The Bibbulmun: day thirty six – Mt Chance -> Woolbales

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

Highlight of day was meeting Dad for gas and lunch exchange. I exchanged my rubbish for lunch haha. He had Lara with him (Swiss chick who was backpacking and in Albany). Much talk by hut mates at Woolbales re: sandwich – ‘how was the sandwich?’ ‘bring any sandwiches back for us?’. Guess I went on about it a bit the day before.

Was/is a really weird thing to see the fam while on the track – it’s like this odd brush with another parallel universe, another reality. Where people are clean and cultured and not obsessed with food. And then there’s this odd tearing away when you leave, where you sort of want to turn back and just go home with them, to showers and beds and shoes, but you keep walking and soon enough that feeling fades and you’re back in the bush, at home.

Back to wading again, and deeper than yesterday – pretty much up to my knees. So much for the guy telling us it was only shin deep (half way up shins he said!). The first part of the day went really quick and easy, saw the karri trees I knew (from guide book) the road would be in to meet Dad and thought ‘the karri trees! That’s where the sandwich is! I mean, Dad. That’s where Dad is.’ After leaving Dad it dragged though, felt I’d been going for ages and FINALLY allowed myself to look at the clock and only been about 40 min. (This is after leaving the 16km mark). Crossed some deep sections mostly fine – a couple of dark ones you couldn’t see through which was a bit creepy, and a few with thick, slippery mud. There was this one that was so bad, slipping around, half losing my shoe, using heaps of energy to walk, slow going, would have fallen many times if not for sticks. Lining on inside of shoe has holes rubbed in it, through which sand and mud go, which builds up under my feet, squishing my toes. When I took my shoes off this arv (felt v grumpy when FINALLY got to hut,) I had about ½ cup dirt packed on top of my toes. With my holey socks and disgustingly dirty bandages, Lynn said I looked like a leper haha. Anyway, totally underestimated how the shoes would go wading. I thought light weight runners would be better, but in the mud they are shit house. Boots would have been better. Also really wish I had a pair of camp shoes as mine just wet and fucked, which leaves me going around camp in bare feet, which is cold, sometimes wet and dirty and maybe ouchy!

A wallaby growled at me today. Gave me a fright. I didn’t even know they growled. It was like a dog! Saw 2 hawks yesterday. Hoping for clouds to clear tonight so can head up to summit and get some pics. I feel v tired. Felt so great this morning having a sleep in! Up at 5am for toilet (bad cramps – poop or period? who knows?) then back to bed and dozed til 6, lay around for a bit, got sunrise hill pic, brekkie, sat around, strapped sonja’s knee, etc. Coffee! With found coffee bag someone left behind. Left at 8:30, perfect timing to arrive and meet Dad, stayed there about 1.5 h and still got into hut around 3pm. Should have long breaks more often! Ocean tomorrow. Today is 749km – ¾ of the way there. Far out. Only 250 to go, come on feet…right heel hurt in new place today. Arch joints sore when got to hut, hip aching right now, woke me last night. Want to finish! After crossing the (relatively) deep creeks coming into the hut, you think you’re done and then there’s one more long, boggy, swamp. You can see the hill in front of you that you know must be where the hut is, but have to get through this long deep quagmire…so demoralizing!

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