28.5.2017 DAY CAN’T REMEMBER.
OMG what a day! I don’t even know if I have the right words for it or how to describe the day!
Let’s start with 6:30 am and I am trying to find my way out of the Weir hotel to the car park where I am meeting people who will be walking in with me. Now the sun isn’t quite up and all the gates are locked! Can’t get out and I’m thinking OK this isn’t a great start to the day. So what does one do? Throw your bad over the fence and climb out after it! Always looking for a challenge and found one, temperature is freezing, can’t see from lack of light and a fence and wall to scale! Oh my I’m not sure if there is security cameras around but if so I think I gave them something to laugh at.
Had a great turn out of wonderful eager people to walk the last day with me. It was incredible to walk that last bit and share it. Thank you to all who came and joined in. We all walked so fast we had to slow down and chill in the bush for a while as I was having the day filmed in sections as well as the event that was organised at the end so we couldn’t arrive too early.
What a great bunch of people. Everyone were so happy and excited to be there and a few times I just stopped and watched and saw some fantastic interactions with people who didn’t know each other before today. This is what it is about. The joy, the sharing and the interaction with nature and each other. I’m so proud to have been able to bring this day together and have it as my final day walk in. What a way to end a brilliant journey.
27.5.2017. DAY 51 or 52 or 53 I think I got the numbers wrong,or I’ve been on the track too long.
It was my last night in the tent and I woke up to a gorgeous morning with the thickest cloud just sitting in the valley. The strangest thing this morning was I could smell fresh bread cooking! We are in an area where there are no houses, shops nothing but I could smell fresh bread! Hedley said he could smell it too! Maybe it was because I forgot to cook my bread last night for my lunch (gotten slack) I maybe had the guilts but doesn’t explain Hedley smelling it. Mmm strange things happen out here.
The walk was quite a push today as we had to walk from Waalegh Campsite past Helena Campsite past Ball Creek Campsite then into the pub at Mundaring Weir. The terrain esp through Chinaman’s Gully is very rough with a lot of up and down. My poor friend Michelle really was pushed hard (sorry girl, love me still) She was a real trooper and got through, I think the temptation of a beer at the end helped. Lari and Hedley walked ahead and met us at the pub. For those unsure the pub is actually on the track that is why I thought it would be the perfect last night stop as well as a good start point for the final day as it is just a smidge under 20 km.
Ran into so many people today on the track including a couple I met down on Mandalay Beach walking with their two adult kids. Then ran into Hikingyarns who I met walking towards Peaceful Bay. I also ran into quite a few others day hiking as well as overnighting. Funny enough I knew so of them.
Got to see my hubby tonight! Hadn’t seen him since Easter in Walpole. That was so long ago so it is so great to be back with him.
Tomorrow I have the Final Walk In and looks to be quite a few joining me. It is going to be so much fun I can’t wait. I feel like a child before Xmas morning.
26.5.2017. DAY 50
I think I suck at counting. I have day 50 but think it is wrong should be more. Oh well not to worry maybe I have just been out here a little too long.
Had a good night at Mt. Dale camp. The night was filled with critters playing around my tent. I really wanted to watch them but I knew if I opened my tent they would all run away so I just listened instead.
Today’s walk was entering into the recent prescribed burn area that I wasn’t sure if was opened but had heard it should be so flicked a message to a friend who gave me the green light. So happy as I did not want to do the diversion.
The walk today was not as burnt out as I was picturing and pleasantly lovely. The weather was good just a little naughty this morning when it decided it would rain before my tent came down so I had a wet tent to pack up.
Lari and Hedley, two gorgeous hiker friends met up with me and my friend Michelle (confusing when we both have the same name) and are walking to the hotel tomorrow as well and joining us for dinner and drinks to celebrate and walking in on the Final Walk In on Sunday. These guys had the fire going, hot water boiling ready and the yummiest Spag Bog and salad for us. Such a great night around the fire chatting track chat. It’s been wonderful.
Today also marked Michelle’s (we will call her #2) completion of the first section of the track. Well done girl just seven more sections to go. Can’t wait to take you on more.
Tonight is my last night in my little tent sadly as tomorrow night I am stopping along the track at the Mundaring Weir hotel before the final walk in to Kalamunda.
It is a bittersweet time as it has been so fantastic but I know all adventures need to end so new ones can come along. I can’t wait to see Mark tomorrow and Sunday see my kids, parents,m and friends as well as all the wonderful people I have met along the way through my planning and walking. It will be a great event and hope if you are reading this you too can come along.
Now I must sleep in my little tent and rest up for the next exciting and final 2 days walk.
25.5.2017. DAY 49
I can not believe how close to the end I am! So excited but really sad as well. This trip has been not only an amazing adventure for me but a wonderful experience in meeting so many fantastic people out here whether they were hikers, track volunteers, day trippers and all the wonderful Track Angels. It really brings home to me the kindness and caring nature we as humans have. Out here I have come across people everyday that I have never met before yet feel a connection with in some way. It is a community feel, one where we are all friends here no matter where we are from, what our background is we just all belong. A feeling that is very hard to describe but very real to feel. To all of you that I have met Thankyou for being a part of my journey in some way. I will hold and cherish every part of this forever.
Now enough sop I might just get too emotional and cry so we won’t do that. Let’s talk Track and today’s walk. The sun came out to play today and it was just delightful. Very very cold to begin with but that was because there was no cloud cover at all.
The best time on the track to me is the mornings. The light shines into the bush giving it the look of a million diamonds glistening off the water droplets that sit on the plants and all the million cobwebs.
So many cobwebs today but lucky not too many crossing the track. Walking through a few low lying wet lands where the plants are low shrubs it opens the landscape right up to see all over with the views of the cobwebs just littering the landscape.
What clever little creatures with their architectural designed webs. Michelle and I played so much in this area taking photos and filming.
We also met another young American going end to end. He said he managed to get lost yesterday by around 10 km. Poor bugger that would not be nice. His track name is Waterboy as he apparently on the diversions ran out of water about 20 km before his next camp.
Met some fun ladies as well that are out for a few days and chatted with them for a bit. Hope to see them Sunday or even Sat night at the Weir Pub.
We stopped at Brookton Camp for lunch. This is one of the new rammed earth shelters that have replaced the ones that have burnt down through fires.
The rest of the day was good but the last 3 km did seem to drag on a bit, (think because I was hungry).
At Mt. Dale camp with my little tent set up and I’m tucked away snug as a bug while writing this and listening to the wildlife outside. An owl came to visit earlier and I hear some kangaroos or wallabies playing just outside of my tent. I did hear an emu a while ago as well as some frogs. Busy night out here in the bush. I hope they keep the racket down I need to sleep.
24.5.2017. DAY 48
Good morning sunshine! Today is going to be a sunny day with the odd cloud or two here in the Monadnocks National Park. With slight winds from the north/west and maybe a chance of a spit or two but over all we will expect a wonderful day.
Yep we did! It was such a pleasant walk today as it was no longer drizzling and the sun was warm when it popped its head out from the clouds.
Played a lot today on the track with filming and the nature all around. It didn’t even feel like we walked at all.
Met a lovely couple who have been slowly making their way over the years on the track in different sections. It is always so good to see people out enjoying the track.
Got to camp early so the domestic chores got done and more play time with cooking. Yummy popcorn for afternoon tea and tonight I fried up some polenta patties on the hot plate over the fire. Really yummy. Then made some small pumpkin bread patties on the hot plate as well. That was our starters and it was so good.
I’m so happy to be in my tent tonight. The shelters are great especially when it is raining and miserable but I am a tent girl and do prefer that. With only a few nights left now to sleep in my tent I really am sad as it has been my home, cocoon, protector of the night and I am so attached to it. I will miss it and setting it up each night but for now I am going to enjoy it. Oh hint for future don’t put your smelly socks in your tent it awful.
23.5.2017. Day 47
A wet night last night and poor Walkingfree got water in the bottom of her tent. No luck poor girl. And the wet weather didn’t pass anytime soon either.
The walk today took us through my absolute favourite section, over Mt. Vincent, Mt. Cuthbert and into Monadnock Campsite. No a bad walk though there are a lot of ups and downs and when you are up the views are truly incredible even in a miserable day like today.
Hello to Mike we passed as we headed up Mt. Vincent and he was on his way home from a day walk. His first walk in this section and hope he comes back to see it again when the weather is in better shape.
Up on the top of Mt. Cuthbert the rain eased enough for us to have our lunch and coffee before it came down again but lucky for us only around 3 km to go before camp.
In my favourite camp and decided to sleep in the shelter as the rain kept drizzling down. I hope tomorrow to be back in my little tent.
22.5.2017. DAY 46
What a freezing cold night! Oh my it would of been one of the coldest yet and poor Walkingfree had no sleeping bag! She survived and with a smile on her face.
Action plan today is to get her a sleeping bag. As soon as we had reception further along the track we called her hubby and got him to drive down with one. This meant leaving the track for a bit then getting back on track to get to camp. Lucky the rain held at bay with only a few times it started to threaten us.
Apart from our small diversion we had a brilliant walk as this section of the track is just so impressive with the granite rocks and views off the hillside. I would have to say the whole section through here is defiantly my favourite and tomorrow my absolute favourite.
Camp was quiet with no other hikers just the two of us. Rhiannon sadly stayed behind at the last camp to have a rest day. Her ankle is really bad and she is struggling to walk. She is a strong determined girl and wants to finish this walk so rest day is important to give her half a chance.
At camp it was time to get the fire on and do some cooking! Walkingfree said this morning she really felt like toasted cheese sandwich. As it happens Rhiannon had a block of cheese in her resupply and asked me if I wanted half as she had way too much food and wanted to lighten her load. I thought why not, I love cheese. Well, I thought all day what Walkingfree wanted and I had some damper mix to make bread with. At camp I made up my dough and added some Italian herbs and cooked up flat bread on the fire tray. When I flipped the bread I added cheese to melt. It was perfect and Walkingfree had her toasted cheese sandwich.
21.5.2017. DAY 45
Wild night with wind and rain and even thunder in the distance and at one point I swear I heard a huge crash. I asked Rhiannon in the morning did she hear that as well and she did but wasn’t sure what it was.
The rain and wind didn’t stop come morning as I left camp and headed up Kimbering Hill. At the top of this hill there is a large granite slab and at that moment I got there the rain stopped and there was a huge rainbow that was so bright the colours were bursting it made all the rain and cold worth it just for that minute.
After that moment it went back to rain and cold so all one can do is walk.
The rest of the walk was diversion sadly as the next section is shut down for prescribed burns. The walk was just on dirt roads till you get to Albany Hwy. This was where I waited for my friend Michelle to get dropped off to walk with me for the last week of the trip.
We get to Nerang camp and set up the tents when Michelle realised she forgot her sleeping bag!
Oh my there was not a lot we could do as there was no phone reception and her hubby had already left. It was a very very cold night so Michelle (aka walkingfree) put every item of clothes on and lucky she packed hot water bottles and put her legs in her backpack and tried to stay warm. Not a good start to her walk but a good story to tell around the campfire.
20.5.2017. DAY 44
Oh boy it is now getting colder as winter is really starting to move in. The day today never really warmed up at all and I would be very surprised if it got over 15°C.
I forgot how beautiful this walk today would be. It was to be a short walk of around 16 km but turned out shorter! Only by a km or so but I was just strolling along having a really wonderful walk when all of a sudden I saw the camp! I actually had a pang of disappointment that the days walk was done, even thinking I should go further only the next section is 27 km as there is a diversion so it would mean just parking my tent somewhere on the track.
The walk from Mt. Wells down to the valley was easy and really quick going and I’m glad I could get a pace up as it was a chance to warm up a bit.
The red tails today were all over the place and squawking so much at me. At least this time they weren’t throwing honky nuts at me as well. The short climb up to White Horse hill was not too bad just a little of a breathe taker but when I stopped to catch my breath I looked out at the views and it was so worth it.
At the very top of the hill is just an awe inspiring granite outcrop with two little ponds up there complete with frogs! The views all around over the escarpment was outstanding and you could see the Boddington mine that I walked past yesterday and could hear all night last night. On the other side you could see all of the hills I’m yet to walk over and I’m sure one of them is my favourite one, Mt. Cuthbert.
The last part was just skirting along the bush with easy walking and many wallabies and birds for entertainment. The next thing I knew I was at camp!
Tomorrow I will be meeting friends Brett and Michelle on the highway that I cross just before camp. This is where I get my final food package and Michelle will walk the last week with me. Something quite funny I found out by chance today is that Rhiannon asked if my dads name is Ross and what was my maiden name because her mums cousin, Ross, has a daughter Michelle who comes out on the track. Well I’m not the Michelle as that is not my dad’s name but it is my friends dad’s name and she is Michelle. So I guess that makes Michelle and Rhiannon second cousins who will meet for the first time at camp tomorrow. Funny.
19.5.2017. DAY 43
What a wet and blowy night thrown in with some thunder and lightning. Lucky my tent kept me very warm and dry. Love my little tent, I have become very attached to it and every day when putting her up I actually get excited to get snuggled up inside.
I was very fortunate that it didn’t rain while I was walking and waited till early evening to do so. Past more hikers today, hello to PALS, three lovely hikers on their end to end heading south. I wish them a very safe journey.
Today was a short walk ending up a Mountain, Mt. Wells to be exact, this is only a small Mt. Actually more like a big hill but here in Western Australia we don’t have very big mountains.
This is another favourite spot of mine as it has nice views, (when it’s not raining) and especially views from the fire tower that sits up here next to the little hut.
The hut was for the Tower men who would sit up the fire tower overlooking the escarpment for any signs of fire. The men could spend weeks or even months up here so the hut was their home. Now the Bibb track walkers have the honour of being able to camp out in the hut and I’m so glad as it gets really cold up here with the wind that just blows so strong.
Had another track angel visit tonight! Jacko from down Denmark way was up this way over the last two days and decided to pay a visit with a hot chook (chicken) and bread rolls, mandarins and Mars bars! Oh Thank you Jacko you are a true angel.
I’m cold and getting to bed before I turn into frosty the snowman.
18.5.2017. DAY 42
Happy 26th wedding anniversary to my hubby! Special day today and I’m missing the bugger. I decided that tonight I will celebrate by making a caramel cake on the camp fire and eat it with custard and stewed fruit. Really yummy, ate it by the glow of the campfire, so romantic.
The walk itself today was just lovely. This strip out to Chardora Camp is quite flat and for the most part walking beside and even on the old Hotham Rail line.
No steam train today but I have on past walks through here experienced the old Hotham steam train in all her glory. I love steam trains and always get excited if I know one is running. I even sat awhile at the Etmilyn Siding platform hoping it would appear but no such luck.
In this section you do walk through a part with the Sydney Blue Gums. I love these trees and how they give the feeling of freedom as the strip themselves of their bark to reveal such a beautifully smooth skin underneath. I felt though there were less of them than I remember last time.
Met quite a few out on the track today. Some just doing sections some heading south on their E2E. They all look fresh, clean, and new. Even though I had a rest day and washed my clothes, showered I still felt more grotty than this lot heading south. I think the grot imbedded into the fibres of my clothes and deep in my skin. Might have to burn the clothes at the end and just sit in a bath for a few hours to soak the skin.
New day tomorrow and heading up to Mt. Wells! Can’t wait this is another of my all time favourite spots.
17.5.2017. DAY 41
Rest day today!!
Nothing to report but back on the track tomorrow
16.5.2017. DAY 40
Rained again over night but I was happy I was back in my tent. I love my tent, it’s my home and is so cosy.
Today it is my sons 21st birthday so as in true tradition I will walk with a balloon on my pack to celebrate his day. Happy Birthday Liam.
While packing up we had another visit by the wallaby that came past last night. Again he knew we were there and he didn’t care.
The walk from Swamp Oak into Dwellingup is quite a lovely walk and also short. The three of us walked together again and although enjoying the walk we were also quite driven to get to town. We had all decided on what we wanted to eat for lunch from the pub, or as the other two were saying the Prancing Pony. They thought we were on a quest. My only quest was Steak sandwich and a pint of beer.
Tonight at the pub we ran into Rhiannon who we weren’t expecting to walk in until tomorrow but due to the diversions she had gotten lost and having lost her compass as well she couldn’t find the track again so without water or phone reception she made her way through the bush drinking river water till she found a road a few days later. This is one of a few stories I heard tonight from some very angry hikers who thankfully made it safely through.
Rest day tomorrow then it’s back on the track and making the final run home.
13.5.2017. DAY 39
The day did not turn out the way I would of imagined at all. The walk itself was fine in fact quite easy. Real shame it was another diversion and I was just informed by another hiker there is another diversion coming up and quite a few more for the rest of the trip. Ok we will breathe….
At camp I hear voices coming not long after I arrived as I was setting up my tent. I look over to the hut and who do I see….Donavon and Alissa from ‘Long ways better!’ Such a wonderful surprise they came out to see me and bought treats! I’m being so spoilt on this trip it is incredible and wonderful to belong to such a great community of hikers.
So what treats is it you ask? Well before I tell you I need to share a small story and I hope that the person in this story is reading this and imagining my sticking my tongue out at him and then laughing.
Few days back on my first diversion I met a Parks and Wildlife guy by the name of Nick. Now Nick thought he was being funning by talking about burgers as he knows I can’t get one till Dwellingup in about 4-5 days later. I told him to stop being mean and don’t say the B word again. As he laughed and walked to his car he kept saying burgers burgers over and over. Horrible boy but hey Nick the last laugh is from me! I had for dinner the most amazing burger with onion, bacon, beef Pattie, fresh salad Ina toasted bun! Washed down with two crisp cold beers! Thanks to ‘Long ways better’.
Now mean while I was meant to meet Clare from ‘Wild Mustard’ here at camp today but she hadn’t shown up. We were concerned but there was not much we could do as there is no reception out here. We figured she might show tomorrow but we’re concerned that with all the diversion around that she might of got confused on which way to go. We hoped she was OK and pushing 9 pm thought we would all just go to bed. That’s when we saw so many torch lights heading through the bush. It was Clare and a small army of rescuers walking her into camp. They saw her walking while they were out 4WDriving and were concerned so asked if they could help her. Eventually finding camp and delivering her here before heading back through the bush to their 4WD’s.
12.5.2017. DAY 38
So still, not a whisper of breeze, so quiet with not even a rustle in the bush or a bird. The low cloud again just lingering around in between the trees. Slight glow in the direction of the sunrise. It is very eerie and so damn cold! Omg my fingers are going to snap off! I can’t find my gloves and have a feeling I left them in the washing machine at Collie and how I need them now!
As eerie as all this sounds I have not once felt scared or in any kind of danger. In fact waking up to this (except feeling cold) I have had a whole sense of adventure running through me. I get excited for each day as it is a new day to explore.
The walk wasn’t overly exciting or anything to really report about but I did notice a lot of Zamias and their brilliant red fruit. This is a favourite of the emus as they have been making a huge mess destroying the the fruit baskets, (not technical name I just call them that) and pooping out the seed that is inside the fruit.
Looks great but still a lot of access to it by dirt road. This usually brings in the pig hunters and others by vehicle which is not encouraged or even allowed. Last time I was here this was a problem as they came with their dogs, alcohol, loud music and you can imagine how it would of been. So far tonight I have not heard anyone and my tent is well away from the shelter so if anyone rocks up they won’t know I’m here. I think the only visitor I might get is an emu or two as there are many of the zamias around my tent.
Lindsey is here as well and I think he might be enjoying the food that I keep making and it has encouraged him to what to get different food items from Dwellingup and perhaps be a little more creative. After popcorn for snack I made falafel and mash patties on the fire, so yummy, then for dinner Shepard’s pie and desert pancake bomb (filled with choc and marshmallow). I gave Lindsey a bag of pancake mix so he could make his own creation and he made picklets. I have now left him playing at the campfire after showing him how he can use the resign from the grass trees to make stuff. He is making a spatula for his next lot of pancakes.
11.5.2017. DAY 37
Oh boy I know I said it yesterday but I’m saying it again, Brrr it’s cold. Probably not quite as cold as yesterday but defiantly cold and to add to the mix it looks cold! There is low cold all around just hanging in the air with not a whisper of movement. Quite eeerie and a little daunting as you have the smell of bush fire lingering as well.
There are quite a number of prescribe burns in the area and today’s walk will be affected by one of these burns. I had got word last night from Mark (Life of Py) about a diversion in place for the next camp, thankfully as I had no idea on it as internet access is so hard out here. The diversion means I wouldn’t be at Yourdamung camp but a temporary campsite instead.
Today regardless of the diversion, which is all part of the experience of walking a long distance track, I had a fantastic day! I finally get to meet ‘Life of Py’ and he spoilt me with some special treats! Oh yeah I got treats! Watermelon, banana, chocolate and a cordial drink! The best, thank you Mark I loved it all! You will be happy to know I also shared with two other hikers who came into camp and I think they were glad they did.
If you don’t know ‘Life of Py’ do get onto his site www.lifeofpy.com as he has some great information on hikes in Western Australia and he also does a lot of group hikes on various trails. These are always fun to do as you get to experience a new trail and meet new people with same interest.
I also got to do an interview with him for the doco as he is also a volunteer for a section of the Bibbulmun track.
Like I said a good day indeed and now the temp has dropped as the sun has disappeared and time for my sleeping bag.
10.5.2017. DAY 36
Brrrr it’s a cold morning out on the track! My fingers were feeling like they might be a little brittle. Good news is if it’s cold and crisp like that first up then it will be a nice warm day later and yep that is exactly how it was.
Leaving a town always feels like a long walk out and today was no exception. Town = food drop = full pack = heavy pack = hard day walking. Not today strangely enough once I felt like I was on the track I found my pace and the day was smooth, didn’t notice how heavy my pack was even though it really was busting at the seams!
Met so many people out on the track today and they were all day hikers! Such a wonderful thing to see people out getting the experience of the track even for a day! Hello to you all (WA Naturalists) and girls who I interviewed, (sorry can’t spell your names), thank you I looked at the footage and you are both gorgeous.
Some of the sections I walked through today again was just bursting with life! Fire at one point had gone through, not sure when or if was a controlled burn, but the regrowth was just so beautiful and vibrant with life. This I felt was what helped my walk today as I really felt like I had so much energy and was bouncing along, even with the sore ankle and hip. Funny enough I get to camp and Lindsey, guy I caught up with that I was behind since Walpole, said he felt the same thing. A fascinating thing and I think of the scientific research that has been done on nature and the feeling it gives people I believe there must be something to it. Either way I feel great so that’s all that matters.
Lindsey had a fire on when I walked in so I got to make some yummy bread to have with my spaghetti bolognese the I decided to make some bread to have with my soup at lunch tomorrow. I mixed in some vine ripened tomato soup mix into the bread and it looked and smelt amazing. Hope I don’t get the munchies during the night.
9.5.2017. DAY 35
Far better sleep this time, no fighting with the ground or mattress. Had rain overnight but I was toastie and dry.
The walk into Collie was much prettier than I remembered from last time going through. I remember it being very brown and dry, this time it was quite lush.
Still been yelled at by the Cockatoos and saw one roo and one wallaby. The highlight was this tiny little grey bird with a tail that fans out. He was so incredibly friendly and was just darting around me making me stop to talk to him. He let me film him with my camera and even flew up to me but not in an aggressive way like he was telling to go. It was like he wanted to play and he sung a gorgeous song for me. When I caught up to Deb she said the same thing happened to her. Love it.
I had so much fun with Deb. We walk alike and find amusement in the small things, like watching an ant with a crumb, that is way to big for him, negotiate his way back home but kept falling over as the load was too heavy for him.
Collie for the night which means shower! Clean clothes! and a food refill. I swear lately my clothes were about to just take off on their own they are so bad! Maybe that is why there are less animals.
8.5.2017. DAY 34
A shitty nights sleep. How I even thought my tent spot was flat I’m not sure. The night was me fighting to stay on my mattress. It was tilted to the side and down, so I was climbing up and sideways and too lazy to move my tent cause it was cold outside. Serves me right.
The terrain has been changing a lot lately. I’m noticing new types of plants as well. The other thing is the animals like the Roos are so skittish up this end. In the southern end I would see the Roos and they would just pop their heads up and check you out and go back to what they were doing. Not really bothered by you at all. Up here the Roos etc see or hear you and they are off like a bat out of hell.
My friend Deb has join me part way into today and will stay out the night then walk me into Collie before leaving me. It’s great as she has just spoilt me rotten. First she made me a yummy chicken salad wrap and gave a cucumber a tomato and a mandarin. So spoilt. But wait……there is more!……….. at camp I was about to make a coffee when she said I have another surprise for you. I love surprises and she pulled out icy cold beer cans she carted all day, olives, crackers and cheese. Amazing girl she is. I was walking earlier behind her wondering why her pack was so big, for an experienced hiker I thought that’s a lot for overnight and she didn’t have her tent as she was staying in the shelter.
We had lunch looking out over the Glen Mervin dam. Then the track takes you through all the camp grounds before heading back into the bush. Last time I came through this section it was a long weekend and packed with people, tents, camper vans and more. This time it was just packed with the rubbish and toilet paper, even a nappy that people are just too lazy to cart out. And these people are in vehicles not walking! You cart it in you cart it out. Clearly they expect others to clean up after them. It was disgusting.
Collie tomorrow just for the night before continuing.
7.5.2017. DAY 33
Bit slow at leaving camp this morning, not because it was cold but because I was just slow. The walk itself was nothing terribly inspiring but not horrible either.
I am finding the hills in this section to be quite OK to walk up and down as it is more long rolling hills and not sharp up and down. Such a pleasant relief after the roller-coaster section.
The weather on this whole trip has been really good with not a lot of rain at all, even rather warm today, but now I said that you watch it will change and it will just rain.
Saw 2 kangaroos, 1 wallaby, countless lizards and loads of birds. At lot of the birds where the Black Red Tailed Cockatoos and they were giving be a real telling off for being their territory. At one point they’re where bombing me with honkey nuts! So rude, and to think they are my favourite bird! Mmm might have to change that I think.
Past a hiker, Leonnie, heading the opposite way. She is doing her end to end in sections and this was her first time doing any alone. Well done Leonnie and happy trails for the rest.
Quiet night only Rhiannon and myself at camp early bed I am to get a wiggle on in the morning as I’m meeting the next hiker that will be joining me. Deb who is a keen Bibb track hiker and many other walks is going to come visit me for 2 days and 1 night can’t wait.
6.5.2017. DAY 32
Rest time over and it’s back to the track. My body yelled at me today! It was ‘What the hell? I thought we had finished!’
Well hate to break it to you body you still have a way to go.
Leaving Balingup is always so cold in the mornings but very pretty. The walk to Grimwade camp was nothing too demanding which is good after a rest day.
So quiet on the track. Only me, the birds, one roo, and one other hiker, Paul, going the other way. I know there was an emu around as I heard him as well as I saw his fresh poop. Funny enough as I’m writing this I’m hearing some loud noises in the bush behind so I stopped and waited and sure enough an emu! Wonder if it’s the same guy.
Got to camp to find the girl, Rhiannon, who I have been following behind since Albany was here. She was feeling a bit unwell today so decided to have an extra day in camp. Was hoping I would eventually catch up with her but wasn’t sure. She is only a young girl of 26 and I think she has been doing remarkable.
When you are on a long trail like this it is amazing how you come to know people who are walking the track even if you may never meet. At every shelter there is a log book that one needs to fill in with you name, age, where you are from, where you started and how far are you going as well as are you staying overnight and how long will you be on the track. Then there is the trail book where you just write whatever you choose. Some write about their day, some about their life, some write poems or stories and some will write messages for people they know are coming along behind them. Reading this at camp sometimes can be really entertaining, other times not so much but it does give you a small insight to the people in front.
Tonight I am just chilling and going to enjoy the wonderful sun while it lasts, eat popcorn, bake a cake and sleep.
5.5.2017. DAY 31
Balingup and my day off.
I have had a really wonderful and restful day today. Woke up later than normal and crawled out of bed to be told off and sent back to bed with a cuppa. It was so wonderful to just take it slow.
Spent time with Helen and Rae before Helen was on the bus to get back to Perth and fly home to her family. I’m sad she had to leave and especially for the reasons she did. I send all my love to her family at this time.
4.5.2017. DAY 30
Day 30! Already! Wow some days it feels like I have just started and other days I think back at all I have seen and done and it’s like I have been out on the track forever. I will say so far this has been the most incredible journey and I have enjoyed it thoroughly but I will confess there are times, like any journey, you feel low and not sure how much you can handle.
I had my low when going through the roller-coaster section. Not having anyone with me at that point and running low on energy as well as my body hurting. I would look at the next hill the track was throwing at me and just sinking within, questioning myself and my capabilities. What the hell does one do? No one around, no outside contact! Just you and the track! I know everyone who does any kind of journey that would challenge them comes up with this from time to time. I know because I have on prior trips. So what do you do?
This is where I stop. Stop and breathe and dig deep within myself. I would take a moment and just sit, make my coffee (have a cry) and look at my life and all I have done from the moment I was born and tell myself that every time challenge is thrown at me I have managed to get through it and this is no different. I will get through and conquer this challenge one way or another. Then I tell myself to get my fat butt off the ground and move as there is only one way forward and I’m the only one that can get myself there.
So to all of you when times are tough or scary it’s OK to have a moment of being down. Recognise and allow it but know we as humans are capable to conquer challengers that life throws at us, just stop for a moment, accept the feeling then remember all you have learnt and done since birth and how amazing you are, then pick yourself up and move forward.
Enough of that now and let’s get back to the track and the journey and more importantly the Navy boys! These guys are being lead by a super funny leader, Glenn, who has coordinated the trip as a relay to raise funds for the Bibbulmun track Foundation. He is walking the whole way and his guys are doing sections with him ending on the 4 June in Albany. So fantastic to see them out there and most have never stepped foot on the track till now and I can almost guarantee this won’t be the last time some of them will be on the track. Well done guys.
Today we woke to a beautiful morning and a walk of around 18 km to get to Balingup. I’m excited to get there not just because I am having a rest day but I want one of those yummy sausage rolls the Bakehouse Cafe have. Food is always a great motivated to get me walking.
This will sadly be my last day with Helen and Rae walking as they must leave the track. Helen has had a passing in her family back home in Melbourne and must fly home to be with them. I’m going to really miss you two and Helen the track is always going to be here and I will walk on it with you again soon. Love and strength to you and your family.
The walk took us through more farmland and some back country roads before we entered into the gorgeous Golden Valley tree Park. I love this park and was really glad I could bring the girls through during autumn when the leaves are turning in all their glory of colour. Such a lovely way to end the walk.
On another sad note the Bakehouse Cafe was closed! So no sausage roll! Disappointed to no end but staying in a gorgeous cottage and it has a bath! Tonight we are hitting the town (well the pub at the next town) to celebrate life!!
3.5.2017. DAY 29
Met a guy named Brian at our campsite last night and he is going the opposite direction. He told us we should pass some navy guys going the opposite direction to us and that its mainly down hill tomorrow except the final 1.5 km, this is known as Cardiac Hill.
Well Brian you told us porky pies it wasn’t mainly down hill at all cheeky bugger, it wasn’t too bad either, but not down hill.
The landscape is certainly changing. Today we walked through a lot of burnt out areas which some are more recent burns than others. The regrowth of the plants in these areas are actually quite stunning with the black trees and the vibrant green foliage.
We also started to enter farmlands now, cow paddocks to be more precise, and yes I still not too keen on the cows and me being in the same paddock. I am however much better at it, or maybe quicker at getting out of the paddock.
Cardiac Hill, this had been a topic of conversation today as we knew it was to be the last 1.5 km push to camp. Of cause the other topic was crossing paths with the Navy boys and maybe they will carry our bags up the cardiac hill for us. Well we never past the navy boys so we came to the conclusion that we will have to carry our own bags up. Bummer! There had been much talk in the books at camp as well as amongst other hikers about how much of a killer this would be but we all got up it quite well. Just as I reach near the top there was a guy standing there with binoculars looking out. Wasn’t too sure if he could see me at first then I pretended I needed help up the last bit for maybe to get a little sympathy and he would offer to take my bag for me. Nope, no fat chance! All I got was ‘do you want some help? I will carry your sticks for you’ I knew then we have met the Navy Boys! So much for being a gentleman!
He did however walk me to camp which was Blackwood camp. This is on top of a very open, barren hill and the wind was just ripping through. At camp however there were 6 Navy guys! Well I think the girls will be pleasantly surprised when they get up the hill and see what is waiting at the top.
As it was just so windy I went back over the side of the hill and pitched my tent and left the two girls with the Navy boys! Not sure if a good idea or not and I do hope they behave and not party all night as we have a walk to Balingup tomorrow, I have an urge for a sausage roll from the Bakehouse Cafe.
2.5.2017. DAY 28
Last night was great! I had my mum and dad pop over to Donnelly River to have dinner with me, had Rae and Helen join me, had a very yummy steak and chocolate mud cake and slept like a baby.
Around halfway we stopped to have lunch and we ran into a production team who were out filming a guy who is doing the Munda Biddi trail (1080 km off road bike trail) in 4 days! Young boy of around 22 yrs old. They were waiting for him to come past so they could film him but in the mean time they were taking photos of us and keen to know what we were doing. Felt like a celebrity as the where making me pose with my backpack. It was great fun.
Now I’m in the Blackwood area of the track and it is very noticeable the changes in the scenery with the dirt and the foliage. Starting to see some jarrah trees as well and more grass trees. Still a lot of old rail formations and even still evidence of the old tracks with the railway sleepers every so often visible under foot as well as finding some of the old metal rail pegs!
Was great to get to camp as always and settle in. Rae made a wonderful fire to sit around though we were all tired and kept looking at the time to see if we could go to bed. Interesting thing we saw tonight and that was the moon was red! We couldn’t work out why and think maybe a part luna eclipse. We will google it when we finally get some reception. I have lost count of how many days I have not had it and when it does come in it is so faint that you can’t even make a call. Maybe tomorrow I can post some of my story to you all.
1.5.2017 DAY 27
It was freezing this morning at Tom Rd camp and to make it worse my boots were still wet so my toes were like icicles. The only way to warm up was to walk and walk fast.
Luckily today was a short walk and a very easy one at that into Donnelly River. I had on my mind today I wanted a meat pie! That’s Drew’s fault, the young guy I met at Beedelup camp. He talked of how he had a meat pie going past the Karri resort and since then that was what I wanted and believe me the pies here are amazing. Steak and ale pie with flakey pastry washed down with a crisp ginger beer. Happy girl.
My mum and dad said they’re going to pop over here later as it is only an hour drive from their place and today I am also meeting up with the next two ladies coming out for a week on the track. All exciting but first I need to clean my clothes. I smell.
Donnelly River Village is such a special place along the track, it is a historical mill town that takes one back in time. You feel like you step back the the 50’s when you walk through in looking at the buildings and the General store. The other thing is the emus and kangaroos that live in the village. They are everywhere and super cute. No one lives permanently except the handful of workers in this village it is purely a holiday spot.
30.4.2017. DAY 26
Today is the day I pass the halfway mark from Albany to Kalamunda! This is so exciting to of come this far.
From Boardinghouse campsite the half way marker is just under 9 km so leading up to it I tried to think back to day one and all that I had done and seen leading up to today and just can’t believe it. There as been so much in the past 26 days and I have met some fantastic people along the way. Seen loads of snakes as well as other critters, walked through such a vast terrain from cliff tops, sand dunes, huge ancient forests and now starting into some farmland. It feels like I have had months of adventure rolled into one.
The walk today was wet, wet, wet! Yesterday was so warm, skies were really clear and birds singing only the black cockatoos were squawking. That usually means rain and I looked up at them and went nope. Not happening. Guess they were right and I was wrong.
Not only did I wake to rain but also to a little critter waiting at my door. A little scorpion.
Here alone again and tomorrow I have a shorter day (so glad) as I head into Donnelly River Village (DRV for short). This is where I am meeting two ladies who are going to have a walk with me for a week, Rae and Helen. I’m super excited to have them join me and Helen has flown over from Melbourne to do so.
29.4.2017. DAY 25
I’m sitting here at Boardinghouse Campsite and it’s just going on 5:30 pm. No one else is here yet so I’m thinking I might just be here on my own.
The section today they call the roller-coaster and yes it was a bit like that especially in the 1st half. I’m not sure whether the ups or the downs are worse. A one point going up I was face to face with the dirt! Not because I fell but it was steep. Going down you are dealing with so much loose foliage and hiding underneath are the wretched honkey nuts! They are like walking on marbles, you know like in the cartoons when the bad guy gets caught trying to walk on marbles and his arms and legs go every where! Just like that.
There was a bridge named Wirraway bridge I had to cross. This bridge is actually a felled Karri tree that has been adapted for the walkers by putting railing on. I was a brave girl crossing it but wasn’t too keen on the steep climb on the other side.
I was reading through the Bibbulmun magazine that is often left in the box at camp and this one is the latest issue and guess who’s in it! Me! There is an article on my fundraiser, documentary and final day walk in! So so cool.
I think it is Spaghetti time and bed it’s a longer walk tomorrow and I’m keen to get going early.
28.4.2017. DAY 24
Slept terrible and felt so sluggish today. Every hill felt like a mountain and I just wanted to get to the top and have a nap.
In the first few km of my day I did come across Beedelup Falls. This was a pleasant surprise even though I knew that they were coming up I didn’t realise how lovely the walk through there would be. It is all board walked around and a there is a walkway over the falls. There is also a large lake in which the Karri Valley Resort sits beside.
For the next part I struggled not because it was hard I’m just tired and my ankle and hip are giving me grief. Time to pull out the strong pain killers tonight I think. It would be so nice (really really nice) if my Physio did track visits (😜😜😜) enough moaning I am actually doing well just a sluggish day. Tomorrow is a new day, new sights to see, new hills to climb and new ones to slide down. Today I had a slippery slide down a very steep hill. I actually have it on Go-pro and when I stopped sliding I sat there and just laughed. I have to try and be more careful with those honky nuts or should I say ankle twisters.
Met two guys in the afternoon around 2 pm they both past me going the opposite direction and were double hutting it. They both still had around 18 km to go and already done around 22. Mad buggers. One said he sometimes triple huts. He usually gets in to camp every day around 5:30 pm. I asked why and he said because he hates getting into the camps too early and gets bored. He also said he people are all talking about how beautiful the trees and everything is and he doesn’t care much for the scenery it’s not that interesting to him. The funny or should I say I find strange is that he is not alone on those thoughts out here. I have come across both men and women who have told me the same thing. They really just want to get from one end to the other, and I guess that is what they enjoy doing.
Met a lovely lady at camp tonight, Sue, she is 69 and from Sydney. This will be her 2nd end to end. The 1st was with her husband in ’09 and sadly he had health issues and had tonne air lifted. He is her support vehicle this time and is driving along with a caravan and meeting her every now and then. She is now over 1/2 way to Albany.
I’m now going to sleep to the chorus of frogs at this camp, they are in full orchestra mode.
27.4.2017. DAY 23
Last night I got a room at the hotel and have to say I am glad I did. It was really wonderful to be able to treat yourself to a bit of luxury. I wanted to hug the water in the shower and not let go! The toilet flushed and no need for squatting! I had a kettle to boil water for my tea. A fridge I put my breakfast in for the next day, a queen sized bed that had an amazing mattress I really struggled to leave in the morning. Its not that any of this stuff is extra fancy it’s just the small things you don’t really tend to appreciate until they are not there.
I still took my time by sitting and enjoying my surrounds and having long breaks making my coffee and watching the nature go by. In this case on one break I was sitting on the side of a hwy as the track on each side was very shrubby and I am not keen on arking up the cooker with that much dry leaves etc around. I watched all the cars go past (whole 14 of them) while sitting with my Vegemite crackers and coffee. I wonder what the people thought when they whizz on by with this middle aged woman sitting on the side of the road in the middle of no where with her backpack and cooker having a coffee.
The walk itself was quite a nice one though there were some parts where again lack of signage made it hard to work out where or what track to take. Lucky I can read a map, I hear from people at camp getting lost on some sections and I really hope I don’t (have never in all the time I go on the Bibb but I think maybe that might be because I do keep my eyes peeled all the time, I also stop the moment I feel or realise I haven’t seen a sign in a while and I always listen to my gut. The other thing is I read the map and not rely on the notes which can at times be confusing if not terribly clear.
Here is hoping I don’t get lost tomorrow now I have said that. I will let you know.
Met a really lovely lady and her son today. Silvia and Ollie. They are travelling with her hubby (his dad) and older sister/daughter. Ollie said he is 4 and his sister is 6 so she has to do school work but he doesn’t, so cute. It is always such a delight to meet people and see their smiles and talk with them.
At camp I am sharing with a young guy, Drew. He is doing end to end and started in Kalamunda so he is just over 1/2 way. What a great young man he is with so much maturity in his self awareness. He will do well in life and I really do wish him all the best and many many more adventures to come.
There were 3 people behind him but they didn’t make camp and don’t have a tent either. Drew was saying they left before him but he pasted them around 9am and they have been struggling. There is a resort a few km back down the track, it’s off track a bit but I’m hoping they chose to go there. I will probably see them in the morning.
Right now it is freezing cold and I need my sleeping bag.
26.4.2017 DAY 22
Well that was an interesting night to experience. Can’t say I enjoyed the night sadly and I’m sure there would be not much chance the family that were there did either. I know the kids didn’t as they screamed and cried most the night. They must of been very cold. Poor babies.
A long walk into Pemberton and a very pretty one, for the most part it goes along old rail sidings and quite a wide track. Saw another Tiger snake again and a few Roos. Loads of birds dancing around on the track in front of me again.
Walked up to the Gloucester Tree but I didn’t climb it, I am not that brave.
Pemberton as a town is lovely and when I walked in I ran into Richard from the other night out at camp. We ended up having dinner together and it was good to see he is doing well. He plans to get back on the track Saturday so I wish him all the best for a comfortable walk.
25.4.2017. DAY 21
It was freezing last night! So so so cold and really hard to crawl out of bed. When I did finally get up the dam had this smokey fog over it. Very eerie.
Richard was long gone when I got up, hope he made his bus.
The walk today was very much up, down and more up and down. Really beautiful country I walked through with some areas regrowth from logging back in 1938 and 1942.
Eating my bread I made the night before with Vegemite and a fresh brew of coffee while overlooking the pools and hearing the running water as it falls over the rocks. This is heaven. Where did you all have lunch today?
Just on sunset there were 2 adults and 2 babies arrive in camp. The babies are cute and 2 and 8 months. Sadly they are not happy babies and screaming. I think it is going to be a long night. Just as well I have a full belly (tuna patties on the campfire with rice and veg) and I’m tired.
24.4.2017. DAY 20
Back on my own today until the 1st May when the next few people will join me on this wonderful track. I really enjoyed sharing my time with Silke and Margy, they were real troopers and a load of fun. I have felt a sense of something missing today.
The walk out of Northcliffe to Schafer campsite is such a great walk. This is a section that would be wonderful to bring your kids. It’s only a 14.5 km walk, easy and so beautiful with the mix of forest and farmland.
I saw a large flock (not sure if that’s the right word but will check later) of Emus. For those international readers they are a large flightless Australian bird, looks similar to the ostrich but smaller. There would of been more than 20 I’m sure. Tried to film them but they were on the other side of the paddock so hard to see.
Met lots of cows as well. Not only did I meet the mommy cows but also so many calfs. They were hilarious and certainly entertained me as I walked alongside the paddock. They were bellowing so loud at me and running from all over to meet me at the fence. One even looked like a lamb by the way it bounced across the paddock.
Birds galore today, tiny little green ones darting in front of me on the track and also some blue ones. The kookaburras were laughing loud as well but every time I turned on my camera to get the sound they would stop! Cheeky buggers.
I arrived early at camp which I was glad for as Schafer camp is sitting right next to a dam. There is access to it for a swim even though it is a private dam the farmer has section a part off for swimming. So you know what I did! Yep stripped off and hoped right in and OMG it was freezing!!! The French guy who is a few days ahead of me wrote in the register book the water was warm! Well let me tell you he lied!
6 pm and no one here. I have camp to myself tonight by the looks of it. Two ladies running the track came by and said hi. They remember me from the visitors centre.
Tonight I made the campfire so I could cook bread for tomorrow’s lunch and made small bread patties to have with my bolognese and tortellini then finished off with fresh plunger coffee and pancakes with jam. Feeling very full.
About 7 pm I’m just finishing my cup of coffee thinking that curling up in my tent might be a good idea as it is getting a bit cold when I looked up and saw a torchlight bobbing along through the bushes. As it got closer I sung out welcome to the stranger and no reply. It got closer so I waited a bit more before singing out again still no reply. Then the light was almost on camp and I saw it was an older man hobbling into camp. He looked shattered, barely able to speak he looked up and said hello then sat in the hut with a thud as his pack hit the ground. He had a shocking day of around 11 hrs walking and had fallen a few times. The poor guys looked in pain. We chattered and he had some food while telling me of his journey. Richard is from Melbourne and has been trying to do the track in sections for the last year and really hopes to finish it this time as he doesn’t feel he can do this for much longer. Watching him I’m not sure if he will be able to continue to the end. The sand dunes will be too hard for him I feel, I hope he does though. Gave him some muscle ointment to help relieve his pain and hopefully he can get a good night sleep though he said he will be leaving around 3 in the morning as he needs to catch a bus back to Pemberton for a rest before he continues and the bus leaves Northcliffe at 10am. I don’t think he will make the bus.
Happy trails safe trails to him.
23.4.2017 DAY 19
It’s my Birthday!
So excited and I as I always do I have balloons on my pack for the whole day. I woke early as today also meant a town =shower = real food (not dehydrated) = beer = clean clothes! This is everything a girl could possibly want.
Since leaving Walpole with Silke and Margy we have been almost the whole time without connection to the real world. No coverage for the most part only in the first few days then it would just drop out. I do find this refreshing at times as you really are removed and in nature.
They walk itself today was one that was OK but have to say not eventful in anyway. I think because we knew town was close and we just all wanted to get there. I didn’t know these girls could move so fast! They were very excited to get her and so was I.
Today is their last day on the track with me as they are heading home and I will continue along the way. It has been a really fun time with them and they have been really good sports with the track even when it was exhausting they still smiled.
Meanwhile this little girl needs sleep with a full belly and a fun day I’m shattered.
22.4.2017. DAY 18
Can’t believe I have nearly finished another section! Not far off Northcliffe where I can have a shower, beer, wash my clothes! Oh and boy do my clothes need washing! I swear they are about to walk off my body in disgust!
Rained today or should I say drizzled. You know that annoying rain that isn’t really raining but you should wear your rain gear but you sweat more in the rain gear than if you don’t wear it!
The trail today became quite sandy again but no where near as much as the sand dunes luckily and it really was a mere 17 km so early arrival. Did get quite a growling from some wild boars today. I think we must of been in their territory.
Going back to Tuesday I ran into fellow hikers, Belinda and Theo and they had made me an angel package for my trip. They said they hid it at Gardener Campsite as it was a bit heavy to carry and gave me directions to it. Today I did my little treasure hunt and found a huge parcel of stuff for me! So very lovely of them, there were tea, coffee, snack bars, popcorn, prunes, custard and fruit, and choc lollies, dehydrated food packs, candles, and more. Thanks guys a lot for me to carry though so I did have to donate some to other hikers behind me but the thought was wonderful.
This is the last night sadly I am with the two funny, beautiful girls, Margy and Silke. They joined me for a while to get a feel and experience what walking on the Bibbulmun is like. They have had a wonderful time and I know it is an experience they will always remember.
I have really enjoyed spending time with them and getting the chance to share with them this wonderful track. Thanks girls I will miss the funny chatter and company we made a great hiking team. We share our last camp night playing an amusing game of Christmas charades.
21.4.2017 DAY 17
After such a wonderful day yesterday and arriving at a wonderful Campsite and having a campfire and all night my sleep was crap! Even the girls said their sleep was crap! Shame as we have a long walk today to the next campsite and poor Silke has been suffering with a bad big toe and a heal blister.
Flat walk and the boring unsheltered bit was first up in the cool of the morning.
Ran into ‘Pack Animal’ (trail name) heading the opposite direction. He was scooting at a fair whip of a pace so much so I reckon he would of done the 26 km before 9:30 am. No idea what time he started but we had only gone 5.6 km’s.
Met another great group of hikers out doing Northcliffe to Walpole but in day hikes and staying at the Northcliffe hotel. Was so good to see a variety of walkers in ages and nationalities. Then we met A young lad of 20 yrs old doing the second half of the track from Donnelly River to Albany. I love to see the young out there giving it a go. We decided, its our motherly instincts, to ask has he enough food and gave him a few extra treats to have. We told him to let us know when he arrives in Albany so if you are Mr reading this do so and safe journey.
Now the walk it’s self today was long and why oh why is it that the last few km’s always drag out forever! I swear I would never reach camp and for the last 3-4 km no signage so you start to question whether you missed a turn.
Again hut to ourselves, though we are all in our own tents.
The views of the lake are so beautiful and I heard the sunrise is amazing so hope to be up early taking photos, providing it’s not raining. We were told today some really bad weather is on its way. We have not any idea as we have not had reception for quite a number of days but it’s been very moist in the air and there were some Black Cockatoos squawking earlier.
20.4.2017. DAY 16
Mt. Chance was a nice Campsite but it is the long walk up off the track that seemed to take for ever! Maybe because it was such a very very humid day and the heat just zapped us all.
Up and off this morning and all feeling good for a great day walk. Around the same distance but the first 1/3 is through the wetland plains then the rest on forest service tracks so very flat straight walking, long but flat.
I hate bashing the spider webs down as some are quite the work of art but after wearing a few webs, sorry spiders, it’s fair game.
Arriving at Dog Pool, name of came, I was blown away by how wonderful it is! The camp had been burnt down during fires sometime back and now is this glorious rammed earth shelter and the toilet block! Omg I felt like the queen!
The Shannon river flows (really flows) pass the front of this shelter and even has a few pools (named Dog Pools) with little water fall flowing into them. This is any hikers paradise and you know it took me no time at all to go freshen up and play in the water!
This camp also is the first Campsite I have come to with a fire pit so that means from now on there should be fire pits at each camp! I was so excited that I cooked bread for my lunch tomorrow (and it’s in my tent right now smelling amazing, control Michelle, control) and I cooked a sticky date cake!
I am feeling so happy right now and excited for each days journey because even though I have the plan and know where I’m going to everyday, I have no idea what will happen along the way.
Now sleep (still smelling fresh bread, control.) we have a big walk tomorrow to Lake Maringup
This camp is supposed to be even more amazing. Can’t wait.
19.4.2017. DAY 15
Woolbales is a really nice Campsite to stay at. We (Margy, Silke and myself) had it to ourselves which surprised me after having people at all the sites since leaving and the last two since the girls joined me no one.
Not much of a exciting day though we did see a emu, well at least Silke and I did, poor Margy is watching her feet. This girl has have 3 falls now and yet she brushes them off and continues on still smiling. At least she didn’t snake dance with the slippery critters today.
I’m sitting here in my tent (girls are up near the shelter) listening to the critters outside trying to figure out what they are. I have identified at least 5 different sounds but stuffed if I know what they are. One is a bird that much I know.
There is a lovely man at this site tonight, hi Kirk, he is in the hut so I guess he will look after the girls tonight. I think he has found us to be quite amusing and we have made his night interesting to say the least.
Campfire at tomorrow’s hut finally and I’m looking forward to it so I can stop cooking bread and cakes in my cooker and do them in the hot coals. Promised the girls damper and pancake bombs tomorrow.
So relaxing out here listening to nature and now I need to sleep.
Dog pool Campsite tomorrow and maybe a play in the river.
18.4.2017 DAY 14
Today is my daughters birthday! Happy Birthday beautiful Paige! I woke so excited that its her 23rd Birthday and blew up a balloon and tied it to my pack for the whole day.
This day is also the day I can say goodbye to the sand dunes! Can’t say I will miss you, started of fun and of course who would not love the incredible coast line, but enough now I want the bush land and hard ground.
Walking past Mandalay Beach and reading the signs of the ship wreck back in 1911 of the Mandalay was very moving. Could not even imagine what the 13 survivors (could be 11) went through. No sign of the wreck today as it was high tide and extremely rough seas.
The girls are doing really well and hats off to them for their upbeat attitude as I know they are in pain and it’s not easy especially if you have not done this type of hiking before. Margy said at lunch in a quite frank kind of way ‘I think I can smell myself and it’s not nice’ I had a chuckle, you will get use to it girl. Day 3 for them tomorrow and I was happy to tell them it’s all flat walking, no sand dunes, all the way to Northcliffe where we will get a shower, beer, and a real bed!
Also ran into going the opposite direction the gorgeous Keira and her hubby. Such a great couple and it was really something else to see them. I’m even more excited as I have a treasure hunt coming up they set up for me to find my goodies! They do know me well and how my I love to play.
17.4.2017. DAY 13
To have a rest day and share it with your man is such a wonderful thing. We had a really fantastic time together but now it might be some time before we will get that chance again.
Today I had to giggling excited girls start their adventure on the Bibb with me. Their enthusiasm is so great to see and to feel.
They were in for a bit of a trek today and quite a diverse one as we were first in the tall trees and forest the the track changed into sand as once again I find myself going up over sand dunes. So far the sand dunes are not a hard going as earlier but have at least 1/2 a day more of them as well as a bit of a beach walk.
We had close encounters with a few snakes today and Margy got to do her first snake dance as one was very much caught up between her feet.
The girls giggling and excitement did start to fade as the day wore on and the feet, back and bodies tired. Was a real relief to see the campsite sign only to have to walk 500 metres more off a spur trail to get to it.
I have to say I have found it quite amusing and in a good way to see these two completely new people to this kind of hiking and camping and how they are dealing with it and watching their eyes light up at the small wonders and new discoveries.
As I’m sitting here writing I can here in the distance the snoring coming from two very very exhausted girls.
16.4.2017 DAY 12
Walpole and it’s my day off from walking also it’s Easter Sunday.
So stay tuned to hear of some more adventures of the track.
15.4.2017. DAY 11
What an amazing time at Frankland Campsite. As it is Easter there are more people on the track enjoying themselves and the beauty of the track.
This campsite is right alongside the river and I could hear it flowing from my tent. I also heard the sounds of rustling in the shrubs all night from the resident water rats.
Woke so early and excited to get a wiggle on as today is the day I get to Walpole and guess who will be there! The other half of two by two Mark! I am having a day off the track tomorrow on Easter Sunday and spending the day with him.
Not such a long walk today and the terrain quite an easy one to negotiate. Walking through the incredible tingle and Karri forest has such a powerful feel for me. I feel small but safe around these massive Giants. Each tree has its own beauty and character about it. Many little birds darting across my pathway almost like they are showing me the way through.
The track takes you to the where the tingle tree walk is. I remember as a child coming here and parking our car inside the tree for the almost compulsory photo that one would take in the 70’s.
As I got closer to Walpole I found my pace quickened and was thinking about my domestic duties of washing my clothes, having a shower, picking up my food drop (thanks Justin T) and sorting it all out before Mark arrived.
We are lucky to have a place to stay quite a way out of town but worth the drive (thankfully not the walk) and has the best steak and salad for dinner.
Tomorrow I will be resting and eating all the Easter eggs I can muster then have some exciting news. Tomorrow is also when two beautiful ladies are bussing down to join me on the track for a while. They both have never experienced the track before and I am really excited to share some of this incredible journey. As the trip unfolds I will be sharing some more sections with other beautiful people including one who is flying all the way from Melbourne. This is such a joy for me as sharing this track is what it is all about.
Happy Easter to you all.
14.4.2017. DAY 10
What I love about life is that everyday to me is an adventure and an exciting surprises on how it will turn out. I’m not just referring to being on an adventure like the one I’m on now, just referring to life in general if you let it be.
Today’s exciting surprise revealed itself in an unexpected way. But before I tell you let me share some of my adventure in the forest.
I slept at Giants Campsite, named for the fact it’s in the valley of the Giants. For those who are not sure what that is, it refers to the giant tingle and Karri trees in the Walpole-Nornalup National park.
The trees are just massive and ever so beautiful. The tall tingles look like they are wearing skirts but when you walk around them you often see it’s hollowed out like a cave. They reach so high up into the sky making you feel so small.
Today’s walk was just a short 15 km which my body and feet were very grateful for. I had time to play and explore with nature, seeing lots of tiny birds darting around, one even showing me the way down the track for a bit. Lots of toadstools and little mushrooms which made it feel like fairyland.
With about 3 km to go and around lunch time I arrived at a bridge called Sappers Bridge that goes over the Frankland River. As I was in no hurry I decided to stop here and have lunch before the final push. Such a beautiful spot with the river rushing along under the bridge.
Now for the exciting surprise for today, as I was taking photos I lady approached me asking was I hiking? When I arrived I saw her 4WD parked to the side but didn’t see anyone at first. I told her I was walking the Bibb and heading to Frankland River Campsite. She was thrilled to hear that as she was about to walk to the campsite after eating lunch where she will join her husband and friend. They were walking from the other direction into camp. She then turn towards me and asked ‘Do you want lunch?’ I said um yeah I was about to have something. She said can I make you a salad wrap with hummus? I was thinking mmm I have plain tuna for my lunch or what she is offering. ‘ Hell yeah!’ and to top it off she gave me a cold ginger beer! (Soft drink non alcoholic).
I finished the day with a cold bathe in the river and great conversation with many others at camp. It’s a full house tonight but a very happy one esp as Nina also carried in food and shared with the other hikers! A true trail angel. ❤😄
13.4.2017. DAY 9
Thank you Peaceful Bay for a wonderful stay. The ladies at the caravan park were so wonderful and friendly. A great spot to stop and the Fish and chips! Omg! Never have I eaten such yummy fish and chips. Then I had the burger for dinner! I ate more in Peaceful Bay than I have so far on the track!
I knew today was going to be a slog. 30 km day as I had to double hut to keep schedule. Now this wasn’t 30 km walk in the park, it started off and for at least 1/2 or maybe more of soft sand! Sand dunes! And continuous up and down. By the time I reached Conspicuous Bay it was lunch time and I met Viv and Tony having their picnic. They are from England here for 3 months travelling the coastal areas of Australia. They were so lovely giving me a bottle of cold water to drink! As it was a hot day this was amazing. Thanks guys.
When I know I have to push myself along I tend to break it up in sections and try not to think about the amount I need to walk. It’s hard to do at times esp when tired but it is easier to look at doing 5 km instead of 30 km.
My biggest concern for me was getting to camp before dark but I always have a backup plan.
As I skipped Rame Head Campsite I made sure I filled up fully with water there when going through. That way I knew if I wasn’t to make camp before dark it will be fine as I will just make camp on the track. I walked in with plenty of time to spare.
I am now in the beautiful tingle and Karri forest and the minute I stepped in to it I was so excited! Love being amongst the trees they are so beautiful but strong in statue. I feel at home amongst them.
Not such a long one tomorrow only 15 km and I get to go past the tree top walk!
12.4.2017. DAY 8
I think I am over the sand dunes now, or maybe just because the weather was just awful. Another day of huge ups and down dunes followed by a massive beach walk. Instead of being hot like yesterday it was cold windy and raining.
My absolute highlight though today would have to be when coming up another horrible dune and on the track in front was Mrs kangaroo and her baby. She just stayed there not in any hurry to move, knowing I was there. She munched away and would lookup at me ever so cute with food coming out of her mouth. It was funny then she stretched and scratched and continued eating. Her baby on the other hand was darting back and forth across the track being a bit skittish. I got to video the whole thing and went for 10-15 mins before jumping up the track a little further.
11.4.2017. DAY 7
Yesterday was a long day hiking for me considering it was only 20 km. I realised I need to maybe not get quite so side tracked and not talk so long with people, which I find hard as it’s not just the beauty of the track and serenity it gives it is also about the people who use it.
So this morning I slept in to 6:30!! Oops but got my act together, opened my tent door and made my coffee (real plunger by the way) and had my yummy (not) cereal with protein powder (I look forward to this 😬) when I start hearing sizzling coming from the tent site near me.
There is another E-E Bronwyn for NSW, and then I smell it!……….she is cooking bacon!I yelled out seriously you are torturing me!
Not to worry I got her back later, I was walking along the beach section thinking OK I’m over the beach bit now I want my coffee and have a sit down. The beach was packed with 4WD holiday makers and at the end is a campground. There is no Shop or anything sadly but I carry my good coffee. Well about 6 km or so on the beach walk a lady there with her family asked me what am I doing and where am I going. Having told her and said I am over the beach bit want to just get to the campground and have a break, she offers me a hot-cross bun already buttered! Bronwyn didn’t get one as she was ahead.
After the campground I still had 10 km to go and all sand dunes, hilly at that. Was a slog but after the first 1/2 hr I decided to stop sulking about it and just get on with it. I actually enjoyed it even the soft climbs funny enough. Amazing what a good talking to can do.
Full moon tonight and a very windy one. Tent is flapping it’s heart out, already a peg jumped out and the pole fell. This will be an interesting night.
10.4.2017. DAY 6
Sad as it was that I couldn’t stay in the beautiful town of Denmark I had to push on and push in the end it was.
A great day walking and with the change of scenery from the ocean cliffs to now the magnificent Karri trees and rocky granite outcrops,this caused me to spend so much time soaking it up, filming and taking photos.
I also met a lot of wonderful people out and about today doing their own walks and happy to chat to me. To the lovely lady (sorry can’t remember your name) with the gorgeous doggies, I met your friend Candy down the track further walking with Jenny her daughter in law. Candy is a previous E-E er.
Then there was this family that are so incredibly special. I met (hope I got the names right) Karen, Kevin, Sue, Janet and the gentleman Charlie. Charlie helped me up a rock as I was struggling to find a way to pull myself up.
This family were spreading their fathers/uncles ashes along the last 100 km of the track as sadly he never got to finish the last 100. I am sure he would be proud of his family for doing this for him so he can finish his E-E.
Met overs along the way just day tripping. And 3 girls at camp!
So tired now from a full day and more tomorrow.
9.4.2017. DAY 5
Nullaki what an I say, nice…… not extraordinary……..but comfortable. Strange wailing sounds coming from deep inside the bush. Mmmmmmmm………..Not sure what it was sounded like maybe human cross wild dog cross bird. Strange one. Strange image too.
Met the two resident frogs sitting in the drain pipe of the water tank. Cute critters they are.
Then the rain. Had prior check if there was rain coming, nope, nothing and that was on three different sites but it bucketed down.
This morning I was heading off into Denmark. When on the Bibb you have a choice to get in as there is no real direct route as such. One – you can take the peninsula and cross the sandbar if it is closed and walk back to town. This I was told require a bit of bush bashing and isn’t marked. I didn’t fancy doing that with the tiger snakes around. Two – is a boat ride but very expensive and was told that they prefer to do groups as it isn’t a cheap option for them to run the boat. Three – was to get a lift into town. I chose number three. So the walk was a lovely 2 km stroll to the road and got a lift.
Staying at the Blue Wren, great place and central to everything, also this is a resupply point for me. I now have a full bag again filled to the brim. ( I looked at it packed and if anyone has see the movie Wild and her pack I think I’m close hehehe)
Went out and met Jacko and his lovely wife Anne at their home today. A great couple to meet especially if you are walking on the Bibb. They are both hikers themselves and love helping other hikers out along the way. The have a place called Casa libelula. They are on Facebook so if down this way and hiking the Bibb long or short sections they are a great resource to have. More about them later on.
Also met two gorgeous German girls travelling and working here in Australia. It was great to join them for a drink and chat.
8-4-2017. Day 4
Up so early this morning and got on the track. Hadn’t planned to but maybe I’m a bit excited Denmark is near.
I knew by looking at the map it was a relatively easy walk today. No major ascends or descends to tackle. Not as scenic this stretch as the earlier days and there were so many bench seats along the way. After declaring I would be sure to park my butt on every seat this became my challenge today. No sooner was I up and walking there was another. I swear it was like playing musical chairs.
Met a few more slithery critters today. A tiger and a dugite. The tiger was just sitting on the track with no place to be but there. Cheeky bugger had to bang the ground and tell him to more along and he did in his own sweet time.
Met some wonderful trail volunteers today out and about clearing the track. Dora who has been maintaining this section for the past 15 years brings out overseas students to help her with the clearing and upkeep. She comes across so passionate about her section and loves to bring the students out to show them some of natures beauty of Western Australia. Well done to Dora and welcome to Wei and Lili from China and Enrique from Mexico.
7.4.2017. DAY THREE
Through the night the wind was blowy and with it was rain. My tent was in a bit of a wing tunnel where it shakes rattled all night, and the chill factor was cold. Thank god I threw in some heat packs because one was very handy last night.
The walk today was another fantastic stretch with so many gorgeous cliff top views that just kept on popping up and fortunately on some of the best viewing spots there were bench seats just waiting for my butt to rest in them and that I did frequently. I decided yesterday that every bench seat I see I am going to park the bum and rest awhile.
I did run into some more snakes today. Two tiger and one small sand colour one. One of the tigers must of been having his midday siesta when I came along as I didn’t see him and he didn’t see me till I put my stick down right beside him. Nearly had skewered snake for the BBQ.
Run into a couple of bob tails as well. These guys are so funny they see you and freeze thinking you can’t see them. Then if you get too close they are gusty enough to hiss at you and hold their ground. Funny buggers.
There were no hikers I saw on the trail until camp where an Englishman was sitting and reading. Mike is his name. Lovely fella out doing a week stretch. A few hours later the other guy from last nights camp came strolling in.
West Cape Howe Campsite is where I am tonight and it is really quite nice. No views from the shelter but just 50 metres away is a picnic table with views to soak in. Also there is a lookout point and is well worth the effort to climb the hill up.
More bead cooked tonight, so delicious. Tomorrow I’m off to Nullaki and then Denmark where I can have my first shower, wash my hair and clean my clothes and boy do they need them.
5.4.2017. DAY TWO…….
Some days just work, where everything is just right, even when the rain dumps on you. This is how it was for me today, just right. An easy walk today after I double hut yesterday I thought today single hut. For those who are not sure what double hut means it is just when you skip a Campsite and go to the next.
Only 12.5 km walk so really short and about 6 km of that was on a beach with soft sand walking. This was such a lovely stretch along the beach. I trained a lot before leaving doing km after I’m on the soft sand with a full pack and it paid off today.
With it a short distance it gave me more time to play around and sit and watch nature playing as well. On the beach I was approaching some seabirds that were all carrying on squawking at me as though to say ‘don’t walk here we are sitting here’ then as I approached them they would all fly up in the air do a circle and sit back on the sand in front of me squawking again. This was like a game for them that had me amused for quite a way up the beach.
Torbay camp is tucked away into the hillside with glimpses of the bay I walked around. There is a great viewing spot just a bit up the hill with a picnic table to sit at and you can just enjoy the most incredible view. So glad I single hut today.
Tonight I will dream beautiful dreams of another beautiful day ahead.
5.4.2017 DAY ONE…….
The night before…….
I already have been having the most fantastic time. Last night not only did I get my favourite beer I had a wonderful dinner with an old friend/family and her kids (thanks Kim sorry to of missed you Ron) that made me feel so happy to be able to have a farewell dinner with them. Wasn’t sure whether we could get the chance but we did and it made my last meal before hitting the trail a good one. Thanks Kim.
The night didn’t end there though. Having said goodbye to Kim and the kids I was just walking out the door and ran into gorgeous Sarah.
For those who might not know Sarah she is an adventurer, explorer, public speaker, author, National Geographic adventurer and an amazing woman that really shows us the strength that we are capable of. Look her up, read her books, she is inspiration for all. Her name is Sarah Marquis.
Back to the story and yes as I was heading out the door I ran into Sarah. Loved sitting and chatting about the trail and what to expect along the way. She had just finish yesterday after walking in from walking from Pemberton.
Thanks Sarah for sharing a tea with me and happy trails girl I’m super excited to see what your next adventure is to be.
The walk started so noisy. The southern terminus (trail head) is at the train station which has freight trains in and two this morning where fighting to see who could be noisier.
I got to see my first snake of the trip. A massive and beautiful tiger snake. His black colour was so rich and shiny and he very elegantly slithered away.
Tonight I am staying at Muttonbird Campsite. I got to Sandpatch by lunch so decided to push on. I will do a shorter on tomorrow.
This is it, I’m off, on the bus to Albany so I can walk all the way back. Funny way to think about it really but it is true.
Feels very surreal like I’m moving in dream but I’m sure by tomorrow it will be all so real alright when I take that first step on the track.
I’m sitting here on the bus wondering what everyone else is here for. No other hikers that stand out, mainly older people that are probably heading home after a trip to the city.
Sitting next to a lovely young Scottish girl who is heading down to catch up with an old lost friend who is here travelling through Australia.
Well 6 hrs ahead of me so I will just chill, and take the time to clear the everyday life away and prepare for the adventure ahead.
Made it to Albany and first thing I do is sign in the book ready for tomorrow’s walk. Still feels very surreal but I have a stirring inside that has been building for awhile and it is getting closer to exploding into sheer joy.
A town like Albany takes me back in time, not just because it is a historical town it’s because it has that old time country feel of Australia past. It’s very calming, quaint and beautiful. The cheeky bus driver told me bugger walking stay here. Tempting but not temping enough as I feel the track calling, nature screaming my name. I am certainly ready to walk. Hope I sleep tonight.