Woke to the familiar sound of rain smattering the windows, but hey at least I woke up. No grizzly getting-chopped-into-pieces-in-my-sleep death for me. Result! Getting up I realised I had a splitting headache (probably from sleeping for so long), aching hips and shin splints. Getting far too old for this hiking malarkey. Anyway, showered and dressed and made my way to the treetop walk, only to find it didn't open until 9am.
With an hour and a half to kill I made my way back to Walpole in search of food. Came across a cafe where I devoured some poached eggs on toast and a coffee before heading to the Giant Tingle Tree Loop. Just a short 1km warm up and, you guessed it, some giant tingle trees. Further along in the car there was another short walk to Circular Pool where, you guessed it, there was a circular pool. It was a very pretty place though despite the crappy weather, lots of rocks and what was probably a river in the wet season was more of a big stream at the moment, flowing into the circular pool. Up onto the rocks I clambered to get a better picture of the middle of the riverbed, suddenly I slipped on some seaweed looking stuff stuck on the rock and managed to plunged my entire arm into a dark, dank pool of water. Amazingly my watch was still working! I peeled off my hoodie and ran back to the car to get change and clean up.
Reaching the car I searched my pockets and bumbag for the car keys, but of course, they were nowhere to be found. About an hour later after some frantic searching, close to tears I started the trek back towards town to try and find some phone signal. I spotted a house after about 2km and someone outside doing some work in their garden. Running up to the house I was greeted by two unbelievably fluffy dogs barking at me. The man looked up puzzled which quickly changed to bewilderment upon spotting me. He told me his name was James and I hastily explained to him my predicament and that I had no phone signal, to which he informed me that I should have some there as there was a Telstra tower nearby.
I rang the rental company and was informed that the insurance did not cover lost keys (but of course, why would it?) and that I would have to call roadside assistance and pay for the call out and likely tow myself. I was also told the number to call was on the keyring, so I had to remind the clearly highly intellectual person I was speaking to that I was no longer in possession of the keys. I got off the phone incredibly disheartened and explained to James what I had been told. He very kindly offered to drive me back to the pool and help me look for the keys, to which I hastily accepted. We chatted about his wife and 3 kids, and how he had built his house, over a glass of water and then left for the trail.
We searched for about 20 minutes and then went to the pool where I had slipped over and without hesitation he stuck his arm into this gross pool and pulled out my keys almost instantaneously. Well done Emma, great searching skills there. I hugged him and called him my hero! Feeling unbelievably luckily and grateful to James I bid him farewell and set off back to my intended excursion of the day.
A $19 ticket later and up I was climbing, higher and higher across a metal suspension bridge which was alarmingly bouncy and up into the treetops 40 metres above the ground. The view was absolutely amazing, despite the clammy hands and wobbly legs. Back down I went on a short walk through the 'Ancient Empire' of all the old tingle trees, but I started to feel a bit ill so I went back to the car and headed for Albany.
I was annoyed that I didn't feel well as I would have liked to have stopped in Denmark and have a look around - it seemed like a nice quaint little town. But nevermind! Got to Albany and headed straight for the mall... Went and purchased a new jumper from Target as mine was still congealed in pond slime and was already smelling pretty ripe. I then stopped at the visitor centre to decide on a campsite for the next two nights and what I was going to do tomorrow. The more I saw on the leaflets the more I liked Albany. How different the north is to the south in WA! I went to IGA to get dinner (some weird ravioli stuff) and then to Dan Murphy's to get cider and merlot!
Off to Happy Days Caravan Park where I was greeted by some lovely people, and shown the campsite grounds. Had dinner and rang home and Mahtab for a catch up and then had a shower. The facilities were amazing - new and very clean and the showers had good pressure and temperature so a well spent $60 for two nights in my opinion! I went to put some washing on before realising I didn't have the correct change so I dashed to Woolies down the road and purchased some weird protein drinks and Belvita biscuits. At least that's breakfast sorted!