Day 3

I awoke early, planning to hit the track at 6.30am. What I forgot was that sunrise was not until 7.10am and it was pitch black. Not only that but a thick mist covered the forest. I could hardly see the track. It wasn’t until 7.20am that I could see more than 50m ahead and bounded along the leaf covered track. I intended to arrive at Pemberton by 12pm, but in order to achieve this goal I’d have to push on – 20kms to travel in just over 4 and half hours. The problem was that I’d forgotten to take into account the steep hills. I walked as if I was in a marathon and barely stopped for rest and water. Eventually I reached the last hill up to the Gloucester Tree to be greeted by my wife and William. They gave me the energy to make that last climb as I was exhausted. The site of the Gloucester Tree signaled another section of the hike completed; 400kms completed just 576kms to go!!!

Day 2

One day was enough for William. I don’t think he fancied sleeping in the huts for one night as the temperature was predicted to dip to 7C. The day before he’d seen the hut at Schafer and I don’t think he liked what he saw!! After a leisurely morning, I hit the track at 10am commencing at the Wheatley Coast Road but this time heading North. As I disappeared into the undergrowth I could hear our car driving away. Over the next two days I would have to walk 40kms, sleep out in the cold damp forest and put up with my own company. It was a glorious day, the scenery again spectacular and the walk, while tough, was stimulating. I’m glad I decided to walk from South to North as along the track I came across a group of 20 people who had the previous night all squeezed into Warren hut – the hut I was heading to for the night. I was fortunate as I ended up being the only one spending the night on Sunday evening. That evening I lit a fire, got as close as I could for warmth and spent the evening staring into the flames as they flickered in the moonlight. Peaceful!!

Day 1

William, my youngest son, joined me on day 1 on the 20km walk from Wheatley Coast Road back to Northcliffe. We commenced the walk in a slight drizzle but soon the mist and rain cleared and we strolled purposefully through the amazing woodlands surrounding Northcliffe. It was great to have William along as it was a good time for Father and son bonding. We talked and talked and talked. There was a lot of fun and laughter as we stomped through the undergrowth. We arrived tired and weary at Northcliffe at 3pm but with lots of stories to tell.

Ready to Walk Again

Wednesday night I packed my bag ready for stage 2 of my walk. This is a short trip from Northcliffe to Pemberton, a leisurely stroll of 60 kms through the beautiful forests around Pemberton. Hopefully my youngest son will join me.. The weather forecast is looking favourable, just a few showers predicted on Saturday morning, might be a touch cold in the evenings. I’m really looking forward to getting back onto the track, recharging the batteries and enjoying the outdoor experience.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me so far. I am delighted to tell you that the fundraising total has now passed the $30 000 mark, well on the way to my $100 000 goal.

See you after the weekend,
Mike

Friday 14 April until Monday 17 April – Where have I been?

To answer this question, I feel I’ve been in another world so alien to what I’m used to. At one stage I stopped and looked out across the landscape and could see no signs of any form of human activity. No roads, no buildings, no fields, no mobile connection, no other humans; just the vastness of our wilderness which included snakes, spiders, wild pigs, kangaroos, emus, mice and numerous other animals.

I commenced the walk from Walpole and eventually was picked up, 130kms later, sore and weary at Northcliffe on Monday afternoon. I walked through rich Karri forests, bush land and swamps. Fortunately most of the walking was flat and in my desire to finish the walk three days early I walked 42 kms in one day.

Highlights were nearly being run over by an emu, the stunning location of the huts at Dog Pool and Lake Maringup. It was so peaceful and quiet, with the sun shining through the Karri trees.

Low point was when I was going down a slippery steep descent and because of the weight of the packing falling forward. Thanks to the poles Rev lent me I was just able to stop myself hurtling down the hill!

So, 337 kms completed. Feeling a real sense of achievement. My wife says I’ve lost 10 kgs and look the fittest I have in ages. All my clothes are falling off me. Maybe 16 days hiking on the track has its benefits.

Mike

200km down, 773 to go

200 Kms completed. I’ve made it to the Walpole Motel after a long and gruelling 32 Kms walk through the Tingle Forrest. It was one of those spur of the moment decisions. I’d arrived at the Franklyn Hut at 12:15, stopped, and thought, I could make it to Walpole tonight. What I didn’t see coming was the 3 Kms walk uphill – it just kept going and going and going!!! Eventually arrived at the top with nothing left in my legs, but had to keep going. The track certainly teaches you many lessons.

What was beautiful today was the walk amongst the Tingle Trees. So stunning, so mysterious and so awe inspiring. So different to the coastal section.

Arrived at the motel and enjoy a hot shower – joyous.

Mike

Giants

Amazing couple of days.  Sitting outside the Treetop Walk after sleeping at the Giants Campsite.  Yesterday woke to a stunning sunrise over Peaceful Bay, the photograph just doesn’t do it justice.

The hike up a steep hill to Giants Hut was excruciating.  Took all my energy and then had a close adventure with a snake.  Another fun day on the Bibbulmun Track.

Peaceful Bay

Peaceful Bay is certainly peaceful!!! It was great to eat fish and chips from the local store. This was a fitting reward after a couple of hard days walk: 20 kms on Friday followed by 23 Kms on Saturday. The problem was that much of the walking was over steep sand dunes that went up, then down again. Also about 10 kms along beaches.

The highlights over the two days have been the spectacular scenery and the kayak crossing of the inlet, plus the fish and chips. Only got lost a couple of times, but soon got back on track.

This afternoon, Sunday, I’ve a short walk to the next hut followed by the walk to the Giants Campsite. I’ll be walking among the Tingle Trees and the Tree Top Walk. Really looking forward to this section of the walk.

The body is holding up but the muscles are sore; would enjoy a massage!

140 kms completed, nearly half way for this section of the track.

Mike

Drizzle and Dunes

Left Denmark with a slight drizzle. Was anticipating heavy rain but God was with us and it remained dry until we arrived at William Bay hut. Just got lost once and had to take a slight detour. A close friend has joined me for three days and it’s great walking with another person. Again spectacular scenery, so special. All is well but heading off to do a difficult section along the beach.

Mike

The Simple Things

Rest day today at a bed and breakfast on the outskirts of Denmark. Four joys for the day:

1. Comfy warm bed
2. Great cooked breakfast
3. Clean laundry
4. Denmark bakery

Sometimes the simple things can give so much pleasure. Just restocking ready for the second leg walking to Walpole.