Distance: 21.7 km
Grade: Easy to Moderate (this is my assessment and totally subjective 😊)
The day has finally arrived when we are heading back to Portland. This was a long day, but we made good time today – KFC was certainly a driver, along with the potential for a shower and fresh clothes.
The Portland Bay Holiday Park kindly allowed us to leave my car there for free while we were hiking. I only hoped that the plastic over my busted window was enough to hold out the rain.
As we left camp we came across a most welcome sign!
While we were excited that the end was in sight there was also a touch of sadness, it has been great being unplugged and focused only on ‘do we have enough food and water’ and planning the next days walk.
We left camp early as we wanted to get into Portland in the early afternoon so we could sit and eat the KFC and because we had three drops to pick up.
We would miss the bull ants which we had come to admire for their courage – they seemed not to notice how much smaller they were compared to us the way they challenged us when we came near. We did have to stop for 15 mins though and watch a pair fight, slowly killing each with their stingers.
Once we could see Portland we took a few moments to reconnect with the internet – it was surprising how much we rely on the internet for information and google.
Came across this Bush Tucker sign and wished we had if seen this earlier as we recognised a few of the plants and could have been having some delicious sweet tasting teas or additions to our rice and noodles.
As we were coming into town there was a fete which had some awesome smells emanating from it. But we had our sights set firmly on the end and would not be swayed.
I was taken aback by the fact I could smell clean people – you could actually smell soap and general cleanliness. Met a couple of older ex hiker ladies who wanted to talk about our trip and while we were flattered I have to say, we also just wanted to keep moving.
Not far out from the holiday park we met the Great South West Walk walker liaison, who gave us a bit of a run down in the trail and the number of volunteer hours that go into maintaining the trail. He also asked us about a couple of new markers he was due to check on, but we let him know they were still there so saved him a few kms hike.
The feet and legs were sore and I was getting a bit restless as we were now so close to the end. frank and I contemplated catching a sightseeing train that went up to the camp but of course did not. That’s one thing about being a Hamlet, ya just can’t bring yourself to cheat even a little bit. If you do then you never really did the whole walk and if there’s one thing that annoys Hamlets it’s cheating and non completion! We must get to the end of the map!
To that end Frank and I walked back to the very first marker we touched when we started…a little tear in the eye as we touched our last red marker…the end has come.