Day 29: Finishing in Albany

Saturday November 12, 35.1km/21.8mi

Torbay Campsite (913.5/67m) to Southern Terminus / Albany (948.6/4m) (WA)

I heard noises all night, and when I woke up, there was a large mammal searching the ground for food or crumbs. Apparently this critter is called a Quenda (southern brown bandicoot), and is only found in southern Australia. Neat!

I hiked out early at 6am, knowing I had a big day to get to the finish in Albany. After a couple of km in the forest, I dropped down to the beach one final time.

The beachwalk was beautiful but *very* windy, fortunately the wind was mostly at my back.

The waves were massive, probably enlarged from all the wind over the past 24 hours. There were also some dark rainclouds slowly approaching.

These little guys were washed up everywhere, it is a bluebottle jellyfish. I was careful not to touch one, since even after death they can cause hours of pain.

The view ahead, Shelter Island is on the right, it is a sanctuary for rare marine birds. Cool.

The bluebottles were fascinating, they aren’t very big, about the size of a clementine orange.

After 6km, I left the nice beach, and up 181 stairs.

The view looking back to what I walked so far today. It was low tide, so it was easy beachwalking on the hard sand.

Another view of Shelter Island.

Just after I reentered the bush, the rain started. Fortunately, the vegetation blocked most of the wind, so I only got wet from the neck up.

Apparently it’s always a little windy here, since they decided to build dozens of wind turbines along the coast.

I love seeing these machines, and the cleaner future they represent.

For 30 minutes I was in a proper forest with trees, which was nice as there was no wind at all!

For the rest of my morning, this was my view, just walking east and keeping the ocean on my right side.

Towards some of the tourist-accessible lookouts, the path had been upgraded to a nice boardwalk. This one went on for hundreds of meters…so much lumber.

With the colder day and nice boardwalks, I could look at the views more, since I wasn’t as worried about snakes.

I stopped for an early lunch break at Sandpatch campsite, the last shelter on the trail. I ate the rest of my cheese and tortillas, all my Oreos, and saved one granola bar for the final 2 hours of walking.

The view ahead into Albany, behind the foggy bay

The trail dropped down from the ridgetop, away from the ocean, and entered the outskirts of Albany. I followed a paved bike path for an hour.

The view across the bay to Albany is foggy as ever.

Directly on the trail, just 4km from the finish, was a distillery! I had to stop and have a look. Best whisky in the southern hemisphere…how can I lose?

I tried 3 of their creations, sampling them both “neat” and with a few drops of water, which changes the flavors a bit.

After 45 minutes, I was back on trail, and entered Albany proper.

The finish! It took me a month to reach the Southern Terminus of the Bibbulmun, with so many neat people, animals, and plants along the way.

The weather was still doing its intermittent misting thing, so my rainshell was permanent attire today.

When hikers arrive to the southern terminus, you traditionally go into the visitor center and ring a big bell to announce/celebrate your finish. But…they close early on Saturdays. Boo. I got there at 3pm, and they closed at 2pm.

The rest of the afternoon, I walked around town doing errands, buying food and a fuel canister for my next hike, the Cape-to-Cape Track. I get on a bus at 8am tomorrow morning, and the bus drops me off near the start of that trail at 5pm, so this was my only chance to resupply.

I had some surprisingly good chinese food for dinner, and then checked-in to my hostel at 1849 Backpackers. The hostel wasn’t great, it was loud until midnight and a little dirty, but it was the only one in town with available space.

Bibbulmun Track is complete! I had an enjoyable hike and would recommend it to anyone looking for a relatively easy trail who wants to experience some uniquely Australian landscapes.

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