The Bibbulmun: day two – Hewitt’s Hill -> Helena

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

Had to get up out of cozy bed 15 minutes after getting in as I remembered I left my charger outside. Then after about an hour of Harry Potter, I had to pee – which meant getting up and out into the cold again. Then I woke up many times, and eventually was like, it must like, 5 am by now right? 3 fucking am. Too early. Needed to pee again but couldn’t be bothered. Eventually at 4.30am I gave in to the pressure and got up to go to the loo. The air and the bush was so incredibly still. No movement, no noise.

Got back to sleep eventually and woke again to a crow at seven am. Got up and got out of there pretty swiftly. Bye to Bill and Byron. Fuck the noisy kids, no bye to them. Smooth cruise through to Ball Creek – over the weir, past the pub, stopped in a Perth Hills Discovery Centre – flushing toilet and paper towel wipe down of important areas, filled up drinks bottles. Three people at Ball Creek coming the other way, two grandies with their 10 year old grandson. Cute. She (track name Apples?) told me she felt ‘comfortable’ looking at me, that I looked prepared. This was reassuring to hear. They told me about a guy they’d seen the night/day before who was wearing dress shoes and carrying a briefcase. The trio were walking out to Mundaring weir after two nights out. I lay out my tent to dry in the sun (it was damp from condensation last night) and ate corn crackers with almond butter for lunch. Had a poop in the dunny (yay! Good timing body! One less hole I have to dig!) and off after a leisurely our hour break. The Grandies warned me of the uphill to come – and that it was. Around 4km mostly down, then around 5 km of mostly up. Hot, sunny, (1-3pm) and up – was a bit hard by the end. Feet sore but Achilles doing ok (!!) orthotics or tying boots looser? Not questioning. Just thankful. Texted a few people when I got a little reception. Glad to arrive at Helena, about 3pm. Amazing view. Started thinking might have hut to self! Settled down for more crackers and almond butter, reading paper someone else had left behind (only three days old). Then three Navy dudes rock in – I passed them earlier in the day as they were getting ready to start from Mundaring Pub. One of the first things one said to me was ‘That’s brave, doing this as a woman alone’. I hesitated about one second then said ‘I have a knife’. He replied ‘A good response. A good response.’

The dudes were making instant lattes, which my food and flavor deprived* nose picked up on. I made some comment like, Oh! I can smell it! (Actually, my head automatically whipped around to find the source of the delicious smell…) and they instantly offered me one. I tried to decline (caffeine! Milk powder!) but they insisted. (The literal words one yelled across the clearing to the other were ‘Matty! Get the lady a latte!’. I was like, where am I? In the middle of the bush or in a inner-city cafe?)The 2nd dude started boiling water for me so I just accepted. Don’t say no to free food. A 4th dude rocked up, travelling solo. I feel better that there’s two separate ‘groups’ here. So much for lone hut though.

Helena hut

Changed undies, rinsed out old pair. Lay them on a rock to dry a bit (shy of hanging them in sight – girly pink! Don’t want to invite thoughts of my nethers for Navy dudes!) Reminder to self: DON’T FORGET THEM! I can smell the old sweat on my whole body and it’s not pleasant. Sweaty sweaty. Shower (in many days time) will be great. Worried about farting tonight – had some huge TVP rumblers last night – safely secluded in my tent…Planning to double hut tomorrow and so are Navy guys. So will likely see them again…more reason not to embarrass self with giant farts…(Then again, good way to put them off?). Sun dropping down (5:10, temp starting to drop). Feel very happy. Also noticed that very happy to chat with strangers. Thinking that when nervous system is not being overwhelmed by stimulus, self is in better (more friendly, open) state. 5pm, dinner time. Freeze dried rice, TVP (uh oh), cashews, peas and corn, olive oil and parmesan.

Much later at night: Lesson no 2: don’t drink coffee at 3pm when you want to go bed at 7.

*Lol. It’s funny that I already felt I was food and flavour deprived at this point in the game.

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