After the wonders of Dog Rock and the Natural Bridge we decided we couldn't possibly take any more rock related excitement. Fortunately, Walpole is the home of the Valley Of The Giants tree top walk, for about $8 you get to take a stroll through the tingle trees from a bird's eye height with not a single Rock With Name to photograph because you feel obliged to. After the rain scuppered our carefully laid plans to get drunk round the fire on nasty goon we hoped that it hadn't caused them to close the walk, after all, they did say they closed it in adverse weather.
Turns out that our idea of adverse weather had become somewhat perverted after spending so long in a Perth summer. If it drops below 25C we break out the thermals and huddle round the fire with a Cup-A-Soup, a few drops of rain and we worry about flash floods and drowing. I don't think I could cope with English weather ever again.
One of the first things we saw as we got to the walkway was a warning sign, dripping with rain water, stating "Slippery When Wet." Hmm, comforting. And the walkways sway. What the hell
kinda sadist designs walkways 40 metres up in the air that fucking sway?? Still, if you're in the area you should check it out although its not as long, high or scary as the Otways Skywalk that me and Kliff did on the Great Ocean Road.
By the time you get down, if you haven't had enough of trees you can check out the Ancient Empire Walk which is just a quick stroll though some more tingle trees. Hey, if tingle trees are all you have you might as well milk it for all it's worth init. They have massive holes in the trunk where they've been rotted by fungus or eaten by creatures and with this in mind we still got in them all for a photo op. Relentless tourists? Us??
And and and! Guess what else you can go and see in Walpole?! No, go on, guess.... The Great Tingle Tree! The biggest tingle tree of them all! Shall I wait awhile while you contain your excitement?
Anyway, it was onwards to Pemberton and a Minimal Fee Site (read: Free If The Ranger Doesn't Catch You Site) at Big Brook Arbetorum with drop toilets (it's advisable to practise Not Breathing if you ever have to use one of these things) a fire pit, a huge stack of wood to burn and a rusty plate that swung over the fire for cooking on. I strongly advise you never to attempt to cook on these things unless you think the rust will add a desirable texture to your fried spuds. We're usually alone in these places but this time there was an older couple on the other side of the site. I'm sure they enjoyed our repeated renditions of London Underground, an expletive filled song about the perils of travelling on the London Underground sung to the tune of The Jam's Going Underground, which had become the anthem for the trip and the power ballads we belted out through the thick blanket of goon that enveloped our brains.
And this is why we free camp as much as possible.