Day 17: Pemberton to Beedelup 414.8km (23km)

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Right through the night heavy rain continued to come down. It seemed to come in waves. Short reprieves in between torrents of the wet stuff. In the last 36 hours there must have been close to 60mm fall out of the sky.

I was packed up and ready to go. Umming and arhing about the best timing. Do I wait for a break in the rain or just dive in head long and get it over with? It was meant to be raining through the morning and clearing this afternoon. I was going to get wet at some stage through the day so why not right now.

Just before 7am I hit the road, making my way to the Bakery on the Main Street, the only place open this early for breakfast and hot coffee. Immediately out the door the rain started again. It didn’t take long to reach the main strip of shops and seek shelter under the awnings, finding the bakery and sitting down for a breaky wrap and latte, taking it slow to bide some time and wait for the showers to clear.

Like yesterday the rain came and went but when it did come down it came down hard. The trusty umbrella is one of my favourite pieces of gear and comes into its own on these occasions, keeping the top half quite dry. It’s only downfall is the wind but sheltered in the trees it wasn’t an issue.

Entering the forest there was quite a bit of mud to contend with, remnants of the weekend mountain bike competition in shockingly wet conditions. Sections of the Bibb are shared with bikes just out of town.

With only around 23km to go today I was taking it easy. With wet weather gear on I like to slow right down so as not to over exert and end up saturated on the inside from sweat.

The track was wide and easy and mostly flat for the whole day.

Showers came and went all day.

With around 3km to go the trail exits the forest and enters into paddocks for a short distance with a couple of stiles to be climbed to get over the fences. I was filming the stile and about to cross it when an enormous burst of rain came in super hard and super fast. I saw it moving across the paddocks and in no time was on me backed by a strong wind. The umbrella held out in the wind.

I reached my destination for the day, Beedelup Shelter around 1pm and got stuck straight into some lunch.

My next mission was to get a fire going and dry my shoes and socks out. All the fuel around the place was saturated but if you know where to look you can scrounge enough. Investigating under the larger logs and tree hollows I found just what I was looking for and had a nice hot cranking fire in no time. Pleased my efforts it was time to sit back and enjoy a cup of tea.

I contemplated moving on to the next hut but decided against this. I was getting a bit late in the day to take on another 20km. I’ll do a double hut tomorrow. For now it’s all about staying warm around the fire.

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