Bibbulmun Day 8: Thursday April 12, 2018
Km 198.2 – 228.8 (30.6 km)
Dwellingup – Murray Campsite
Rain falling on the metal roof of the donga I was staying in was my alarm this morning. Donga are modular accommodation pods popular in mining towns on Australia’s West Coast. They essentially look like a shipping container divided up into individual small units. They provided quick and very basic accommodation to cater for labour demands in growing mines. My first time staying in one and I can’t say I would like to do it again. Even the trail shelters provided a much better experience.
I waited for the rain to ease before leaving the park at 6.30am. Within minutes of leaving town the rain stopped and I was back ‘amongst the gum trees, with lots of gum leaves’……words from an old Australian bush ballad about making a home amongst the gum trees. I sang the song for a bit, but I only knew one verse so it got a little bit boring.
The rain returned and it was a bit heavier but luckily the trail entered a pine plantation. Two good things about hiking through here were that the trees were so dense that the rain did not penetrate and the pine needles created a wonderful soft surface to on which to walk. But it was quite dark and spooky in there with weedy raspberry bushes the only other thing growing there. And it was earily silent.
I got to Swamp Oak campsite and stopped to have a snack. I bought a packet of Twisties in town and they tasted even more delicious then ever.
From Swamp Oak to Murray campsite was nothing short of the most delightful hiking. Huge trees, steep climbs and descents with great distant views of the wilderness beyond. The descent to Yarragil Brook was beautiful. The change in topography and the dense stands of enormous Jarrah and Blackbut trees provided such a contrast to the sections of trail traversed so far.
The afternoon seem to just flow by and before I knew it I was at the Murray campsite which I reached by 3pm. A real walk in the park. Rain squals have continued throughout the day with brilliant flashes of sunshine inbetween. The trail passes right by the campsite which is situated on the banks of the Murray River. What a welcomed sight this must be on a hot day, flowing water.