It’s the Great Walk camp at Dillon Bay. The stage is between the truck, the camp kitchen and the cooking fire. There are people milling around, as they do. Some are getting cups of tea, others are in the middle of preparing cups of tea, still others are drinking their cups of tea and a final category are waving around empty cups of tea in enthusiastic conversation (perhaps drunk from too many cups of herbal tea). I think I will be able to make a quick entry, extract a few ingredients from the tea table, fill my cup with some boiled water from the accurately labeled ‘baby urn’ and then retreat into outer suburbs of the camp to drink it. Alas, such things are not meant to be. No sooner have I managed to find the box of Madura Aussie tea bags, made from wholesome imported ingredients, when I hear my name being uttered.
“G’day Basil, or do you feel like Sage today?”
“Actually I’m not feeling particularly very sweet today but I don’t mind what you call me, so long as it isn’t ‘Rosemary’. I then break into a rendition of the old English folk ballad – Scarborough Fair…Parsley sage rosemary and thyme…. la di da di da….”
“What about Oregano?” pipes up a colourful person in a colourful hat.
“Too manly,” I say, “ rather Italian and it does have a nice musical twist, but it’s a name that generates too many expectations. What happens if I just want to live a quiet life, no pressure to be super-macho…
And so the conversation continues. It’s still uncomfortably focussed on me. So much for my quick escape.
“What did your Mum and Dad call you?” someone asks.
“Just ‘Bas’,” I say before thinking that I am providing possible ammunition for resurrected nicknames… I decide to throw all caution to the wind and answer questions in complete honesty – then I should not be embarrassed by future leaks or disclosures made while sleep walking or waiting at the Great Walk dunny.
“What have your friends called you?”
“Some have called me Big Bad Bazza,” I respond. “Others have called me Basilica.”
“That’s nice,” some one interjects, as if all my other names are dreadful.
“Some people have even called me Harold, confusing me with my brother. Some of my closest friends call me Baruch, which in some ways is my real name. By the way it’s actually the Hebrew equivalent of Barack, you know, the Arabic name of Barack Obama.”
“Your real name?”
By this stage I realize people are taking far too much interest in me and my pedigree for my liking. I feel like a perpetual tourist on the run from Interpol. The next thing someone will ask me for is a DNA sample.
“You must have just one real name. What’s on your birth certificate?”
“Actually I have two certifiable certificates, a Zimbabwean (Southern Rhodesian) one and a Jewish one. I might look like a simple person, but unfortunately I’m not….” This solid explanation seems to satisfy the gathered throng and the conversation drifts off to other lands.
I am free to find a quiet spot in the suburbs and sip my luke-warm cup of tea.
— Basil Schur
“I’ll wait here,” I tell the others as we pause for a moment on the track up the side of West Mount Barren. “I want to preserve my knees for later.” Soon they disappear from view and I am alone.
I am surrounded by a low scrub of sword grass and banksia, dotted through with tiny delicate flowers. The quartz fragments on the pathway are a medley of silver, green, gold and orange, marbled with red granite. Mostly I don’t know how to name what I see or why it is the way it is.
I look out over olive green and silver plains speckled with shrubs. Is that rain over the sea? There is such quiet around and in me – such a deep wide silence. If only I could fall deeper into this silence – be alone with the land – not just for minutes, but for hours, or even days. Above me, an eagle soars over the mountain, its black silhouette spiralling against the cloud-scudded blue.
Wildfires burnt through much of Fitzgerald National Park in 1989. Old banksia trees stand like sentinels in the changing light: one moment they are silver ornaments of themselves, catching the light as the sun emerges. In another they spear skywards, empty skeletons, outlines of the glory they once were.
— Nicola-Jane le Breton
Along the headland
I remember the walk out of Wellstead – 8 kms, easy – so I thought.
Out along a promontory, so many beautiful native flowers and bushes; stunning beaches with rollers crashing onto the sand
We went down the side of the headland onto a series of small coves. As we walked onto the second cove I was struck by an energy that felt so good, so strong, so alive. I looked at the colours of the rocks, the shells and the cliffs and felt a strong desire to paint…me, never! At twelve, I was told I was the only unteachable art student my teacher had ever had the unfortunate experience of trying to teach…
I felt a thrilling feeling right then that I could paint the best masterpiece the world had ever seen.
— Angela Tayler
I loved the overnight walk because I felt I was taking on a challenge and I found it fun. I especially liked watching the dolphins surfing in the waves. The water was a clear blue. You could see the dolphins quite well and I was the first person to spot them, so that made me like it even more. Walking along the beaches were my favourite walks – I loved hearing the sound of the waves and feeling the beautiful soft sand on my feet. But my favourite bit of all was just meeting lots of really nice people, and I think it was a very good first Great Walk for me.
— Wattle, age 12
Sept School Holidays 2010
Tuesday 28 September -Thursday 7 October
Great walk buses from Fremantle and Albany
Camping at :
Overnight walk to Point Anne
Up date 24 Sept –Map and Driving Directions
These are the directions and a map of how the get to Gorman farm from Fremantle
These are the maps used by walk coordinators and shepherds. It has all the maps and info for walks, camps and contacts. Grab yourself acopy
Up date 29 Aug –Maps
We now have maps of the walk available here. This is a googe map. If you have a good internet connection click on the top left of map “earth” which then places you in google earth mode. Zoom in on the map and then click on the walks / camps on left -you should now fly in out -have fun
Up date from Basil
Sunday 15th August 2010
Hi Tony, Gerard, Jozina, Deb, John and other GWN crew
Do you want the good news first or the good news second ?- The good news is that we saw whales again at Boat Harbour, close up – this walk we almost guaranteed to see whales !
The second good news is that we now have camp sites lined up to allow us to experience the awesome coastline between Cape Riche and Bremer Bay and beyond.
This weekend, Kim McHarg and I did another reconnaissance out to Welstead to meet with a local farming family (Nic and Anna Gorman) who have agreed to provide us with a free sheltered and sufficiently large campsite on their farm (which has all gone into Blue Gums), about 8 km from the beautiful Boat Harbour, about 120 km east of Albany. This should be better than taking our chances with the public campsite areas at Boat Harbour which are relatively small and likely to have other campers. Also Nic Gorman is providing free rainwater, there is plenty of firewood at the campsite, and he even provides a free rubbish removal service for Boat Habour. A very friendly farmer.
The other positive things is that there is space for private vehicles (which was a problem at Boat Harbour itself). So people can joing us at either of the two campsites when they choose.. We stay four nights at the first one and five nights at the second campsite… (Taking on board that families prefer to have longer more stable base camps).
So I have modified the info and registration form and attach. Great Gerard if you can replace the one on the website with this one asap.
Also, I have slightly modified the registration form to have a bus price for Albany as the same as Freo. We will be able to provide transport from Denmark/Albany as well as Freo. This bus price will be the same as the Freo one because we will have to hire a coaster/mini bus from Albany/Denmark/ and all buses will be used to transport all walkers during the 10 days.
Gerard and I will work on developing the Google maps for both the campsites as well as the walks on each day…
As regards Transport am on the look out for people carrier 4wds
Also, lets continue to put the word out about this walk !
Bremer Bay Walk
Ravensthorpe to Coast
Tuesday 28th September to Thursday 7th October 2010
(last updated 15 Aug)
Please note that a maximum of 70 people (including children permitted on this Walk because of camp site sizes- so book early ! To receive To receive the EARLYBIRD DISCOUNT,
REGISTRATION with FULL PAYMENT must be made by Tuesday 8th September)
Tuesday 28 Sept 2010– Buses leaves Freo/Albany- About 480 km from Freo to Boat Harbour near Wellstead (about 100 km east of Albany) travelling via Broomehill and Borden. (Campsite on the Gorman Farm). The campsite will be signposted 8.7km down Boat Harbour road. Turn right and follow the tags for 4oom. Parking for private vehicles available
Day 2-Wednesday 30th Sept – Walk down to the coast and around Boat Harbour
Day 3-Thursday 1st October – Walk to th the coast and mouth of Beaufort Inlet
Day 4-Friday 1st October – Walk from Cape Riche to Boat Harbour
Day 5-Saturday 2ndOctober – Camp moves to Camp moves to Dillon Bay camp site No 2. Travel to Bremer Bay. Turn south onto Dillons Bay Road, 7.5km before Bremer Bay. The campsite will be signposted 4.8km down Dillons Bay Road on the right. Follow the tags for 300m.
Day 6-Sunday 3rd October Walks around Dillon Bay
Day 7-Monday 4th October Overnight Walk near Point Anne, Fitzgerald. Whale watching
Day 8-Tuesday 5th October – Camp visit to Point Anne, climbing west Mt Barren , whale watching
Day 9-Wed 6th October – Walks around Bremer Bay
Day 10 -Thursday 7th October 2010–
Break camp and head home Clean up, Farewell Circle. Return home.
There are several speakers and events planned, but we are unable to specify days or times right now Check website for updates
For Further Information; Contact Basil Schur 98481815h or 98481019w or 0429481019 (mob) firstname.lastname@example.org or Jozina de Ruiter 93313937 or 0401802806 (Email email@example.com)For insurance reasons all partipants in great Walk events must take out a membership and sign a disclaimer form . All our members are insured (see below). – See Memberships Fee arrangements in Reg. form.
Registrations Tony Stanley
PO Box 171 Fremantle WA6959 (Email firstname.lastname@example.org )
GWN Committee: Jozina de Ruiter 93313937 or 0401802806 (Email email@example.com)
Watch this Space for Updates