The Bibbulmun: day twenty six – Donnelly River Village -> Tom Road

In September and October 2016 I did the 1000km Bibbulmun Track Solo, North-South. Here’s a few excerpts from my journal.

Nice cruisey walk into hut, around 4 hours. Feet hurt a bit – tried strapping with rock tape instead of bandages – hurt more today than bandages. Might try combo tomorrow. Meant to be showers tomorrow 🙁  then RAIN, thunderstorms and hail the next day 🙁 🙁 🙁 Felt a little anxious leaving Mum and town today – always a bit of a rip required to pull away from showers/food/comfort.

Such a gorgeous day though, sunny and warm – got sweaty for first time in couple of weeks!

My feet – have never known such a burden as that which I’ve placed on them in last 500km. They are doing well. Love you feet.

I thought I’d be spending more time writing and nutting out my life – I seem to be spending more of my hours in the huts listening to audio books and eating and chatting with people. Mr Deer and I, old bloke Phil (heading to Pemby, ‘Bucko’) and father and son duo going Pemby –> DRV. So much for solitude! Had lone male hiker at 2 nights between Balingup and DRV.

Not happy about weather forecast – was so enjoyable walking in good weather today! So enjoying being in karri tree land too. Finding when talking with other people I’m struggling to find empathy for them. Just don’t have much giving a shit for much these days. Depression? Not sure. Certainly haven’t felt depressed in last 3.5 weeks, but my mood/thoughts/behavior yesterday was pretty typical of when I’ve depressed. But now I wouldn’t say I’m depressed and yet find myself thinking/acting similarly – what does that mean? Told Linton about this conundrum and he said ‘Great! More things for you to thinking about with all your time walking.’ It is helpful to be able to head out into the bush and just have alone time, to soothe the soul. Could be hard to transition back into Real Life. I mean the luxuries are nice but the nervous system feels very settled here. Exercise, sunlight, 12 hours in bed…Noticing that sunlight hours are increasing. Even though rain is hard, I like being connected to the weather. Very easily forget it though.

The Bibbulmun: day twenty five – Gregory Brook -> Donnelly River Village

In September and October 2016 I did the 1000km Bibbulmun Track Solo, North-South. Here’s a few excerpts from my journal.

Left earlyish to try avoid rain. Not a bad day’s walk but I got a tiny bit sick of not being along. Waiting for someone else, etc. We had a bit of a tension-y walk but did discuss it. I was just so shitty and resentful but then felt so bad about being resentful that I ended up just coming across as withdrawn and grumpy. I was like, I want to want to spend more time together but I also just don’t…

Got into DRV, Lynn (March Girl with Mum’s car) didn’t want to stay in bunkhouse (Fred and Bed had whinged to her that it was super gross) so we drove to Manjimup (1/2 hour) and stayed in a motel! It was nice – hot shower, heater, movie on TV (Zoolander 2). Surf and turf with chips for dinner. The tension left when we left the bush. Funnily, I was also really put off with me being dependent on her (buying me dinner etc). This independence streak can be a bit extreme.

The Bibbulmun: day twenty four – Blackwood -> Gregory Brook

In September and October 2016 I did the 1000km Bibbulmun Track Solo, North-South. Here’s a few excerpts from my journal.

RAINING. Most rain so far. Fair bit of wind too. Mum and I had about 45-60 min of alright, tiny light showers, then it mostly just rained. Sheltered under trees from time to time and then just got so wet that sheltering seemed pointless. Mr Deer caught up with us and we all walked together for a bit. Had the shortest of breaks around 5.5 and 6.9km then basically didn’t stop ’til the hut (18.2km). Strapping with bandages helped my feet somewhat. Peed in a ½ squat with pack still on for the 1st time – great discovery! No need to stop and take pack off! Couldn’t tell if I peed on my pants because they were so wet from the rain anyway. (Just kidding). (I hope).

Talked a lot today so not so much thinking. The talking made me realize how much thinking I’ve done over the last three weeks though. New track name – One Boot Man Slayer – with ‘cock blocker’ the hat, obvs. Pretty cold here, although I was ROASTING last night with my new insulated mat – had to take off leggings and socks and long sleeves. I assume same tonight. Feels super gross putting dry feet into wet wet wet cold shoes but teeth/toilet must be done. It is 6:30pm after all – bed time. Didn’t sleep that well last night – too hot and uncomfortable joints – hips mostly. Oh well, never satisfied, eh?

The Bibbulmun: day twenty three – Balingup -> Blackwood

In September and October 2016 I did the 1000km Bibbulmun Track Solo, North-South. Here’s a few excerpts from my journal.

Not a bad day, few too many km on gravel road for my liking, and feet seem worse than ever. Not sure if can go on with them like this, pain wise. Couple of awkward moments for me in last two days of cooking breakfast/doing dishes for group of Bibb people all staying in the backpackers, and thinking – I’m not here to do shit for other people. Lol, uncharitable much? People are also doing things for me.

Feel v sad that fitness/energy is enough to 30+km, just feet are not. What is the intended lesson here, universe? To stop and let go of the goal of doing E2E as a thru hike? So not keen for that. Pushing through pain can only take you so far – and don’t want to end up with disabling injuries that could affect aikido training…Talked a fair bit today about ‘what I want to do with my life’ – no conclusion. Blackwood is very exposed – any surrounding trees cut down post-03/16 fires, but it’s nice view over the valley. Windy though. Only carrying two days worth of food, feet can’t even handle this. Feel so happy to be back in hut – didn’t sleep all that well last two nights, despite mod cons of bed, pillow etc – there was a mozzie (!) (irony!) the 1st night and too hot/cold, dog barking 2nd night. Also exit sign outside door throwing green light making me thinking it’s dawn every time I roll over. Anyway, looking forward to 12 hours in bed and cosy bag.

The Bibbulmun: day twenty two – REST DAY! Balingup

In September and October 2016 I did the 1000km Bibbulmun Track Solo, North-South. Here’s a few excerpts from my journal.

Resty rest, big brekkie of THE MOST amazing rye sourdough, eggs, left over roast veg from last night. ‘Lunch’ at Lady Marmalade in Kirup – consisting of lemon meringue cake, coffee, almond croissant. BEST. Dinner at Greenbushes ‘exchange hotel’. Sunday roast – with Clare and Lyn (from the March Girls). Basically just the most amazing food in this tiniest of towns – Balingup is so little there’s literally no where open for dinner. You have to drive to the next town to find somewhere to eat.

**Note: I am still craving the taste of that rye sourdough. Also I looked up the lemon meringue cake recipe when I got home and I’ve made it several times. It’s the best.

The Bibbulmun: day twenty one – Grimwade -> Balingup

In September and October 2016 I did the 1000km Bibbulmun Track Solo, North-South. Here’s a few excerpts from my journal.

3 weeks! Congrats to me. Had the thought this morning – what if I could fly! How much easier would that be! Just hover a little bit over the track, then my feet wouldn’t hurt so much…I could definitely finish the whole track if I could fly!

Actually feeling good this morning. Walking fast, which is probably bad for my feet but oh well…Just feel like it. Breathing in and breathing out some things I want to let go of today, offering them to the great expanse of the bush where they can just disperse.

Yesterday after stopped writing, heard Fred whispering something to Bec, she snapped ‘Stop it Fred, you’re really depressing me today’. He muttered something and she said ‘You’re tired and bored, that’s your excuse?’ ** he mutters something else** ‘We’ve come this far, why would we give up now?” Guess he was suggesting to stop. Serious or not I don’t know, but even more glad to be alone. No tired bored L to needle me, no one for me to snap at, no chance of one wanting to stop and other not. This morning I applauded their dedication to coffee with the jetboil coffee plunger attachment, and Fred said ‘I’d be fine with instant’. ‘Instant, disgusting!” She says. Ah, marital bliss eh?

Missed my 5.3km stop (there was no pine tree!) so stopped at 6.7km instead. Ah, corn chips and Lindt choc (roasted almond flavor) at 8:30 am…looking forward to lunch in Balingup – hope places are open!

The palette of the bush is to be expected if you grew up here: earthy reds, khaki green, grey/black, muted browny/beige, dark green, bluey/steely green, rich browns. BUT THEN! Vibrant purples, pinks, oranges and blues. Buttery yellow and rich reds. Bright fluoro greens and the most deep, bright, vibrant blue you can imagine. It’s a fucking wonderland out here.

The Bibbulmun: day twenty – Noggerup -> Grimwade

In September and October 2016 I did the 1000km Bibbulmun Track Solo, North-South. Here’s a few excerpts from my journal.

Again, just getting through the day rather than enjoying or savouring it. Feet seem to be getting worse. Had my slowest day yet, <4km p/h with many rest stops (albeit short ones) and feet still killing by time arrived (23km). Annoying as it seems feet are only thing holding me back from walking more – rest of body isn’t too bad (although shoulders sore every day and left hip…).

Fucking cold weather – had some hail during the walk, and just lying here my fingers are cold. Looking forward to not sharing the hut with these guys after tonight. Have discovered that I don’t like walking just in-front of or just behind people – competitiveness kicks in and I keep sort of rushing. Odd weather today – clear/cloudy/still/windy/rainy/hail/sunny/freezing/warm – like being in Melbourne! (haha). Happy to see first sighting of peppermint trees – tiny teaser of being closer to the coast (long ways to yet hobbits).

More about this couple – it’s seeing the nagging (her at him mostly) that makes me not want to be like that with Linton. ‘I thought you were saving your phone battery’ ‘I am’ ‘well you’re listening to music and scrolling thought it…that’ll use it up’. It’s funny how it looks when you see it in other people…Bit poopy again today, after a ‘solid’ morning. Suspect solidness may have been from gluten, and lack of solidness from ++ sugar?? Eating so much sugar. It’s gross. Currently about to eat a snickers while I listen to some Harry. (These guys also have sore feet – at least it’s not just me).

The Bibbulmun: day nineteen – Yabberup -> Noggerup

In September and October 2016 I did the 1000km Bibbulmun Track Solo, North-South. Here’s a few excerpts from my journal.

Hard day. Rained basically non-stop. And occasionally quite heavily, right from the get go. Tried to leave camp late in order to arrive at Mumby Tav at opening time – nearly 8am (late start!). Glen Mervyn dam was pretty, sat on a log – in the rain – and ate a snack. Feet became v wet – could see droplets of water splashing out of the tops of my shoes as I walked. Feet v sore – feeling despondent and that they’re getting worse when I expected them to be getting better. Also left hip very achy at night and interrupting my sleep. Sad face.

Was such a luxury/relief to stop at Mumby Tav for lunch – dried shoes and socks by fire so was only very slightly damp when left. Ate steak sanga and chips (gluten – farts are so bad) which was v yum. Sun even came out for the afternoon’s walk which was nice but distracted by sore feet. Even doing 20km is a struggle, which is like a short day. So frustrating. Not sure how long will be able to continue if feet keep getting worse…Put windscreen reflector under sleeping mat last night, much warmer but so noisy it even kept me awake. Every breath in and out it creaked. FARK. ONLY ONE THIRD THROUGH AND I’M FALLING TO PIECES.

Paid $3 for black, instant coffee today. New low, coffee wise. When I asked if had soy milk, bar woman gave me funny look and tried not to laugh/scoff.

Posterboard on the wall in the tavern full of bogan things – Japan not allowing muslims (Australia should be like Japan), ‘I swear because I fucking can’ etc. Ultra offensive/hilariously bad. V, V bogan place. Much Ned Kelly paraphernalia.

Feel like am just ‘getting through’ this section rather than actually enjoying it which makes me sad. Can’t imagine how great it would be to not be hurting every step…Sigh. Just want to eat so can go to sleep. PS had most tasty dinner last night – instant (freeze dried) rice, freeze dried veg, TUNA STEAK, olive oil and parmesan. So so good. Same tonight but instant mash instead of rice. Soaked feet in small river in front of hut, v cold and nice.

The Bibbulmun: day eighteen – Collie -> Yabberup

In September and October 2016 I did the 1000km Bibbulmun Track Solo, North-South. Here’s a few excerpts from my journal.

Woke early feeling leaving anxiety. Also anxious as it’s quite likely there won’t be anyone else sharing the next section with me – Mr Deer is taking a rest day today. Trying to sit with the anxiety and not be held back (as if I could be held back, what am I going to do; stay in Collie?). Not excited about feeling scared and alone, but a) maybe newcomers will appear, or b) maybe I’ll face my fears and just deal with it!

—-

All that worrying for nothing – there’s people here! Bec and Fred ‘snails’ who I’ve been following the whole time. And there’s even reception. Totally wasted anxiety energy – will I learn? Doubtful. Nice 20 km out, although feet still v sore. Beautiful smell of boronia flowers for lots of the walk – sunny and warm – tipped to change tomorrow though! Looking forward to lunch at Mumballup Tavern tomorrow – will have to restrain myself from leaving early so I don’t arrive before it’s open! (11:30am – I’m usually close to finishing a whole day’s walk by then!)

Such a beautiful sunny arvo. Was kinda looking forward to catching up with these guys but they seem a bit meh. Couple from Adelaide. They’re fine, we just have no spark. I was almost psyching myself up for the alone challenge too. It’s interesting seeing a young couple though – it makes me think I’m glad I’m doing it solo – something about watching the way they are supporting/relying on each other – makes me glad to be independent. Also they are now whispering to each other – about me? (Probs just being overly sensitive with that one). Although I did audibly fart in front of them a short while ago…thought it would be silent. Damn.

The Bibbulmun: day seventeen – REST DAY! Collie

In September and October 2016 I did the 1000km Bibbulmun Track Solo, North-South. Here’s a few excerpts from my journal.

First rest day!! Got into Collie around 4:30pm yesterday, 36.9km/8 hours walking. Big day. Feet v v sore. Sore by 15km, let alone 37! Phoned Mum and Dad, Linton. Showered. Domino’s GF pizza, garlic bread, choc mousse. Finally not hungry for a little while…Today eating ’til I feel sick. More shower. Picked up food resupply box from hostel. Washed clothes (wandered around the hostel wearing literally only my raincoat while clothes in the wash and the dryer. Felt a little like a flasher. Luckily is a 3/4 length coat). Post Office (sent home some spare stuff, sent some choc and jerky onwards to my self at next town, picked up my heel lift that Dad posted here), podiatrist (got a last minute cancellation appt!) – she was most unimpressed with my shoes and orthotics. ‘Useless, simply useless’. She tried to suppress her anger at how ‘useless’ they were but I could hear her muttering around the corner of the partition in the room. I thought yesterday – although I feel no great passion for my life at home at the moment, nor do I feel great passion/any passion for anything really. Like, there’s no point to doing the Bibb, but also no point in not doing it.

Have been eating ALL the gluten. Farts very bad. Want very much to go back to gluten free. A whole iced apple log thing from bakery, sausage roll, croutons on caesar salad (anchovies! Too much mayo :/ ) chicken noodles in hut the other day, garlic bread…bleh. Mr Deer has hooked me up with a super cheap airmat that is insulated! V happy. $107. Cheaper than I paid for my (not insulated) one. He’s a good boy. Have bought wind screen reflector to go under my current mat to get me though ’til then. V tired. Sugar, food, people – tiring. Plain food, walking, bush – less so. Even though much increased exercise. Have sorted my food for next section. Much more, think I’ll have leftovers. Pack will be heavy though.