The Bibbulmun: day six – Monadnocks -> Mt Cooke -> Nerang

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

Far out. So pissed off with the oldies last night. They were unprepared to the point of irresponsible. No sleeping bag (they had a doona/blanket each, sheets, etc – but the poor old dude had brought a doona that was too short, so he has to sleep curled up in the foetal position to stay warm and is thus sleeping really badly…they also had no tent, I heard the story about how they got lost one night a few nights back – someone who had passed them during the day and knew they were meant to be arriving at the next hut got worried when they never rocked up and called search and rescue. Who flew around in a helicopter looking for them (didn’t find them). But they found their way back to the track when it got light the next morning.  They are carrying 27kg each…I’m sort of impressed. Except that, part of that 27kg was a radio which the guy used to listen to the footy…until 8:30pm when I asked him to turn it off. I’d already gone to sleep around 7 with some Harry* in my ears to drown out the “…And Dickhead passes to the other Dickhead and he goes for a kick of some sort and ahhhhhhh he misses!…”and woken up again and it was still blaring. I swear he was asleep. He was snoring! I asked him to turn it off at 8:30 – practically midnight! Hiker midnight, anyway – and he didn’t answer. I asked again and then his wife woke him up and was like ‘Turn off your game!’. Geez. And then the South Africans they were walking with were kind of weird and non-talkative. So I wasn’t going to double on my original walking schedule, but then I was like, I don’t want to spend another night with them! So a double it was. Also when I did the 1st two peaks and got to the first hut, I still had energy, which was another reason to do the double.

Before Mt Cooke I had a wee break. Went to grab toilet paper from it’s usual spot in the front mesh pocket of my bag. Not there. Weird, it must be in the zipped pocket. Not there. Toilet paper gone. Tummy still unreliable. Disaster.
I realise it must have fallen out when I was hefting my pack around, trying to reposition it more comfortably on my shoulders and hips. Fuck. Luckily, for this wee break at least, I have some old used tissues in my jacket pocket. Linton is always ripping on me for keeping old tissues in my pocket, but this time I was like ah hah! I showed you! Eddie caught up to me at Mt Cooke hut, and I asked – ‘Did you see anything on the track along your way, per chance?’ He said, ‘what do you mean?’ ‘I’ve lost my TP,’ I say. ‘Did you see it?’ ‘Oh.’ he says. ‘Yeah, I did see that.’ My face betrays my excitement for a minute before he says ‘I walked past it.’ 🙁 . He softens the blow of my TP loss by giving me a few spare baby wipes to get me through to tomorrow, when I have a restock at the road house anyway.

I climbed over Mt Vincent, Mt Cuthbert and Mt Cooke. I got to the top of the second peak and called Linton and mum re: my Achilles. Which was REALLY SORE! I realized I had forgotten to pack the heel lift that the physio gave me as he said it might help. I asked mum to post it but she wasn’t sure it’d arrive in time (for Nick to bring it down). I asked Linton to post my old runners last night but then by today I wasn’t sure it was a good idea – could I make to the town where he could post them to? I called him back and told him not to bother. But I couldn’t keep walking with my achilles this sore.

By the time I got to the third peak I tried a new tack. I got sat on a little rock with some signal. Googled shops in Perth that sell Vivo Barefoot shoes (as they are the only brand I know that I can wear new out of the box without getting a blister (except for the fucking hiking boots that I am currently wearing). Bought a pair of trail runners over the phone with my credit card. Low ankle, which is not awesome for sticks and stone etc but can’t deal with the pressure on the back of my ankles. Rang little bro and was like ‘Ehhhhh bro! How about a road trip?!!’ He agreed to go pick them up from the shop the next day and deliver them to me at North Bannister tomorrow. What a good bro! 

Spent the last 10km walking with Eddie and chatting about life. Was cool. He did a good part of the Bibb last year – got to Denmark but then ran out of money and time to finish it off. He is a hiking machine. Was also good because while I really enjoyed the walk up and down the peaks, the last 10km were flat and boring along old fire roads and the like. Now here at the shelter along with Julian (who I met the week before I left Perth in the Mountain Designs shop) who is also cool. Hiker life! Did 26km and three peaks so sore feet.. Too busy chatting with fellow hikers to write! Saw two wallabies today.

*Harry Potter Audiobook

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