Intersection w/Lake William Track(587.3)-Sandpatch Campsite(609.1)
Campsite Elevation: 464ft/141m
The wind kicked up around 3am and I was glad to be back a bit and well sheltered around some brush. I was in and out of sleep the rest of the night and early morning. We got going at 6:30am and it was windy all day in a good way. It was warmer today and the wind kept it cooler. I felt like today had three parts to it; sand dunes, beach walking, and the cliff side wind farm.
The morning started out with some more sand dune walking, but nothing that required much extra exertion. We had more distant views of the Indian Ocean in the early morning, and then reached a milestone for southbound walkers, which was our first view of the upcoming day across to the wind farms that signify the ending of the hike.
We had a pretty relaxed day and took a nice break at Torbay Shelter before beginning the 4mi/7km beach walk. It was a great beach walk! I haven’t been on a ton of beaches, but I’ve never been on beaches as nice as the ones out here. It was the first really nice Saturday since I’ve been out here I think, and I was really surprised that there weren’t more people out on the beach. Dave explained that the beach is not as unique when everyone lives right by it their whole life and where we were was more remote, so there are more accessible and popular areas.
There was a small spot that we needed to take our shoes off to cross a small stream, and the fine yet firm sand felt amazing on my sore feet! I’ve never been able to enjoy sand walking for extended periods and was able to walk a good mile without my shoes before we hit a rock outcropping and I put my shoes back on.
The ocean water is the best I’ve ever seen with a clear sea-green color that pictures don’t do justice. There is hardly any seaweed or foul scent to the ocean too. It was the most ideal ocean walking I’ve ever done and we cruised it at lower tide with more packed down sand to walk on. I’ve never seen surfers in real life before and we walked past a spot with a bunch, so I was fully entertained.
After the ocean walking, as soon as we hit Mutton Bird Shelter for a relaxed lunch. The final lunch break on the Bibbulmun as we will finish in the morning tomorrow. From there, the rest of the day was cliff side walking along the wind farm turbines. It was a fun change and pretty cool to walk along the massive turbines and also get some great views looking down into the ocean. We even did a side trail to walk right up under one and Dave loved that as he had never been so close to them before.
The day ended just before 5pm when we reached the final shelter of the trail, Sandpatch Shelter. We knew there would be quite the group there given the entries in the previous logbooks. We arrived to five women who were also completing end-to-end hikes(one started 200km south). It was nice to have dinner with them and be around others also completing a long journey. They have been out here close to two months, so it’s an end to quite a long journey for them. There were two solo hikers (one from the country of Denmark) and a group of three from NZ that all have March birthdays and are the March Girls in the logbook. They all wake up quite early and should leave before us tomorrow, so we may overlap again tomorrow in the final 7mi/12km.
So tomorrow is the last day! My body is really looking forward to the almost 48hr break it will get before starting the Cape To Cape Track in a couple days. It is definitely feeling what will be 29 days of consecutive walking. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’m having rare stomach issues tonight that almost feel like I have a stomach bug, yuck. I hardly ever get sick and it’s not a fun feeling, but maybe I’m just tired and my body knows it’s the end. Long ago, I would feel like this when I overstressed, so maybe it’s just the transition to another hike coming up and I’m thinking ahead too much and getting worked up. I’m having trouble sleeping because of it and am trying to think of something else so I don’t feed the cycle and make it worse just by stressing over it. It better not really be something. I think it is anxiety from the social interaction tonight and thinking about what I need to do once I hit town tomorrow. I am really motivated for a celebratory breakfast in Albany tomorrow!