Northcliffe to Pemberton. It surprised me that one rest day can feel almost like a week. I probably shouldn’t have rest days, they remind me that life off the track is very different, that there are luxuries I like and miss when I’m on the track. I start to second guess how and why I’m doing it, telling myself that there are more constructive and useful things I could be doing, that walking out here is cold, wet, miserable and totally self indulgent. Though in writing this I realize how ironic that may sound.
Mount Chance to Northcliffe. This picture looks like a nice stream or river right? Wrong, it’s the track, and that pretty much sums up this section of the track through the plains. Still, the hardest part of the day starts early before leaving camp. That moment when you have to get out of beautiful warm woolen top, long pants and 2 pairs of toasty warm socks, to put on a cold damp shirt, wet shorts and wet socks. You leave it till the last possible moment the tent is packed, food packed, kitchen packed, can’t pack any more till I get the warm dry clothes off and packed away.
Walpole to Mt Chance. Ok I’m feeling guilty about today now. On my way up My Clare I was thinking perhaps I could double hut and I could have and should have. As it is I’m dressed ready for bed, my camp is set up ready, food in the mouse box, I’m on my second cup of tea, checked the weather for the next week, and the next huts that are coming up, had some nibbles, read the red book and writen out a long comment, filled in the green log book, now I’m thinking about watching some Netflix while I have reception. It’s 2.00 in the afternoon. I can’t go to bed because too long laying down and I’ll wake at 2 in the morning with sore hips.
Rame Head to Walpole. Had a very crappy night sleep just couldn’t get comfy and didn’t get to sleep until very late some time. I think I need to make a concerted effort not to go to bed too early otherwise it’s just too many hours on that little mattress and I wake about 3am and then every half hour after that feeling sore in the hips, legs and shoulders. So tonight I’m going to try and stay up until about 9. Ohh, 9 o’clock. Haha. Anyway where was I.
William Bay to Rame Head. What a day, after having a day off yesterday today was 8 hours of hard slog all day. The beach along Mazzoletti was very soft, and my pack weight has ballooned out to 16 kg with 5 days off food and no water, so 18 kg with my standard 2L of water so much for being light weight, how did things get so out of control.
Albany to William Bay. I should perhaps begin with the basics. I’m setting off to walk the Bibbulmun track, a 1000 km walk trail in Western Australia from Albany to Kalamunda near Perth. The next few blog posts are going to document this walk over 50 odd days.
Day one. I left Albany at about 9am and headed out of town. Met a lady from Europe who was on her last leg of an end to end hike. She was finishing her E2E (end to end) and looked very calm and contented sitting watching over the bay at Albany. I hope I’m that happy at the end of my journey. The next section out of town was quite boring, a redirection due to the fires we’d had here recently meant that instead of walking a lovely trail through the bush I had a trek of 6 or 8 kms along roads to the Albany wind farm.
Fungi are still prolific around the south west and I see them everywhere while I’m out walking. I love taking their pictures though it’s not a pretty sight, me with my backpack on and walking poles flailing around as I try to get down low on the ground trying to take pictures, then getting back up again with 15 kg on my back? Yeah, not pretty. I’m still weighing up possibilities as to what I’ll do in the coming months. My original plan was to ride the Munda Biddi mountain bike trail from Albany to Perth, then walk back down the Bibbulman track to Albany, total distances of about 1000 km up and then 1000 km down.
Life on the road means that sometimes you are camping in a few unusual places. You may be at a magnificent picturesque location by the ocean miles from anywhere, or you may be in the city or suburbs among throngs of people. Since most of my more recent travels have been in the troopy, I’m starting to appreciate the ease with which you can camp the night in places that you couldn’t hope to stay if you had a caravan or similar.
The troopy was booked in to have a suspension upgrade at the end of January so I either had six weeks sitting around Ballarat over the Christmas new year period, or I could get my act together and do a road trip. I’d also been getting some serious hints from the local possums where I was staying at the caravan park.