Wednesday November 9, 36.8km/22.9mi
Castle Rock (802.2/30m) to Parry Beach Campground (839.0/13m) (WA)
I slept in since I didn’t need to start walking until 8am, I used the extra couple hours to read and watch the sea. The hike up and over Castle Rock was easy.
In the short 3km section between my campsite in Peaceful Bay, I saw 8 kangaroos! Apparently a group of kangaroos is called a mob.
Most of the ocean here is really rough and unsafe for swimming, but occasionally I hike by a little protected cove that looks inviting.
I even had a little bit of beach walking just before I got to Peaceful Bay. Sometimes beachwalks can suck, but this one was easy because of the hard & firm sand.
I walked into Peaceful Bay at 8:45, it’s basically a bunch of summer holiday homes in a village.
Since I had 15 minutes before I could get my package (the office opened at 9am), I stopped into the little cafe and got a drink and a grilled cheese.
When I went next door to the office, my box was easy to find, since they had so few of them from other hikers. I stuffed the contents of the box into my food bag, threw out the extra packaging, and hiked out.
For a couple hours, I had a nice easy stroll down an old road through some coastal bush.
Then suddenly the trail…ended.
I was at the spot the guidebook warned about. I had to paddle across this little inlet, using one of the canoes provided by the Bibbulmun track foundation.
The paddling itself was fairly easy, but there was a catch. I took the last canoe from my side of the inlet, and there are supposed to be 3 canoes on each side. So I dropped off my pack, took 2 more canoes from the shed on the other shore, and towed them back to the first shed. That took awhile, since I was paddling with the drag of 2 canoes behind me, plus against the wind and waves. After 45 minutes I was finally done with all those shenanigans, and hiked on into some beautiful rolling countryside.
I probably saw 12-15 more kangaroos in this section, they seem to love the vegetation here.
After an hour of that, I descended to a beach and had a nice walk on the sand for 6km.
The beach was great walking with the hard compacted sand.
The waves are so huge in this ocean, crashing violently just offshore, it’s one of the loudest beaches I have ever been to.
Eventually the beach became a rocky shoreline, so the trail headed inland a little bit and I got some good views. Looking ahead to Quarram Beach.
I was on Quarram Beach for only a few minutes, before heading back up into some even higher hills. Looking back onto Quarram Bay with some nice wildflowers in the foreground:
When I got to Boat Harbor Campsite, it was already 3pm, and I still had 10km to my destination, so I did not linger. I quickly refilled my water bottles, signed the trail register, and kept walking. Five minutes later I was at Boat Harbor Beach.
This beach was more annoying to walk on, it was that soft sand that slips under your foot with every step. Fortunately it only lasted 10 minutes and then I was back up on the hillside far above the ocean.
For the next 2 hours I had a lot of little ups and downs on these hills, it was slower going than I would have expected from the map. But at 6:15, I finally arrived to Parry Beach Campground. I walked straight to the caretakers cabin and checked-in, and she said Bibbulmun hikers camp for free! Awesome. I quickly set up my tent on my assigned site, and as I was cooking dinner the couple who were camped next to me invited me over for some food and wine. Double awesome.
John and Sylvia are friends, and are taking a road trip around the country. When they were in town today, they caught a fresh fish (grouper) and bought some salad and chardonnay.
We had some really fun conversation, but by 8pm I was ready to fall asleep. I said goodnight and promptly passed out.