Bibbulmun Day 13: Tuesday April 17, 2018
Km 354.2 + 398.4 (44.2 km)
Noggerup Campsite – Balingup
Reflections of insect eyes from the light of my torch were twinkling like diamonds. They lined the trail as I walked away from camp this morning. My goal today was to make it to Balingup 44km away with first stop at Grinwade campsite 22km away. I’m getting a little bit worried that I may run out of time to finish this hike. I’ve only allowed 35 days hiking and a day and a half to get back to Perth to catch my flight back to Sydney. I guess I’ll see how I go, a day at a time.
The Noggerup campsite is in a bit of a valley and it was humid walking out. Warm and cool air intermingled as I climbed out of the valley. The forest was alive with chirping of birds even though it was just after 5am and still dark. Noggerup was a lovely campspot.
Almost two hours after leaving camp I was on a ridge and I could see the sun breaking through the grey of the overcast sky. The forest was pleasant to walk through and with the overcast sky it was perfect hiking conditions.
The sun had finally burnt through the clouds as I was approaching Grimwade campsite. A packs of bright green parrots were squabling up in the tree as I walked past. And then promtly all flew off. They were such a brilliant green colour almost iridescent.
It was a steep climb down to Camp and a steep climb back out.
From here it’s just five snack breaks away to Balingup. It was just the sound of my feet crunching through gravel, wind whistling through the trees and chirping of crickets for hours passing through fairly lush forest.
I was glad for the breeze and the cloud cover returing. Otherwise it would have been a very hot afternoon. It made for very pleasant hiking conditions.
Just after midday I met a northbound hiker Geoff. He’s been hiking for 29 days so far and was looking forward to reaching Collie. Nice to meet another hiker.
I broke up the long afternoon of hiking by stopping for a short break every hour. It made it so much easier to think of hiking just one hour at a time. The landscape was quite pleasant to hike through.
The last 6km into town was a little frustrating as it winds around in a confusing way. The trail passes through remnants of a pine forest which had the wonderful pine scent realsed by the warmth of the sun. The ground was soft to walk on and I was reminded of Hammer and I hiking to Mt Laguna on the PCT. It was my first experience of the natural pine aroma.
I finally made it into Balingup just before 5. It has been a long and tiring day. I was a bit worried about setting up my tent in the town park as there was no one else around. So it was relief when a family pulled up in a combi van and camped right nearby.
As I’m finishing this post it’s dark outside and it has started raining. Lucky I decide to put the rainfly on the tent before turning in.