Saturday, November 15, 2008

Munda Biddi Trail: Stage 1: Day 5


Journal entry

'Woke up to the alarm clock @ 6:30 AM feeling like I've been hit by a truck very tired. That, and my right medial collateral ligament (MCL) and hamstring felt sore and stiff; remembering the logbook entry at Wungong Campsite warning about the section after Jarrahdale — i.e. Serpentine River valley's hours of pushing — I decided to call it a rest day.

'Slept till 10:30 AM. Being able to splay your feet apart, toss and turn, without the worry of rolling off the sleeping mat, and being able to spoon a pillow — on a queen-sized bed — is sweet luxury.

Some shots from the loft.

Room for two here.

It's probably 14 to 15 feet up.

#28 in the morning.

A check with the office confirmed that there was vacancy for another night's stay. Stacey generously extended the discount to the second night. I went back to my cottage and slept some more. Then, I did a lot of washing and drying. As I did not want to tax my knees today, I demurred from riding to Jarrahdale General Store — a mere 3.01 km away — for food, and ate my rations for the day instead. This, plus my unplanned stay at YHA, Perth Hills on the first night, leaves me short of a day's rations for the ride to Collie — one required, one for reserve (I carry an additional meal: high energy mashed potatoes x2 servings, high protein scrambled eggs x5 servings, for emergencies). This would necessitate a stop at Dwellingup during business hours to resupply.

A butterfly still asleep outside the office.

As lunch was a miserable 2 servings of mashed potatoes, 2 cups of weak coffee (there is no reason for lots of caffeine on a rest day) and 3 sickeningly sweet, made-in-Australia, melamine-free, chocolate bars, I went down to the main office to destroy their entire stash of sickeningly sweet and chewy Europe Honey Nougat Bars (Thanks, Christy!). These things resemble kangaroo turd and are so dense Jabba can't crush them. Not exactly the best energy bar but I don't have a choice. Energy is energy. Later, Stacey dropped off a replacement bulb for the bathroom in the cottage so that I won't have to use my Apollo lantern again in the night.

At 6:30 PM, I went for a walk to stretch my legs; and found myself wandering "into" a bush chapel. Magnificent in rustic simplicity, it is form and structure rendered bare in starkness; yet nothing is left wanting — nature furnishes (requisite) baroque dryadic elegance: instead of a roof with echoing domes and gilded arches, blue, open skies crown this hidden, holy glade; instead of a choir belting hymns, pines, oak, and eucalyptus sway and whisper forgotten songs (with playful zephyrs rushing counterpoint); instead of incense swinging from trembling, aged hands, eucalyptus sprigs, dancing in the evening breeze, trail and scent the cool, crisp air...

I was glad to have stayed another day.

A path leads to a brook running behind the sanctuary.

Some sort of fig tree on the left.

Looking back (file photo).

File photo.

The slope leading to my cottage (file photo).

#28 is the cottage to the right.

Time to turn in. According to the official map and Wungong Campsite Comments Book entry, tomorrow is going to be a hard 34 kilometers. God give me strength; LORD preserve my legs.
- 10:09 PM

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