The Bibbulmun: day fourty one – Frankland River -> Giants

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

Happy birthday Mum! First time in years haven’t organized a present for her. Hopefully enough of a present that she is spending another night and day with me on the track tomorrow night. Today was so easy it felt like a holiday. Slept really well last night, 7-5:15, woke a couple of times but each time straight back to sleep and no getting up to pee! Walked with Helle and March girls (x2) all day, so slower than my usual pace – and only 15km! Reached tree top walk @ 1300, did it ($21, ergh) was pretty boring tbh. Short. No better than the free one at the zipline place in the Otways. Then the giant something walk, which was fine, but we’ve seen enough tingles during the Bib! Anyway, whatev, it passed the time. Terrible $3 push button machine coffee, black. Not as bad as 3(3.50?) instant @ Mumbellup Tav. V hungry again. Interested to know how much weight have lost. Don’t think it can be much, think look v similar in mirror. A rap-looking dude and two chicks just wandered past on a day walk – they asked ‘do you guys know where this track ends?’ and we look at each other…‘Um…Albany’ haha! ‘Shit, we’re turning around now then!’. Funny.

My competitiveness is coming out, as I anticipate seeing Mr Deer soon – can’t see him singling these days! Too easy! If Mum wasn’t meeting me would maybe double tomorrow just from boredom/something to do. In fact almost surely. Obvs regained strength in Walpole. Sigh, again, so frustrating to have someone else dependent and not free to change plans at will! What is the lesson here? Was thinking just today about wanting to practice being less independent. Don’t want to be resenting Mum before she arrives. She asked me more than once if it was still ok that she was planning to come, and I could’ve said I wanted to be alone. Hopefully it is a nice night. What’s one night, anyway. I was all afraid of being alone earlier in the piece, now I’m afraid of not enough alone time. At least not doubling tomoz means stretching it out one more night – now that I’m getting anxious about finishing! Crazy mind. Anxious to start, anxious about not finishing, anxious about finishing. Is it never happy/satisfied?

Light rain on the roof, we’re all sitting here reading/writing. All hoping no one else turns up. Darren last night was a ‘character’ – it felt odd to have someone else in ‘the group’. Spend a few days with the same people and you feel like you’ve always been travelling together. The trees around these parts have a story. Put your hand on them and you can feel it. So horrified by the quote in the Tree Top Walk discovery centre from an early settler saying how great it felt to take a sharp axe to the ancient karris and ‘rob them of their majesty’. What arseholes.

No clearer today about life purpose. Feel may not get clearer by end of trip. Or for long time perhaps. A bit afraid of going back to Melb and just falling into Melb life as per usual and then into pit of despair. What have I learned from being out here, doing this? That I can do hard things. That I am ok by myself. That there is always ebb and flow, change and movement. Nothing stays the same. Just keep moving. One step at a time. That I want to live in nature, and especially the sea. That I don’t want to get caught up in the biz. I don’t want that life. Right now I feel (again) like I want to leave it. Don’t want to strive for riches – see that I don’t need much. When you live in a society that has a lot, you want for a lot. When you live with less, you want less. (Sitting here in my mozzie free cave is so great. I can see them buzzing around and landing on the mesh. Fuck you, mother fuckers! You can’t get me!).

I don’t know. How do I know what I want to do? And I feel ashamed that the prospect of working in the business and eventually getting rich is a lure to me staying in the status quo in Melbourne – even though I just declared that I want to lie with less. Maybe I want to want to, but in reality I want to live in a beautiful house and have nice things and travel etc. Already I’m eyeing off other hikers’ down jackets and wanting to buy another (thicker) one. Even though this one has been perfectly adequate for this trip. Sigh. No answers.

The Bibbulmun: day fourty – Walpole -> Frankland River

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

Big brek this morning before leaving RL, of three eggs, 4 x bacon, field shroom, broccolini, spinach and 4 x toast. With butter. Good. Then bowl banana and strawbs with yoghurt for 2nd breakfast. Called Linton as I was leaving Walpole, had a less than pleasing chat. He hadn’t looked at any of my photos, even though I’d been excited about them and asked him to. So he looked them up while we were on the phone, and said ‘ who’s that random dude on the beach in the last picture? He looks alike a ken doll’. And I was like…It’s me. Then I was really offended and upset and even got a bit teary. (Can I blame it on hormones?). I’m really conflicted by this body image stuff. I understand it’s advertising and conditioning, and society’s fuckedupness, cognitively, but I still yearn to be a ‘pretty girl’ – straight teeth and nice hair and a well proportioned face. The older I get, instead of getting more comfortable with myself it seems like I’m becoming I’m less and less happy with my face shape – I just look jowly to me. Anyway, so I want to not care but I do care. I also want to do my thing without buying into the hype but I find myself conforming anyway. So frustrating.

I also realized that as well as wanting to break up with health, I have also kind of lost my love affair with science. I no longer believe science or its hype, especially related to health. So where does that leave me? When my whole last decade of life has been based on health science? I feel a bit lost and torn and almost like I’m grieving.

I want to be a different person in my relationships – more loving, forgiving, patient… How do you go about changing those parts of yourself, those ways of being? I feel like who I was is slowly draining out of me, all the things I thought I knew about myself are emptying, leaving a big hollow. But what will fill it? Being a creative? Energy healing? (nah just kidding). I want to also drain out those relationship aspects that I want to let go of. How to let them go? It feels uncomfortable, this shedding of a very familiar skin. I’m reluctant. I want things to stay the same. I could have made it in this industry, this niche. And now throw away everything I worked towards for a decade? For what? Something that I don’t even know yet? It’s not like I’m letting go of it to follow some other great passion.

How do I use this time of emptying and space to become the person I want to be? And will that be with or without Linton? What do you do with your life when you don’t want kids OR career?? Beautiful, beautiful walk today through Karri and tingle forrest. Those trees must have some wisdom – 400 years old. A lot of smoke in the air this arvo, hopefully from a prescribed burn. Feel very sore today and walked the 18.5km quite slowly. Started last and arrived last.

The Bibbulmun: day thirty nine – Walpole -> NOWHERE! Rest day :)

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 in so long. Since Balingup. It seriously feels like a holiday. A lot of that is also because I’m sitting in a cafe writing thoughtful things (long letters to Yael and Linton). Eating cake and drinking iced coffee (with cream AND icecream), there’s bird noise/panpipes playing and a water feature trickling and it’s SUNNY AND WARM! I seriously can’t get over the weather, it’s divine. The only downer is the smell of tar and the roar of trucks as they bitumise the road out front of the café…Other than that I could be in Bali. Had a big (2.5h!) talk with Linton this morning about all sorts, including us and me. And who I am. Became clearer that this idea of health as an overarching value/life direction is no longer the biggest thing for me. But as it has been such a big part of my self identity, now I don’t know who I am without it. I hate the world of health and wellbeing these days. I know there must be ways to do it, live it, that don’t get caught up in the hype and the fakeness, but I don’t see them. I feel disillusioned and want to distance myself from it. It’s become too mainstream? I need to be different? I thought health people were my people, but now they all piss me off so much. So then who am I? Without that? A wandering soul. Linton keeps telling me I seem lost, and I tend to agree.

I do feel like I’ve come to this sense of calm within myself, but it’s a contentedness with myself here, myself at my core outside of society. I don’t think it will last when I’m back in real life. Slash, it won’t be as relevant. Nor do I have any desire to be a wanderer forever. I don’t know why I have this sense that it wouldn’t work to do my own version of ‘health’ that fucks off all the hype….I don’t think I can quite articulate it, but it just doesn’t seem like it would work. It doesn’t appeal to me, anymore. I want to break up with health and wellness. But where does that leave me? Single in the world of life meaning/purpose. And yes, there’s plenty of life meanings to align myself with, but how do I pick one? How do I know which will last the distance? The last one didn’t. Maybe I’m destined to be forever single and purposeless. I’m afraid of commitment now, in case it doesn’t work out again. My secret crush is to be a creative, but honestly I think creativity is too good for me. I’m afraid to even flirt in fear of getting shut down and rejected. I did enjoy this single life, for a while – since I quit my job and just did book keeping, but now I’m getting that twang, the thought that it’d be nice to curl up on the couch with my life purpose and just, you know, hang out. Settle into that comfort of knowing I’ve got a life direction to come home to at night. The adventure stuff gets me a little bit excited, but again, I don’t know about the long term prospects. This short term fling of the Bibbulmun Track has been fun, but there’s a possibility that I wouldn’t have the stamina to keep up with a full time commitment to Adventure. I suppose it will become apparent in due time, the right meaning will fall into my lap and until then I’ll just keep going on dates with whatever comes up – adventure, aikido, wilderness, blogger…writer? Business person? (nah). Photography? Videography? Helping those less fortunate? Traveller? Yogi? Dancer? Movement person? It sounds like I’ve let go of the idea of mind/movement specialist….Interesting. No promises at this point. Grateful for the mental space of this rest day to ponder those things. And the phone call with Linton, challenging as it was, he does help push me to greater parts of myself. Even when I don’t want it.

The weather is tipped to change this weekend which is very sad. This sun and warmth is glorious (although hot to walk in, and snakey). I’m going to move down the street to the next café and have coffee and cake there, to ahem, compare the coffee. Research purposes.

The coffee at the second place wasn’t bad. Pity the server was too over-friendly/slightly offensive. Prefer the place with the unsmiling hostess. What is life? Four walk days then peaceful Bay, three walk days then Denmark, Four walk days then done. Eleven days to go. Of 50. Just crazy. How do you even go about making a judgement of how it is? Although I don’t want to get ahead of myself – I still have nearly two weeks. Feet are still hurting in new places so anything could happen: just look at Sonja! Peter emailed some of the crew this morning, she had a fractured tibia!! I do at least feel somewhat refreshed and rejuvenated by this zero, and feel ready to tackle the next few days. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow after carrying a heavy pack full of food with a broken hip belt. Can’t help myself but take these extra cliff bars of Peter and Sonja’s even though they’re heavy (because, food). Mum is coming to meet me at Conspicuous Beach to spend a night at Rame Head. It’s her birthday. I feel ok about it but also a little protective over my dwindling few days. Already getting anxious about space, even though, as I said, I still have almost two weeks. I’m also thinking I’ll stay at Denmark, which I was originally going to bypass, and not at Mum and Dad’s – would be too much of a sojourn to the other reality. Dad gets it. It seems silly to pay for accomm at Denners but I want to stay in the headspace. Especially if the rellies will be down – don’t want that kind of needing to be clean and polite and, I dunno, ‘normal’, ‘real life-y’. While I was sitting at Top Deck cafe today I did a really loud fart – I just forgot I was in the real world. Luckily no one was sitting near me. How does a person function in real life again??

The Bibbulmun: day thirty eight – Long Point -> Mt Clare -> Walpole

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

Another day. Enjoyed most of it except the last about 2km on gravel bitumen road into Walpole. Left early (6:15) and got to Mount Clare around 9:30 – too early for lunch! Went up on a rock at the lookout area and managed to get reception – called the business I bought my pack from and they are express posting me a replacement hip belt, hurray!

Got into Walpole about 12:30. Saw the lady who gave me the apple in town! Haha. Nearly had an exploding poo moment on the way there – all the bush was too bushy to get into and dig a hole! Made it in time though. Phew. Came across a big roo in the middle of track, he just chilled. All the others who were going to stay at My Clare rocked up in town (I thought they might!) So I won’t be hiking alone out of Walpole. Sonja ended up helicoptered out of Woolbales  🙁  and sent to Bunbury hospital for assessment. Very sad. Peter left a note for us at the Visitor’s centre, they bequeathed their resupply boxes to us! Little bit excited – even though profiting from their bad fortune. Free food is free food, after all!

Have done washing, shower, food…Don’t know what to do with myself! Sitting around in the sun! It’s very mood boosting. More rain is coming but will enjoy sun while it lasts. Going out for dinner with current gang, which includes 3 March girls, Helle and Jerry. A motely crew.

The Bibbulmun: day thirty seven – Woolbales -> Long Point

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

THE COAST!! Hit it finally –absolutely stoked. Had a couple of km more of wading, then crossed a few nice granite slabs, then the first dune! Another 6km before the beach. Sat and had a snack when got to the beach – devastated to realize that Always Smiling was nowhere to be seen. Remember shoving AS in my pack to use with peanut butter, so can only assume he jumped ship when I pulled out a nut bar or something. So sad. As been with me a long time – Japan->Perth-> Albs-> Melb…. :’( Enjoyed the rest at the lookout, had a chat to some peeps. One lady gave me an apple ‘you look like you need it!’ and an old dear shouted to me as I walked past ‘keep going, girl!’ Spirits and energy were very high, so happy to be in familiar coast territory that felt like home. The smells of the bush in the sun reminded me of camping at East Cosy when we were kids.

Stopped at the freshwater creek just off Mandalay beach to rinse the mud from my shoes –creating a dark cloud in the water. Then, going up a dune I heard a ‘chink’, a few seconds later felt something poking me in the back. Thought was a stick, put hand behind – piece of wire. The wire stay of the frame of my hip belt on my pack had broken. 2nd gear failure. WT actual F. Tried to fix at the hut but no go. Just wadded the pointy end with tape to stop it scratching me. V disappointed, again. At hut, went to ‘little cove’ to sunbake on beach – did I mention today was blue sky and sunny??!? 1st time in ages (until now, 4pm, clouds again ) Walked the about 1km down, but only wild rocks and big waves and limestone and granite cliffs, nowhere to swim. Took some pics and enjoyed the salty spray on my face and negative ions! Fucking love the sea.

Saw another emu today too. Saw 2 snakes coming back from rocks, 1 stripy patterns and one grey-brown. Both small. First snakes of the trip! Meant to double to Walpole tomorrow, not sure how my pack will go being broken. Worried weight won’t be held properly on my hips anymore. Left foot is sore too. Don’t think orthotics are sitting in shoe properly. Shoes are basically dry though, hurray! Amazing the boost to morale having some good warm sunny weather. Here’s hoping for more…Have descended into new level of dishevel. Fingernails black, not bush bathing (can’t be fucked, what’s the point, too cold etc), nail beds ragged and bleeding from using too much hand sanitiser, see others rinsing at end of day and can’t be bothered. Bandages look like dead animal, not even washing feet properly before bed, just putting socks on so sleeping bag doesn’t get dirty (walking around hut in socks yesterday as shoes wet).

Speedwalked/jogged down to the coast to try and catch the sunset (on a whim) – was stunning. LOVE this rugged coast line. Beautiful evening.

Funnily, Jerry found a spoon the same day I lost mine. His was a long handled titanium one, which I am now borrowing! Got dad to bring nail clippers yesterday but he brought nail scissors instead, couldn’t do my right hand with left, got him to do it but he didn’t do a great job! They look terrible. When people heard my pack broke, someone asked ‘what are going to do?’ and Jerry says ‘Call Dad?’ I was like ‘nah’ and he says ‘Call Mum?’ Cheeky sod. He tried to fix I but didn’t have the gear. Think it needs replacing, don’t think a repair will cut it. We lost another today: Sonja was going to call DPaw to get a lift from Woolbales, hopefully. She could hardly stand on her knee let alone walk. Poor thing, she looked pretty upset. And the wildflowers were so great, she would have been loving it! The Bibb claims another E2E hopeful’s dream…