Bibbulmun Day 11: Sunday April 15, 2018

Km 299.6 – 318.2 + 2km into town (20.6 km)

Harris Dam Campsite – Collie

Keen to make the most of my day in Collie today I was on my way just after 5am. It was another clear night and it was lovely to walk for a bit under a starlit sky, before the stars got washed out of the sky.

One of the occupants of the shelter was returning from the toilet as I walked by. I apologised for any disruption while I refilled my water bottles.  Being so close to a big body of water it was very cold as I left camp. By the time I got to the dam it was just getting light. The trail passes over one of the overflow channels to the dam. It was a beautiful and eary feeling watching the early morning light dance over the water.

I had to keep moving to stay warm. I was watching the light of the sunrise clip over the tops of the trees and new that soon it would be hitting the ground.

As the sun rose it cast deep shadows through the forest and it was lovely to feel the cold air mingling with the warmth of the sun. I spent a bit of time calculating and recalculating pace and distance trying to estimate when I would arrive. The sort of thing that keeps my mind occupied as I approach a town.

As I got closer to Collie the vegetation changed a bit. Dense understory of new types of grass and plants in flower that I’ve not seen so far. Stopping to take a closer look slowed down the usually rush to get to town.

The turnoff from the trail into town is over 2km from town even though my map said it was nearby, which usually implies a couple of 100’s of metres. I made it to the Visitors Centre just after 10.30..

I got a room at the excellent Colliefields Hotel. The room rate included breakfast and the use of the laundry. A cafe is part of the hotel and I had breakfast there while waiting for the supermarket to open. Being Sunday, shops do not open till 11am. But being a country town, I’m just happy to find anything open on Sunday. It is a beautiful day in Collie, an endless blue sky kind of day.

Collie is a great resupply town for hikers. It has both big chain supermarkets (Coles and Woolworths) with the usual variety of choice. I’m resuppling here for the next three sections, 235km to Pemberton.

It is so nice to be clean, put my feet up and catch up on the blog and news from home. Hammer is about to go on a week long school trip to Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef. We have many happy memories of camping and diving holidays on the adjacent islands. I’ll be in Pemberton before we speak again.