An unconnected series of clinic and shift swaps combined with a public holiday gift me 5 days away. Birthed of honed instinct and before thought comes to bear Sarah has got a route plan taking in the newest section of the Munda Biddi track and some (il)licit connecting options.
We realise that what we actually need is less ambition – just a vague notion of ‘heading south’, and a car loaded with toys – to see what happens…
En fin we use all but one ‘toy’ (my surf kayak) and sample a series of mini-aventuras.
Here’s a taste.
Wonderfully, preposterously unguarded. Climbing 75m up the Bicentennial Tree. An understated notice asks caution in the event of rain and high wind
Superimposed spirals of rebar (mostly) firmly embedded
Sarah’s internal list of mental-note-on-my-future-returns flags some paddling not too far away, so we meander on.
Warren River – not a place to hurry – just absorb and drift, while I fit paddle strokes in between pictures. A full-width toppled tree with ant-highway intrudes, but doesn’t cause overmuch delay
Moving on with steady paddle flash
Even without colour-saturating the peace is enthralling
A second log-hop helped by a Marron seeker
Sarah – where she can be at the core of what she is (singing)
That night: a campsite snuck along a re-growing firebreak – spotted in passing (by car, rather than bicycle – but the principle/practice holds).
Mt Frankland – a slabby dome in the forest. This – part of the circuit leading to a tenuous friction-determined foray upwards – confidence undermined by growing heat and a forgotten lack of chalk. Fun all the same.
Cue a lazy afternoon – reading. Playing with a fast lens and depth of field
We move on. Coastward – scanning to map for a likely park-up spot. Slightly marred by bities – but saved by tent-mesh. Like synchronised swimmers we wake part-way through the night to add the fly as rain-drips arrive. Morning is dull-skied, but the Deep River is waiting.
Upriver is also wind-assisted and tree-watched
The upper limit of possible exploration
Downstream a bit, but now lacking regular access by road, this will make a fine camp for another weekend river trip
Weaving a path back down
The local fisherman
For a less out-and-back a Frankland River/Walpole bike-kayak shuffle looks good in theory, but a scoping mission shows impassibility in parts. So we modify as we’re not in the mood for hike-a-boat.
Bikes meet boats at Monastery Jetty – so named for it’s impression on an official party sent to assess the area for timber/cattle use in 1910. Such that the Walpole-Nornalup National Park was the outcome.
It’s also one of the better campsites we’ve found in quite a while
The paddle-leg starts like this
before opening up to the sea breeze towards the Nornalup Inlet
Cunningly, (for us) the wind is a favor
A final luxuriantly slow start before tearing ourselves away from monastic solitude for the journey home. Leaving the Kangeroo Paws behind