In September and October 2016 I did the 1000km Bibbulmun Track Solo, North-South. Here’s a few excerpts from my journal.
2am – dreaming about tent leaking. In my dream, I wake up to a pool of water and my sleeping bag is wet. I don’t freak out because I think to myself that I can just ask the roof contractor tradies to turn their cars on and I can use the car heater to dry my baggie. Then, an actual drip on face. Dream real. Well, luckily not totally real. Tent is leaking but not full pool and sleeping bag not too wet.
A quiz: when there’s no hut and it’s 2am and raining and your tent starts leaking onto your face, do you:
a) cry yourself back to sleep in despair and pretend it’s not happening,
b) pack up in the dark go sit in the only dry place around with no hut – the portaloo – and try to sleep sitting upright,
c) pack up and start hiking in the dark and the rain, it’s only 20km to the next hut,
d) stay up for the next few hours until it’s light dozing/mopping up the puddles intermittently or,
e) fire off your PLB and get the fuck outta there.
I chose D.
Packed and left camp by 5:45. Walked pretty fast and in hut by 10. Passed the time composing an email to the guy who made my tent, and thinking up bitchy sarcastic comments to add (‘Did I forget to tell you I wanted a water proof tent? must have been my mistake’). Sun out when arrived here, phone reception on top of hill. While walking, thinking about after yesterday’s walk I felt Bibb was pushing me to my limits. Then leak happened. Even more to limit. And yet, I feel kind of ok. Like, yeah, it sucks, but what are you going to do? Stop? Today my sense is that I’ve reached some place of acceptance within myself, like I’ve seen into my brain and it’s ok in there. Things are shit and I hate the long straight roads but I’m ok. I dealt with a 2 am leak. Although ashamed and annoyed and disappointed about it (I was so proud of my custom, locally made, ethical tent). I’ve got some tough.
I was also thinking about how to appreciate your life: go without. Without a shower for days, sleeping on the ground, eating only processed/preserved food, no shelter to stay dry, not having a towel, not having a choice of food, no running water, no hot water, no soap, no reception, no power…so many things (Transport! Fresh food! An abundance of food, and food choices! Heating! Lights! Beds! Towels! Clean clothes! Water! Shelter! Comfortable shoes! Ovens! Bikes! Internet!) we have and just take utterly for granted.
Saw three emus and tiny turtle (tortoise?) long neck I think, on the plains. Also had much to be grateful for – drip on face woke me up before sleeping bag got too wet, there were some moments of sun throughout the day, I went to bed at 7 last night so had at least a few hours sleep before the leak happened, it stopped raining while I packed up the tent, I saw 3 emus, today was only 20km and there is a HUT here – imagine if rain night happened at Gardner and then had to do it again at Dog Pool? Meeting Dad for gas and sandwich and cake tomorrow at Broke Inlet road, looking foward to it.
The 2 March girls arrived here, and Jerry, Helle, Peter and Sonja. Nice to have a gang of happy sociable people. Feel quite rested after being here all day (after getting in at 10am). Pingerup plains were cool, distractingly, cold water was actually quite nice on sore feet, and flowers were lovely. More wading tomorrow, then back to hills. Thunder and hail this arvo – SO pleased and grateful to be in hut, makes this experience 1000x better. Would be miserable without. Peter going back about 2km for Sonja’s lost pack cover because her feet are sore. What a partner.