The last day's walk before a track town is a little like a horse running towards its own stable; there's no stopping it. And that is essentially how we hiked into Collie.
Left the Yabberup shelter which we really liked at about 815am and ran towards Collie at about 5kmphr. Actually whilst on the subject, we really liked the hut as it wasn't terribly dusty and the boards you slept on were made from treated pine boards which has a smooth surface of which one could sweep the dust effectively! It also had plenty of hooks to hang things up on and had small side boards on which I could put my candle and rest my back whilst seated (on the boards). I know it still sounds spartan to most of you, but compared to Changi and the Bangkok Hilton it really seemed comfy.
The (tea) candle is handy as I wake up when it flickers near its end which is generally about 1am and that is the time I go for a leak, have a bit of an energy bar and a mouth full of nuts and fruits and take an antibiotic pill (plus my usual enzymes). It saves me having to use a bright torch as well.
The 20km walk to Collie was mostly down hill. We had a bit of a hard time following the trail in places , but thanks to Marilyn's keen eye and my GPS it wasn't too hard.
At one point we emerged at power poles where the wiring was being repaved, but all we saw was electric wire hanging off the electricity poles.
The track took us virtually past Collie before turning east and then south into town. We were keen to take earlier dirt roads into town but in the end religiously followed the Bibbulmun trail as lightning may strike us down if we took short cuts.
By the time we reached the Collie River Valley Tourist Park it was only 2pm or thereabouts. Chris and Shanomi had dropped the caravan there 5 days ago and it stood there faithfully waiting for us.
Management was incredibly kind and generous and treated us like royalty, even painting curbs near the caravan white with a fresh coat of paint and refused to charge us for our stay! Many thanks!
We walked into town for an Indian Banquet at night and the following day visited the tourist office, the super markets, parks and wildlife and drove the caravan to Dwellingup which skips a lot of closed trail again.. As we drove North I received an email that Bob, a kind and thoughtful hiker, had brought my beloved thongs to the Collie tourist information center where we'd been earlier. Unfortunately we are now far away again. Still working on logistics to get them back!
Chris is picking us up tomorrow to drive us back south to Drivers Road to pick up the trail where we are legally allowed to recommence our Bibbulmun track! Chris will hike with us for the three days through predicted foul wet and windy weather back to Dwellingup where we are leaving the caravan thanks to the kind people at the caravan park there.
And so we slowly make our way North. Watch this space!
Also a big thank you to all those who kindly donated to Cystic Fibrosis through our Every day hero page! CF Tasmania really appreciated the donations. I don't think week reach our target but hey, nice to be optimistic! Special thanks to my mum and the Burnie NW hospital Theatre Staff for their generosity :)