Whilst in Dwellingup we had casually looked for trail markers but never saw any, and I wasn't about to ask anyone of course as we have a GPS! We got some extra supplies and repacked the bags on our day of rest and then I decoded to drive the caravan to our next resupply point. No more rest days as distances are getting shorter for us now!
It was almost an hour and a half to drive to North Bannister on the Albany hwy where there is the Three ways Roadhouse. They will look after the vehicle for five days till we get there. Though we can't stay in the caravan there we will stay in their accommodation! I hitched back in the late afternoon.
Hitching back requires waiting alongside roads, and sometimes it gets cold or it rains, things I was not prepared for. Fortunately I got a lift with a friendly couple to Boddington and after almost an hour waiting there I got Eric from the local gold mine to drive me straight to our caravan park! Got back at 530pm before sark and not cold and wet despite threatening weather. We already knew it can rain in Dwellingup, place of water apparently...
Tuesday morning we headed into town to pick up the trail. GPS indicated it went along the rail and confidently I led Marilyn to the little station and followed the rail... After 200m my GPS showed me heading off the trail yet I was walking along the railways line. After a few confused minutes I said we need to head a few hundred meters north for some reason. We crossed an oval and got to another railway line :) we were finally on trail, but Marilyn was already getting prepared to use her compass!
It was a fast flat walk to the first hut, Chadora, where we found Phil. Phil is a veteran Bib walker and volunteer who just thought he'd take a few days out of life to hike to Nerang. Nothing really do report on the walk except the cute spider we saw for lunch. Also, keep on forgetting to mention, the little pretty fairy wrens that do their mating twirlies in front of us to divert us away from their nests. They fly up and down and do aerial gymnastics, land, twirl their fancy tails at us, fly around... At times they've done this for close to 100m, but 20-30m is common. Lovely to see.
Due to early arrival we had a leisurely time at the hut before worrying about dinner. Marilyn had dinner and breakfast covered, and we went to bed late (about 7pm) because Phil got out his cask of wine. As he is hiking for a long time without resupplies we were respectful with our consumption. Anyways, good thing we had some alcohol as it was a particularly cold night.
In the morning Phil left before us. First time we are actually hiking 'with' someone, as our next two huts also coincide! Good thing Phil is a nice man :) He's even done the Kakoda Trail and a few other interesting things.
Walk to Mount Wells, our next hut was also straight forward, just over 16kms with a longish climb after our 11am lunch. We arrived on the summit of Mount Wells to meet Phil. The hut is a four walled hut with stove and fire tower behind it. Phil will be in charge of the fire as I need to try stay out of the smoke.
Marilyn has her own room here! First time is month she doesn't need to share! Phil and I can have farting competitions all night!
I'm in charge of dinner and breakfast here as my pack needs lightening :).