Woolbales to Long Point
6th June 2018
The Hike - Another restful sleep with my improved (insulated) sleeping system meant I was happy to wake up when Wendy and Leonie started packing away their things at around 5am. After a long day they were committed to the pre-dawn start so they could double into Dog Pool. On one hand I admired them for trying to battle through and complete the track on their tight schedule but at the same time I wondered how much of the experience they would miss out on by rushing through the kilometres. I'm not sure if they continued on like this or if they didn't sign the log books but when I was doing an overnight hike from Mt Dale to Sullivan Rock a few weeks later I didn't see their names anywhere.
At their previous pace they would have well and truly finished by the time I was there so I'll wait to see their names in the Bibbulmun Track magazine. They were very apologetic to me about the lights and noise but I was more than happy to have a chat and see them off. It turned out to be a good thing for them as they didn't know where the exit leading north was because they had come in at night. There are three paths in the same area that confuses things in the dark with one leading to the toilet block, one leading south and one leading north. I noticed them pacing up and down after I said goodbye so got up to point them in the right direction, wishing them a final goodbye. With a more relaxed schedule I headed back into my tent inner to try and get another hour of sleep and woke again as the sun was rising. I rushed up to the top of the granite hill behind the shelter and was greeted with a nice sky right before sunrise. Not quite as spectacular as the previous morning's fairy floss delight, it was made better by a couple of birds of prey circling the granite looking for a morning meal.
It wasn't until I left the campsite that I realised the focus was still on manual from the previous night's bungled astrophotography attempt so the shots of the birds were unusable. With the morning routine over and everything packed away I started the penultimate day of my seven day adventure between Northcliffe and Walpole. I was on the home stretch and was very excited because this was the day I would reach the coast. Saving the southern coast for last, I would be emulating a typical N-S end to ender by having this day be the first time I would walk on a beach on the Bibbulmun Track and I was looking forward to it. With the grey clouds rolling in the previous afternoon, things had not improved by sunrise and the start of my day was a dry and overcast walk along the 4x4 tracks of the open plains. A kangaroo sighting and plenty of Swamp Bottlebrushes provided some points of interest along the way and knowing it would get better helped things. The reason for the improvement was Woolbales came into sight. While the campsite is named Woolbales, the small granite peaks in the area are actually the real Woolbales Hills and stand out as a feature of the morning.