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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sat. Walk - Parry Beach + Diary

February 2015

The view in my camp, a week's worth :)

Yesterday, after Ami left, I decided to go for a walk to Hilliers Bay for a swim and a relax/read
I didn't know, but thought the track came out near the car track to the bay, so I didn't go on the usual track, 
but set out on the Bibbulman, which is a narrow walk-track through the bush-land (altogether, 1,000kms long!)
After crossing the bitumen road leading into the camp-ground, I walked on a path reminiscent of the jungle for some time, before I came up to some higher country, and still no sign of a way to get to Hilliers.
But, the next corner looked so alluring, I kept going anyway, and the views were getting stunning.

It was hot, but on top of the hills and crests there was a breeze.
I only had a pair of thongs on my feet, and in some places the black sand was soft and very hot, but I walked through these places to the side of the track when possible, or skipped through lightly and quickly before my feet sank into the hot gritty cauldron.
It didn't take long till my feet were the colour of the sand, and I knew it would take repeated soakings and scrubbings to get them properly clean again, but bravely I marched on.

I kept my eyes peeled for snakes, I'd been told this was dugite country.
Some sections looked particularly snakey, so I went through stamping my feet.

It was late summer, so snakes are fast and generally keep out of the way when they feel the vibrations of something coming. In spring and early summer, after a winter's hibernation, they are slow and grumpy and like to sunbake without being disturbed.
So, I wasn't really surprised not to see any as I made me way up and down the hills of the coastline.
I knew better than to stop scanning the track ahead though!

It really was a scenic walk, and I had become reconciled to not going to Hilliers at all, the next place that I could get onto the beach would be Eagle's Nest, I wasn't sure how far that was, but I knew it was a long way. No turning back now, I was committed, it was unthinkable to go back without a swim.

Eventually I came to a four-wheel drive track that seemed to be leading closer to the coastline, so I followed it. As soon as I saw the little parking spot at the end of the track, I remembered it, I had camped there years before with Genius. I sat down as close to the edge as I could and drank water and soaked in the scenery.


And east.

Then, I headed back to the Bibbulman track, determined to make it to Eagle's Nest for a swim before it got too late.
The  track markers were a bit daunting, I was in isolated country and to walk back with a snake-bite would be foolish, but sitting still until someone found me wouldn't be a great option either, particularly as no-one knew I was on this walk. I had water though, and the kind of blase confidence that West Australia breeds into you, so on I went :)

Small creatures, and large too,  had been before me, that's kangaroo droppings on the side of the track.

I walked through  a rocky section, with  old timber 'sleepers' of jarrah laying around, it looked like it had been part of a mine for limestone in the past.

On the path went, up more hills and down, time became just the blazing Sun.
On top of one hill, I could see a bay and a beach ahead, though the path seemed to wind round and round the landscape before it got there.
Then, disaster struck.
My thong broke.
I tried to fix it by pushing the plug back in, but the plastic was split and it came straight out again.
The sand on the track was much too hot for bare feet.
I rummaged through my small day back-pack for a safety pin, and remarkably, I found one!
It had been put on the zip to stop it coming undone all the way, but when I tried to take it out, it snapped.
Hope against hope, I rummaged some more, and there was another safety pin :)
This one I got out alright, and was able fix the thong.

With new found appreciation for the small things, I continued, and eventually came to the beach I'd spotted from kilometres away.

There was a sandy track all the way to the beach, and my swim was now so close!

It was  a relief to walk along a harder surface and see shells instead of prickly bushes.

The swim was pure bliss :) and my feet were temporarily clean too.

I didn't know what the time was, or how long it would take me to get back, so I didn't stay too long, but faced the black sandy hill again.

Towards the top, there's a fork in the 'road', one for walkers, one for cars.

 I was pretty tired by now, so the walk back was a have-to mission, I realized I was getting careless, and reminded myself to scan for snakes.
And then, along a stretch of track that had reeds growing along the sides, denoting the presence of water nearby, I saw the long black curlesque shape of a snake ahead.

A dugite.
I moved closer, stamping my feet, but he wouldn't move.

So I had to stand there and keep stamping my feet, I didn't want to go any closer.
But. he seemed oblivious. So much for the vibration theory, I thought.
I looked around for something to throw at him, but then I worried he'd bolt towards me.
So, no choice but to step closer. And closer.
Finally, just as it seemed as if I was right on top of him, he sprang into fast action and flashed into the bush.

My skin crawled as I walked past, keeping a wary eye on the bush into which he'd disappeared.

All safe again, I trudged on, sipping the half a cupful of water I had left in my bottle, but not too tired to appreciate the beauty.

Parry Beach ahead, and home camp :)

Then, in a kind of tired blur, I was on the jungle path again.

A good ol' W.A. blackboy.

All I had to do was cross the road again, then a bit further...

And then, I'd made it! 

Time for another W.A tradition at the end of a hot day in the Sun :)
Indonesian beer, lol.


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