for tomorrow's and a relaxing time chatting beside the fire we climb into our wee home-away-from-home that we've set up in the shelter so that it's kept dry overnight.
Last night P and I sat beside the fire and had dinner beside it which was really comforting. Chatted a bit about Mum and Dad and Peppertree. I think about it all quite a lot, but not necessarily with any conclusions. Wonder about writing to them (Peppertree): it's only 6 months since Dad died, so much has happened since... Wondered too if some of Judy's health problems were due to grief / depression. While I'm waxing philosophical, too was thinking while walking into Donnelly River about why people like to "own" things: I guess it was moving on from the collecting things (souvenirs) and realising photography is a way of doing that without wrecking the bush. The ownership thing and then the value we put on things: I was finding less excitement seeing orchids that were in abundance than seeing the rarer ones. Why is that?? Also why is seeing them in person important? Why did I get a bigger buzz from seeing the 3 dark tailed kangaroos out of Donnelly River that the tame ones in the village? Plenty of thinking time.
|Donnelly River Village||7:35 AM||0.0|
|Twin Bridges||14.2||14.2||501.4||11:17 AM||3:42||3:42||145.4||3.8||3.8||3.4|
|Tom Road Campsite||2.8||17.0||504.2||11:53 AM||0:36||4:18||146.0||4.7||4.0||3.5|
Created by • Last edit by on Nov 22 2018