Sandpatch Campsite(609.1)-Albany/Southern Terminus(616.8)
I went to sleep early last night with stomach issues and woke up with them slightly better around 1:30am. I finished up the blog post from that day and fell back asleep an hour or so later. When I awoke again at 5am, the stomach stuff was gone thankfully, so I think it was more anxiety with all that’s coming up more than an actual stomach thing. Dave and I hiked out at 6:30am and the rest of the women in the shelter had already left much earlier. The final 8mi/12.5km went by pretty quick, but had a lot of deep sand.
Once we dropped down, we could see across the bay to the finish in Albany. It was a really pleasant and calm morning and a great way to end this hike. There was a trail in a paved path that we followed quite a bit that I could imagine being painful if I were to do it at the end of a full day, so I was happy to be doing a morning hike in.
Albany has some historic significance in a few ways. One is that this is where the Brig Amity ship brought the first European settlers to the west coast of Australia. There was a replica of the ship along our route and it was cool to go on it. Had it been later in the day, it would have been opened to also go below deck.
The southern terminus of the Bibbulmun is right under the bridge and next to the visitors center in Albany. We ended up catching up to the March Girls at the end and all were able to take finish photos for each other.
Our big motivation for the morning was a celebratory breakfast. There was a cafe right next to the finish that worked perfectly and even had milkshakes so I was quite satisfied.
After breakfast, I said bye to Dave (who had a 5hr drive home to Perth ahead of him) and immediately noticed I didn’t have my hiking poles! I had left them at the finish! Thankfully, they were still there, whew. So I technically lost nothing on this hike, but it wasn’t without trying. I left my jacket at the beginning that Marcus brought me the first day, twice I dropped the guidebook to have it found again or returned to me, and I was able to go back and get my hiking poles. I will say that I did rub off on Dave. The day it poured rain, he lost his sunglasses and this morning he left his cheap reading glasses at camp.
A few brief thoughts on the Bibulumun. I may be spoiled for life with with the laid back and relaxed aspect of this trail! I was quite spoiled by all the shelters and town options. The greatly abnormal weather of cooler temps and rain made it more challenging than most years, but I still really enjoyed it and highly recommend it. Although the Bib may not be the most breathtaking or epic hike you could do, it has a unique quality of solitude, peace, and calm that I’ve found nowhere else. This was just the hike I needed at just the right time. I’ve never felt more content just walking for hours with the thoughts in my head and the scenery around me to occupy my mind. The Bibbulmun Track Foundation has done some remarkable things. The volunteers and support for this trail is unparalleled. It’s pretty cool to be on a trail that is so well cared for and that so many have pride in maintaining. Those shelters are quite amazing and the resource books and maps for the trail are of the best quality. I can tell great effort and attention to detail has been made in the guidebook and that’s really cool. The people along the trail are the most open and kind people I’ve met on any trail I’ve done. Really, the Bibbulmun is a special trail that shows how beautiful simplicity can be. I can completely understand why people do multiple end-to-ends of the Bib and why people are drawn to it. To those who put in all those years to make this trail what it is and currently work to maintain it, thank you and well done!
After breakfast, I needed to shift gears and think about the Cape To Cape Track I’m headed to tomorrow near Augusta. The track for that hike will soon be on the “Where’s Wired” tab of the blog for anyone that would like to visualize it. I will be heading just west of the center of the Bibbulmun to hike about 5 days for 84mi/135km along the coast from the lighthouses of Cape Leeuwin to Cape Naturaliste. Weather looks to be ok with some rain showers possible, but I’m really looking forward to it. I needed to do my full resupply today since my bus is early tomorrow.
I was met at the IGA by my host for the night, Nancy. By a random coincidence, Nancy who I met at one of my presentations in my current hometown of Portland, Oregon, is also vacationing in Australia and renting a house in Albany tonight. Nancy and her three friends kindly invited me to stay with them today and it made this transition quite relaxing to be in a home and be able to get caught up on things. THANK YOU to all the women for allowing me to crash their vacation for a night! If you’d like to read Nancy’s blog on their travels and more, it can be found at www.travelingnancy.me. She is soon headed to Tasmania and then New Zealand.
Ok, so tomorrow is the 9hr bus ride (indirect through Pemberton) to Augusta to start the Cape To Cape!
Well done ! It’s great that you enjoyed the track so much , and I hope you feel the same with the Cape to Cape . That’s an area I’m very familiar with as my parents live near Cape Naturialiste -in fact just down the road a bit . Hopefully you’ll get to see some whales as you walk -there may be some stragglers frolicking . I look forward to,the next instalment .
Kate, can you email me directly? I’m looking for a ride Sat morning from Cape Naturaliste to Dunsborough (sp) to catch the 9:30am bus out. I’m willing to pay but just need someone reliable so I don’t miss the bus. My email is [email protected]
Well done and Congrats on finishing the Bib track!
I briefly met you on the first day of your hike – at the first hut. I was doing an overnight hike with my teenage daughter. I was so impressed by the pace of which you were setting for yourself (end to end in 30 days- WOW!) and the size of your pack. I just wanted a little sticky beak into your pack to see exactly how this was possible. I have been following your blog since(a first for me) and have enjoyed my armchair version of your hike. I like your honesty and the glimpses of how the bib track affected you on a deeper level. Happy hiking!
I remember you! So great to see a mom with her daughter out there!
Big congratulations to you, Wired!
I read every single entry but comment rarely, just because I´m quite slow in English. I also binge-watch the pictures with my 6yrs old son. You are his hero:-) He definitely wants to see all the bears, rattlesnakes, kangaroos etc you´ve seen and hike all the hikes you´ve hiked…you´re such an inspiration to him. I also showed him THE video from CDT (sorry, but I couldn´t help myself) and now every time he loses something, which is often, he says No problem because Wired loses things too! So you kind of “stay” with us permanently.
The Bib hike definitely sounds like something I´d like to do one day…the peace, solitude and calm must be great. Thanks for taking us there!
Haha, that’s hilarious that he knows that video! Thanks so much for saying hi:)
Congratulations Erin, thank you for sharing your journey. I’m looking forward to reading about the Cape to Cape.
Hi Erin, it was great to meet you and see you again on the coach on your way to the capes. After reading this post just wanted to mention that we found a pair of bolle sunglasses (a bit scratched) that may be Dave’s so if your still in touch you can pass on our email. Have a great capes walk and well be vicariously following you. Mark & Wendy
Oh my gosh! I’m asking him and will let you know! Can you email me directly. This dang app doesn’t show your email on my phone:/ my email is [email protected]
Great to see you two as well and I just got your photo up on the blog. You’ll see it wasn’t the best day for me…
This has been a fun read Erin. I’m so glad that you are in Australia now. Things are crazy here with elections! Your connections with readers and fans are amazing. Charge on!
Another chapter finishes, and on to the next… I’m so glad that all the effort you must have made to plan all this is proving worthwhile Erin. You have quite sold me on this trail, a shame it is so far away from me, otherwise I’d be there next weekend!
It’s a good one!