A big part of any Bibbulmun hike is food and there are a few ways to go about it. Many like to buy their food in towns along the way and are happy to do this for the whole hike. Personally I’ll be doing this for most sections when it’s only a three or four days between towns, but the majority of my food is pre-organized, pre-packed and dropped into visitor centres, accommodation in towns or in buckets along the track.
Time to do it again. The property where I’ve been staying off and on between traveling has been sold so it’s time to move on but I figure before I go I’ll have another crack at the Bibbulmun track, only this time I’m setting off planning to do it both ways, walking from Albany up to Perth and then walking back down to Albany, over 2000km all up and I’m estimating that it will take me about 4 months to complete. The picture above shows everything I’ll have with me except for my food, not a lot, but it’s a telling image when you think that this is really all you need to live for quite an extended period of time.
Mt Cook to Kalamunda Yes, that’s the trail turned into a river in the picture above. Getting close to the end now and I’m not too sure how I feel about that. Every morning I’m convinced that I’ll turn around and walk back another 1000km, while every evening while laying in bed with aching feet and legs I curse myself for having such foolish thoughts. We’ll just wait and see, finish the walk first. The walk from Mount Cook to Monadnock began quietly enough though within half an hour a guy came running down the trail towards me, I stepped to one side and he ran by with a quick “G’day”.
Collie to Dwellingup Nice days walk today without to many hills but my pack is heavy with a 6 day resupply. Yeah damn long day, ran into a couple of people along the way walking south stopping for a bit of a chat. there were some lovely sections of forest where the larger trees were more spread out and low acacias covered the ground between the trees, some sections were in full bloom and looking magnificent.
Balingup to Collie. After two days in Balingup sorting pictures and uploading my blog it’s back to the grind. I stayed at the post office for 3 nights, it’s cheap accommodation at the back of the post office in the old Post masters house. The place isn’t beautifully clean but I had it all to myself, there was clean linen in the cupboard a hot shower, kitchen, air conditioning to keep me warm and a TV which was a novelty. On my first night I discovered that a mail delivery happens at about 3 in the morning, boy they make some noise clanging around, I thought someone had broken in.
Donnely River Village to Balingup. I left DRV before the shop opened, no nice coffee or toasted sandwich for me. It was quite beautiful leaving the little settlement, and I understand why it’s a popular spot for people to visit. Reading about the history is interesting even though it’s quite recent history in the scheme of things unlike some of the other timber town which had been around much longer.
Pemberton to Donnelly River Village. Leaving Pemberton it’s a small walk through town passing the trout hatchery then on. On through mainly karri the whole way except for a bit of an old arboretum with an assortment of trees. Aargghh… Just melted my shoe a bit on the fire trying to dry them out, something I try to be very careful of but it’s so easy to do. Should be ok I think I got it in time. Where was I? Walking through karri, what better place to be. I was surprised by today, 25 km is a long day but it wasn’t too bad. There were a couple of smallish hills though I know bigger are coming up in the next few days. My feet are sore but this is because my pack was heavy after a restock with 6 days of food, a half bottle of medicinal Brandy and 2 fuel canisters I was heavy.
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.