04 Mar

Bibbulmun – S4 – Balingup

3 March – 4 March 2019 | Days 14 – 15

Kilometres 389.5 – 475.0 >>> 85.5 (53.1 mi)

The next morning I felt much better and I was packed up and going at a quarter to eight.

A board walk near Jayes Road, east of Balingup.

I came across a sign, saying that this section was a partner trail with the Bruce Trail in Canada. Thanks for reminding me that there are other awesome trails out there I haven’t walked yet.

Joking aside though, it was nice to think that, maybe there’s another sign just like it somewhere on the other side of the planet. And maybe, another hiker might just be reading it at the same time as me and is thinking of the far away Bibbulmun. Made me feel all close and connected with our awesome hiking community. (Sorry for being a bit dewy-eyed here. Sniff.)

Hello Canada. Kangaroos and Beavers are friends.

The trail continued to meander through rural farm land, with plenty of dirt road hiking. The views were really quite nice though and I didn’t mind.

Looking down Spring Gully Road, west of Greenbushes State Forest.

There were even sections that went through private land. Thanks so very much to the owners for letting us cross your land. Much appreciated.

Beautifully windswept tree near Hegarty Creek.

I made it to the Gregory Brook campsite by 6:30 pm and got settled for the evening. Funny, I’m almost half-way through and still haven’t met a single person on the trail. I’m enjoying it, but I’m questioning why not more people “dare” hike it in summer. It’s such a beautiful time.

Anyway, I got up at eight the next morning and made it into Donnelly River Village. It’s a nice little village that has a very rustic and historical charm about it.

Welcome to Donnelly District.

I stuck around the general store for a while and enjoyed a few cold drinks and resupplied on snacks. The store is quite expensive, of course, but the guys running it are really friendly. Their EFTPOS machine wasn’t working that day, but they happily let me have anything I wanted, after I left them my credit card information, so that they could run through the amounts later on, when I was already gone again. I was there during lunch time and didn’t stay over night, even though they have a dedicated shelter for hikers in the village, and even offer shower and laundry services for a small fee.

I didn’t use any of it though and moved on quickly. I didn’t feel comfortable. The village is famous for its tame emus and kangaroos that roam around. One can buy feed for the animals at the general store and it’s great fun for the tourists that come through. To me though, it’s abhorrent to see wild animals so domesticated that they start pecking and grabbing into peoples pockets, without any fear.

I did see some “wild” emus out of town. At least these guys ran away from me.

South of Donnelly River Village, I encountered my first diversion because of a bush fire. I was surprised to see it so well marked and easy to follow. Considering the complete lack of people on trail, I hadn’t expected the trail to be maintained this well. I’ve got to give it to the volunteers: you guys are incredible. Thank you so very much.

I ended the day just after five at the diversion campsite next to Paganini Road, west of Yanmah. There was a portable toilet set up, a bench and table to sit at, and a couple of jerry cans with fresh water.

Despite the site being next to a gravel road, it was perfectly quiet at night. It was nice and I slept well.

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