Day 10 of my 16-day/335km section hike from Northcliffe to Albany on the Bibbulmun Track.
Terrain: Up and down coastal cliffs, some beach walking.
I’d been hearing about the famous fish and chips at the Peaceful Bay caravan park since I left Northcliffe, so I was looking forward to a delicious dinner after a short day of walking. I’d pushed myself to double hut from Frankland River to Rame Head the day before, so I felt I deserved a day off from long slogs.
I woke to a beautiful sunrise over the ocean at Rame Head, then took my time making breakfast and packing up camp before I hit the track.
From the campsite, the trail follows an old 4WD drive that’s closed to traffic by a vehicle gate. After a few ups and downs, I rounded a corner past a tall bush only to startle a kangaroo, who had been snoozing right next to the track.
He propped himself up with his arms and stared at me bleary-eyed while I tried to frame a photo, ultimately deciding I wasn’t worth the bother of getting all the way out of bed.
The scene was so perfect I took a dozen shots. As I slowly backed away, he flopped back down to sleep.
The track in this section wanders its way along the coastline to the Peaceful Bay settlement, taking way longer than it really needs to. The meandering path is well worth the extra time though, as it takes you along some stunning cliffs and wild beaches with stunning views.
A short, rocky scramble a while later took me up to some really tall cliffs where there is apparently a blowhole, although I didn’t see it. From there, the track passed above the south side of an idyllic little bay before descending onto the sand.
Down at sea level again, I followed another rocky section around a headland and onto soft sand for the last kilometre or so. Even for short distances, walking in sand is always a trudge. By the time I made it to Peaceful Bay, I was well and truly ready for a rest.
I checked in at the caravan park office, bought myself an iced coffee (I really crave dairy on long hikes) and had my packed lunch of tortillas, hummus and salami on the cafe balcony.
Fed, I set up my tent in the park, put my clothes in a washing machine and had another much-needed hot shower.
I went for my long-awaited fresh fish and chips at 6, and they were every bit as advertised! I cheaped out by getting the kingfish ($15), but it was delicious enough I was glad I didn’t pay the extra $10 for whatever the premium fish was.
Making the most of the rare luxury of electric wall sockets, I watched a couple of episodes of Designated Survivor (2 stars, would not recommend) on my phone before heading to bed.
It didn’t feel like I had much of a day off by the time I flopped into bed, and I had a restful night of deep sleep.