The Bibbulmun: day fourty six – William Bay -> Denmark

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

1st half of morning glorious. Left at 5:15am, sunrise, early light on beach, A SEAL just chilling on the beach, challenging but good walk up Mt Hallowell, good view from top. Then it was tricky going down the other side; skirting granite on broken pieces, guidebook confusion and not being sure I was on the right track, thinking I was further along than I was (such disappointment to realise you’ve overestimated how far you’ve walked); throbbing tooth (hard to eat anything), sore feet – right foot sore all of a sudden in new place and bruised on top for some reason – somehow stabbed myself with a stick maybe?

Then hit suburbia and too much gravel and bitumen and concrete for my liking.  Felt like a long time from getting to the edge of Denmark to getting into the centre of town. Got there around 11:30am, saw dentist (he fit me in on his lunch break thankyouthankyouthankyou) – luckily not a problem with my filling, but a minor infection of my gum. Hurt when he stuck the pickstick in but feeling better now! Lunch @ Ravens, grocery shopping, and trying to help Lynne change her flight – she was using my phone all arvo to try and get it sorted! So tired after all these 4am wakeups and 20+km days.

 

The Bibbulmun: day fourty four – Peaceful Bay -> Boat Harbour

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

Wow a hard day. 8h for 23 km. Lots of up and down, longest distance we’ve had in a while and the canoe inlet crossing – which wasn’t super hard but took time as only one canoe on our side, and we took a few back to the other side, which meant multiple paddling back and forth. Good day though, was starting to feel I was getting soft after all the easy short days between Walpole and PB. No longer! Feet v sore today, between toes/ball of foot on right. Heel on left and arches, and my tooth on left side swelling up again. Difficult to chew anything hard on the left side of my mouth.

Feel very tired. Didn’t sleep all that well – Lyn snored (sharing with three other people for $60 a night!), and I woke early (around 4am) and couldn’t get back to sleep. Needed to pee but toilet block too far away. Oh well. Early night. Sharing hut tonight with Joelle from Switzerland/England/Tassie. Worldly? But unprepared/unorganized and carrying too much. She’s decreased her pack weight (in Denmark) to about 18kg (! what did she start with!). Think with all this pain and a few hard days will be feeling pleased to finish after all! Passed a cool rock shelf thing today, +++roos and went down to sheltered, beautiful bay near hut (Boat Harbour). Such a nice area!

The Bibbulmun: day thirty three – Northcliffe -> Gardener

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

There are rumours about roofs at Gardener and Dog pool – supposed to be on ‘by Friday’ – tomorrow. Was raining heavily this morning and more predicted so roof would be great…will see! Plan to check out, use visitor centre wifi and eat again then leave.

….

Went to visitor centre to use wifi and ran into Lyn from the March Girls – she’d just booked a room at the Motel! Don’t do it! I said, $160 a night and such a rip off! What? She says, I only paid $90!

W. T. F.

I used the visitor centre phone to ring the Motel Woman, and queried why I’d paid $70 more than the next person. She gave me about four different bullshit excuses like ‘we thought you were going to stay two nights so we were only going to charge you an extra $20 for the second night’ and ‘we talked to some friends last night after we checked you in who suggested doing a discount price for walkers’ and then settled on ‘how about I refund you the difference’. Then began a long stretch of waiting for her to come into town to meet me, her not being where we agreed to meet, going to make another phone call, going to where she was, etc. Made me quite late getting started but worth it for 70 bucks yo. Guess she realised I might bag them out in the hut books if she didn’t, and walkers are pretty decent trade through the towns!

The Bibbulmun: day twenty eight – Boarding House -> Beavis -> Beedelup

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

With terrible weather predicted, got up at 4am to set off at 5 to avoid worst of it. Raining as left, in the dark. Didn’t rain that much all day in the end. Hail 6-8-10 times. Crossing trees was more fun and interesting than hard. Got to Beavis at around 10am. Too early to stop! So Mr Deer and I decided to do a double through to Beedelup – 43km. Smashed. Write more later. So achy.

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 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 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 eight – Gringer Creek -> White Horse Wells

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

Another difficult/little bit shitty day. Just so much pain. Mr Deer’s friends came into the hut last night which was fine – they cooked amazing food and gave us some. (Sweet potato cooked in foil on fire, avo, sour cream, tin corn. Amazing). They had a battery powered ‘ceiling light’ on though and I noticed I wanted to go to bed so much later! 8pm haha. Amazing the difference a bit of light makes – just instantly disrupts the circadian rhythm. I slept OK. It rained. Achilles so so sore starting out. Put rolled up TP under heel as a heel lift/wedge which helped. New shoes maybe a bit better but not solving all problems. It’s already so aggravated. And now have to carry heaving fucking boots (around 1kg altogether).

Got about 3km into morning’s (painful) walk and realized one of my boots had fallen off from where I had tied it to my pack. As I was tying them on, I literally thought about whether or not they could fall off. And I thought, well, if they do fall off, they’re heavy enough that I’ll definitely hear them. Obviously I didn’t. FML. Just stood there in the middle of the track, bent over, with my head resting on my sticks, not sure whether to cry, go back, leave them behind. None of the options were appealing. I finally decided to suck it up and turn around (sans tears). I turned back and only went about 100m when Eddie appeared on side of Albany Highway (I’d left before him this morning). ‘I’ve lost one of my fucking boots!’ I greet him with. ‘No you haven’t’ he says – and pulls my boot out from underneath his pack cover. He saw it and picked it up. Bless him. (After the last thing I dropped which he walked past haha). I didn’t walk with him as he was legging it to double or maybe triple.

I felt good going up the hill (it’s written about in the guidebook as kind of, warning, very hard hill), went the extra little bit to the top of Boonerring – was windy and a bit rainy though so didn’t stay long – would probably be a nice view on a good day. There were a couple of burned out sections today where I nearly got lost. All the ground cover was gone so it was really hard to see the track. And lots of markers were missing. There was a boot cleaning station that was just black and burned. Just a scorched empty tin box in the middle of the bush. They had actually put up coloured tape to mark the track but it took me a really long time to realise that the track is actually what was being marked. I thought it was related to something else. D’oh.

Left foot joints also very sore today, as well as left toe. Carrying boots plus restock of food, of which I have way too much. Eddie did a shake down of my food bag yesterday and chucked out some peanut butter (1 and a ½ jars!), coffee, gatorade powder and some soy milk powder. Gave it all to willing recipients. Have spent my time since I arrived here at this hut just eating to try and get through some of it so it’s not so heavy tomorrow. Couldn’t bring myself to throw out the stuff I slaved over making – almond butter, granola, chocolate slab…but I’m fucking sick of it anyway. May bury it.

Also my left hip was hurting today, a first. Not sure if actual hip pain or maybe sciatic. Took about 5 km for Achilles to warm up and stop burning – right at tendon/bone junction. Would have liked to double today but left camp too late and too sore. Did a solid poo this arvo! And didn’t have to stop to poo all day for first time. Now I feel a bit crampy and farty though. One or the fucking other eh. It’s super fucking cold. Tony is here too. We’re both bummed about sore feet holding us back. He’s got really bad blisters. We’re both lying down inside our sleeping bags, at 3pm. No other way to keep warm.

Have to keep stopping myself from jumping ahead with track planning and just focusing on now, this step, this section. It’s tempting to start planning maybe I’ll do a double here, maybe I’ll separate this planned double into two singles. But it’s so hard to predict how my body will feel. Is it stupid to push myself to do a 30km double tomorrow just to afford a rest day in Dwellingup? When I could single instead and then maybe body would need less rest? Who knows.

The Bibbulmun: day seven – Nerang -> Gringer Creek

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

I’m back lying on my bed in camp, after fish and chips and salad (with no salad actually served) at 3ways roadhouse, North Bannister. Also got new shoes from Nick (what a bro!) so we’ll see if that helps. Had a $10 shower out the back of the roadhouse – the shower head was duct taped to the wall, door needed to be wedged closed with a broom stick, dead blowie or two on the floor of the (broken tiled) shower cubicle…but was so good. Washed my pants, shirt, sock and undies, mouthguard, mooncup, self – with hot water and soap! Amazing!

I was taking photos this morning but it can’t capture the sunrise of a misty morning. All the water droplets falling from the trees as sun glints on them, the cute streams trickling by. So much quiet and serenity. Have been mostly walking alone but did yesterday from Mt Cooke peak to Nerang with Eddie, which was actually nice. Set off before the boys this morning but they caught up after I stopped to poop (again) (sigh). Walked the rest with them, although Eddie went ahead. Listened to some Harry* as I couldn’t stomach the boring flat walk. I’m discovering I really like big hills/peaks but don’t do well at all on the boring flat ‘easy’ parts.

I’m a bit worried about my left big toe, it’s throbbing under the nail and it feels hot. Not a good sign. Although we did 16.5km to get here this morning (in 3.5h!) and 1.3km to roadhouse and then back, chilling here all arvo feels like a rest. Have taken anti-inflammatories so hopefully it settles my toe. And achilles. I received a box of food here at the roadhouse, which Dad dropped down for me when he was on his way down to Albany after dropping me off. Now I have way too much food. Need to eat heaps and offload some.

In general I haven’t been feeling depressed so that’s cool. Maybe I just need to live in the bush? Have good internet here so I posted an instapic – then I had a tiny scroll for the first time and I was like, revulsed (?). Disgusted. Just gross. All just seemed so fake and stupid and pointless and try hard.

*Harry Potter Audiobook