The forest smells of sun-warmed rain. The trees by the track drip with water. It wets my boots and I feel damp leaves against my bare arms. The path winds between twisted, low gum trees. But, this kind of track walking makes me look inwards more than outwards. A dozen ideas, conversations, random stories and thoughts jostle loudly in my head.
It feels both cleansing and annoying to let the internal noise run its wild path as we leave the road behind us and begin climbing towards Nut Lookout. The white sand track becomes mesmerising. I watch my feet and am still only half aware of my surroundings so that Caz has to stop me and bring me to the moment. Look at the view, he says. It ranges across verdant farm paddocks to the coast that stretches eastwards. I search, uselessly, for the exact route of the Bibbubulum Track, and where it will takes us over the next 7 days as we wend our way from our starting point (Conspicuous Beach) all the way to the town of Denmark, about 82km east.
There are track notes for this walk in plenty of obvious places - the reliable and endlessly admirable authors John and Monica Chapman cover this section in their Bushwalking in Australia book. And you can get detailed notes through the Bibbubulum Track website as well as a plethora of other information online and in print.
What you will get here, at awildland, is a combination of the noise in my head and Caz's beautiful images. You'll get the cleansing process that comes with long walks.