MT DALE AND AROUND

Bibbulmun Day 3: Saturday April 7, 2018

Km 37.9 – Km 65.6 (27.7km)

Waalegh Campsite – Brookton Campsite

The sunset last night wiped away the hardship of the day. So sublimly beautiful, lovely images to lull me to sleep. It wasn’t long before I was woken by the moon shining bright above me. It felt like the lights had been left on. I covered my head and went back to sleep.

Daylight hours are shrinking and I figured at my walking pace I have approximately 40km of hiking in daylight. But something I had not fully figured is the need to hike from shelter to shelter which pretty much sets the distances to be hiked at any one time. While its possible to wild camp away from the designated campsites, I want to avoid doing this. With so much vegetation it would be hard to find a spot that is flat and also clear of overhead tree cover to avoid falling branches. This has forced me to stop hiking again today while there were still plenty of daylight hours left. Although my feet welcome the early break. My heels have been very painful – almost feel bruised. I know this will settle with time.

The hike today started on fairly easy terrain between Waalegh and Baraking campsites. The trailside vegetation showed evidence of old fires. The sound of twittering of birdsong caught me by surprise. It was a very gentle sound, so unlike the more familiar loud shreaking of kookaburras and magpies.

The Baraking campsite was just as nice as Waalegh. Both are located on the rim overlooking the river valley below with beautiful distant views. From here the trail winds it’s way towards and then around Mt Dale. Dark clouds made a dramatic backdrop to the forest. The grasstrees gave way to large stands of Banksias which seem to be in a contious flowering cycle.

And then the grass tree understory returned. They lend a kind of prehistoric look to the landscape. Dense bushes of flowering bottle brush shrubs gave an unexpected pop of colour to the vegetation. The trail was surprisingly sandy for a section. Almost like walking through a relic river bed.

I reached the Mount Dale campsite just before 12 and I stopped for lunch. As the shelter is close to Dale Road there were also a couple of day hikers stopped there for a break. Nice to chat to Joy and Neil from Perth – sharing trail stories.

After lunch hiking started to feel really hard. My heels were hurting and the pack felt super heavy. I made it to Brookton campsite at around 2.30 and decided to stop. The next campsite is about 11km away.