Bibbulmun Track: Part 1 Kalamunda to Monadnocks ups and downs on our thru-hike end to end
Thanks to Ross and Jenny for bringing us out! Awesome little brecky (breakfast); probably the best brecky we're going to have for a few days and here we go - 1000km. Kambarang (it's the Noongar season) First Waugal! Albany or bust! Apprehension and anticipation rule our day. This is the real deal - it's not just a training walk; it's not just a date on a carefully prepared spreadsheet. This is the culmination of months
dreaming, preparing, losing pack weight, lifting weights, dehydrating food, dropping off supply packs, perfecting our sock game! Now it's time to trust the plan. Now it's time to stop planning and start doing. Time to start being! (Bird sounds) Hoping you could hear the squawking and the feeding of the big black cockatoos, wonderful creatures and I'm expecting that we'll be seeing and hearing a lot from them between here and Albany. (Music plays..The way you're moving, has got me moving my own feet the greatest feeling that I could ever dare to dream, is you forever moving next to me) Yeah, we saw that they were doing some prescribed burns here four or five days ago, they were burning through here.
You can smell it as well; you can smell the resin from these Balga trees actually make quite a good incense! A couple of kilometres to Hewitt's hut and then we'll have lunch Found our first campsite. We're in Perth Hills Discovery Centre. It's got these fancy campsites and this is gonna be us for the night. Ooh! That's about all we need (Morning bird song) All right, so day two... oh why have i got a?? okay, let's have a look so hit that... Ha ha! Right! It's day two and so i'm a little late coming in with our day one report. Drama - nil.
Damage - a little. I think I was wearing my pack too low yesterday for the weight, so I pinched my hips a little bit. Nature report - yesterday we did see a giant kangaroo he was a big boy! Of course lots of birds. Flower of the day yesterday, I think was the fringe flower (lily) although the flowers yesterday were abundant! It's her first attempt and hasn't fallen over yet, so all good ! What are you doing in the background? Kept thinking about, you know, that mum would be able to tell me the names of things. Hi mum! But Howie does a good job of making them up if we don't know the name for something so there'll be I've always wanted to be a botanist namer! Botanist namer?! So I expect there'll be more of that as we go! (Music plays) So we're calling these little guys uh milky kitten paws.
White candles. Coronavirus. Corona bush. Pompoms or ,no actually, snowballs Pink enamels, because your mother-in-law taught you something! I've just been naming some more flowers! The gothic blob or gothic bean, I'm not sure. Gothic boy! It's unusually black.
We only saw one little um sort of field of these a while back... Oh well, yesterday! A while back?! and um we thought we weren't going to find them again but there you go. Could be the last one... except for those ones over there! Keep going... Oh, that one there!
and there! And all up there, hanging out with their corona mates! So this is a baby xanthorrhoea. They grow about um a centimetre a year, so that one's probably, who knows, very new it's flowering but yeah it has a flower quite rare to see I think We've stopped at this nice little spot with some mossy parts next to us and some carnivorous little plants and flowers We've stopped here for some foot care. I've been walking and feeling a hot spot on my foot so we've stopped so I can tape it and prevent that from turning into a blister. Foot care! Hey guys, how you going? There's a bush fire right there. Hopefully it's just a prescribed burn. Next time we get reception, we'll check some sites.
If the Bibbulmun track had been going through there at all we would have had notifications and there would have been signage up stopping us walking through there. But, yeah, it's all a bit 'woah'! We finished lunch at Helena campsite. Mushroom soup and things. Watch out for the hole ! No, that IS the track we take. Bit of confusion. We'll work out where we're going. There's a sign up in there!
We're supposed to not go down the kangaroo track, which I thought this might have been but it is a bit well worn and there's a Waugyl. That's what we follow. Pretty warm this afternoon. Had a couple of steep descents and ascents. Straight after lunch, makes it a bit hard... but I mean, look at this! This is just gorgeous This is all we have to do today, after all, just walk And look at it! So amazing! (Music plays) Hello! The sun's starting to set when we finally arrive at Waalegh campsite, completely spent We definitely underestimated the difficulty of this 21 kilometres, especially from the steep ascent straight out of Helena hut through the ups and downs of the Helena Valley We arrived to quite a crowd on this last weekend of the school holidays, estimating around 30 people in and around the hut so we set up as far away as possible about one kilometre from the toilet, or so it seems We go to bed wondering what the hell we're doing! So good morning, day... hang on... clean the screen! So morning of day three, yeah. The first two nights we've just been a bit tired
when we've got in; been long, long and hard but just gorgeous, beautiful Just long and we've been getting in just before sunset so by the time we set up and have dinner, we're straight to bed! Another fairly big day today - 20k. First half is reasonably flat - sort of looking a bit like this but the second half of the day will be ...uh, we've got a four kilometre climb. Temperature's creeping up a bit to about 28 degrees today but there's a nice light wind so uh we'll see how we go. Plenty of water, plenty of breaks, and, um, yeah!
Oh, an update on that fire we saw. Somebody managed to look up on on the fire people's website, it was a prescribed burn and everything seems to have disappeared today, all the smoke. (Music plays) We had lunch at Beraking campsite. Lunch? it was more like a second breakfast - we were there quite early
But this push on through to Mount Dale, it's got some steep climbs, some steep descents, and a sense...descents...a sense ...assets? Ups and downs! Gonna sing? Howie- No, I'm over it! Kath (disappointed)- Oh. Howie- You had your chance. Kath (singing)- My love, my love, don't lie to me... Hansel! Shall we visit the lady in the nice house? Such a riot, an abundance, a glory of wildflowers! I was trying to think of a collective noun for wildflowers when they burst out. A forest of wildflowers, a splendifera of wildflowers, anyway, an outpouring! nice Oh hello little friends! Look, Howie's got passengers! That is just so Australian but...
there are ways to deal with it! Ha ha! (music plays) What's really great is when you're walking along and you notice a new plant you sort of come around the corner... Bang! there's a whole new ecosystem going on and we're walking on sand! We think they're called smoke bush. Not sure, but you could see how you'd think it would be if there was a lot of them Oh what a great day! Glorious day! Not as hard as we thought it was going to be although it did get very hot in the middle of the day but just this last hour or so; two hours actually with the sun going down and there's a little bit of smoke haze up so there's some beautiful light coming through and just a nice little smoky smell. We spoke to some very helpful people from the Bibbulmun Track Foundation, leading a tour. Okay, and they told us that
in fact, the small ones that you see... I'm not sure if that's one there now... that looks like dianella that one but some of the small ones that you see are actually not babies they just grow to that height. There are different species and... Those are the normal ones? Those are the normal ones, yeah. You can see they've got big wide, hairy tops you can see the foliage on them is really abundant.
Like this one here? and that is genuinely the xanthorrhoea and the really slow growing one. but the other one that we saw... We can't see any of them! The ones that were six foot and above, yeah They're called the Kingia and they are in fact a completely different plant! Much faster growing and more often having multiple crowns... um Kingia! and maybe that's why! No blisters, no snakes, no drama to report. No damage Well we've just walked into Mountain Dahh,, where are we? Mount Dale hut Yep. And there's no one here. After thirty people last night! Bathroom! Potentially we've got the hut to ourselves tonight (Music plays) Morning dawns on day three and we just had our first night's sleep in a hut with no one else there! Which was really great once I got over my little sense of the creeps and realised that the noises i was hearing in the night were probably Howie rolling or scratching um and not mice! Although our food was safely away in a steel box that the Bibbulmun people have kindly provided at that hut. Thank you!
And certainly wasn't a murderer... or a lyrical gangster! And we're coming out of, definitely coming out of the sort of steep valleys around those Perth hills the Kalamunda hills there, and this is just, yeah, this is brilliant perfect time of day, great temperature Wide track. Nice wide track, two-person track, we can walk side-by-side So the tracks we've been walking on last hour or so used to be old railway lines and here's a couple of the old railway sleepers (music plays) So, just about to go over Brockton Highway Clear that way... clear that way Don't want to mess that up! That's how far we've come... and that's how far we've got to go till we see our baby girl! (music plays) We're up here on Abyssinia Rock. This is a really amazing ecosystem here Most of the plants, including these ones you can see with the reddish colour on them, they go dormant in the summer...
come to life just in the winter. But a lot of the little plants that are in here are carnivorous Not sure what this thing is. Seems to be moving... (music plays) Kathryn's log, day five Spent last night at Canning hut where we caught up with Bob. We'd been reading Bob's entries in the logbooks before we got there and so we were wondering if we were going to meet.
We're having quite a relaxed morning and I think today is going to be our shortest walk. Really we've done three or four days of quite hard haul. A bit of an endurance test for us Now our packs are a bit lighter and our days are a bit shorter, we get to really just enjoy the stroll! Right now i'm walking on a bed of here we are, walking on a bed of sheoak. It's really light on the feet, which is great There's 'Brolley' up ahead strolling along too. Beautiful! Have we said that before? Some more Kingia and we can see the fallen flowers. Howie's got one to demonstrate. It's like a scepter and the Noongar name for the Kingia is the Bullanock Just love the shapes of the leaves on these different plants Lovely big trees have been burnt out during the fires or the forest fires and they still stand, maybe supply a little bit of shelter, but then they sprout again quite happily and regenerate (music plays) We've just come over the footbridge at Canning River. Beautiful little spot, sat for a while
looking at the water, listening to the birds (frogs!) and frogs and then off we go! Really good day! We're chewing through the kilometres pretty quickly. We've been walking before now with Bob, our track mate, new track mate, and he's great for whiling away the walking time telling stories, telling us about his life in Indonesia, so i'm sure we'll see more of Bob because he's going the same way as we are! and that's that way, up that hill. Here we go! It really feels prehistoric walking through here. It's absolutely gorgeous See some scale! Sense of scale for some of these things And I shall name you Maggie orchid, after Maggie Simpson If we had started a week or so earlier we would have had to be on a diversion around this area, we wouldn't be walking through here. Would have added an extra three or five km or something
to the hike. And a couple of little mountains that we get to climb tomorrow... Oh would we have missed those? Yeah. So we're pleased to get to go through here Once again, the smell of it though is actually quite nice. It's not overbearing it's just this subtle, sweet, woody, smoky smell Ah, day five we finished in some very hot weather maybe 30 degrees.
So I'm gonna take you on a quick little toilet tour of the main bathroom facilities Ah no showers, no running water, and, well, there's one sit down toilet. They're all long drops and that's pretty much it. We're going in there. And a quick tour of our home for the next two months, basically. Well, there it is! That's basically it. I'm on that side, Kath's there and we sometimes put our packs
or a few other things that we want to have kept inside That was quick! F*#!ing flies around here though! Tomorrow we get a resupply. We're meeting Ayesha and Katelyn at Sullivan Rock, getting resupply there. So that'll be good. That's our first one, so uh exciting! I should get some great shots tomorrow and awesome views from the top of Mount Cuthbert and Mount something else? Nathan? Something! That's not right! We know which way to go!!