Tom Road to Boarding House
Bibbulmun Track

tom road

boarding house

24km

323m

5-8 hours

The Hike - So...having thought I had lost my photos from this hike forever due to a broken hard drive, I one day remembered possibly transferring files to my rarely used PC before going to Europe. I wasn't sure if this was for the purpose of backing up my photos or was to try and get more space on another hard drive before my trip. In the end I had a look in a few folders and didn't find anything before checking one final place and bam, there they were. After getting a very outrageous estimate for recovering the files from my broken hard drive I was a heartbroken man, so to discover that I had actually backed them up and then forgotten I had like a numpty was a joyous occasion. I immediately transferred them to a new hard drive just in case and now had a touch under 2000 photos to go through and four days worth of blog posts to write.

One issue I also have now is to remember what happened in enough detail given this trip occurred over two months ago. So here we go. As mentioned in my last post, I did not get a fantastic night's sleep due to not having my sleeping system sorted and thus being a little chilly. Breakfast wasn't exactly a pick me up with muesli and powdered milk but that's the camp life I chose so forced it down and got on with the job of packing up everything ready for what would be my second longest day, distance wise, of the trip. Ahead of me was 24km of lovely Bibbulmun Track to enjoy with a few interesting features along the way to keep me interested. As Chantal and I were about to leave camp, me onward to Boarding House and Chantal returning to Donnelly River, we ran into the Adventurous Women’s tour group again as they came into camp. They must have been dropped off on Toms Road and were keen to see what the accommodation was like for those of us that were doing it unassisted. I said goodbye to Chantal and left the ladies to marvel at the wonderful location of the Tom Road campsite.

 

The start of the day consisted of lovely single track paths through the Karri forest complete with mossy logs, thickets of undergrowth dripping with Karri bark and the occasional set of stairs carved next to a fallen tree. This is exactly what I came here for so was loving just meandering along at a gentle pace. The single path terminates when you reach Panda Rd (love the name) and you follow this for a short while, crossing over Donnelly River once more (still not a lot of flowing water) at another set of twin bridges. I'm not normally a fan of 4x4 tracks but the roads in the Karri forests are different as they allow you to fully experience the scale of the trees and provide some great photo opportunities. You are pointed back into the thickness of the forest soon enough and this will be your home for the next hour or so before you come across any kind of road. Winding along with Donnelly River but not actually sighting it due to the density of the forest, this was one of those sections that was quite pretty but also a good place to get into a rhythm.

The sun was still low in the sky and every now and then when it peaked from behind the clouds, the forest lit up in bright shades of green. This was one of those times where I knew the photos wouldn't truly capture the moment so just enjoyed it for what it was with my own eyes. A little bit of a climb to the highest point of the day isn't too much of a challenge and then it’s a long downhill section to where you share the trail with the Munda Biddi. I always enjoy when you get to see the two sets of markers on one post and turned down my music so I could hear if any cyclists were approaching on the narrow trail. The joint trail finishes after you cross Cow Brook (loving the animal naming theme for today) and again the Bibbulmun meanders close to Donnelly River. Approaching the first distance marker on the map for the day (Greens Island), you catch glimpses of neighbouring farmland and are taken quite close to the river where giant trees have fallen over, creating a world of chaos hanging over the water. 

 

I had to stop unexpectedly here as I discovered a very annoying and important feature of my camera. Up until Cow Brook I had been on three bars of battery life, where it switched down to two bars. Great I thought, over a day on one bar and with two spare batteries in the bag I would easily have this covered. Apparently not as I found out when the battery went down to one bar shortly after and then flashed red meaning I was out of juice. Not even half way through the second day and I was having to change batteries was not ideal as it meant at this pace I would run out of life on the last day, which was set to feature several amazing photo spots. A little bit annoyed I thought of ways to conserve power and only take photos when required instead of every two steps like I had been doing.