After a short one night stop over in Kuala Lumpur and two nights in Perth I am standing in front of the Bibbulmun Track Northern Terminus in Kalamunda. I am very excited. This is going to be my first real long distance hike. I can’t wait to get onto the trail.
I came to the Northern Terminus via a bus connection from Perth City Center, which just took around one hour. But before I start I have to leave parts of my luggage at the Kalamunda Visitor Center. The people are more than friendly! I arranged this storage via mailing them prior to my arrival. They are willing to store my luggage for the next 4-5 weeks.
Just some quick grocery shopping in Colles supermarket right across the street to be prepared for the next 210km until I reach the next track town.
I stuff everything in my backpack. Eventhough the Gossamer Gear Mariposa offers a lot of volume, my gear, together with supplies for 6-7 days fill it up pretty good. I holster the backpack and I am surprised that 12kg weight that heavy after not caryying this much since some time. But I know it’s going to be lighter every day and the first stretch to Dwellingup is the longest one on the track without proper resupply.
Day 1 (10.11.2016)
The weather is just perfect for hiking. Clouds cover the sky, announcing a slight shower which is forecasted for today. The temps are perfect at around 20°C. I hit the Bibb (as the Bibbulmun Track is called here in Australia) at around 11:00 am.
I fly through the Perth Hills. A lot of sights wander to the ground, looking out for snakes. It’s my first time here in Australia and natural fear let’s you follow your instincts (at least in the beginning).
The trail is signed good, eventhough I miss a well hidden junction and have to backtrack for around 500m at one point.
I see kangaroos in wildlife for the first time in my life. They scare the shit out of me, jumping out of a bush. There are no predators dangerous to humans around here but anyways it seems as if I am still used to be traveling in bear country. I see funny bulky lizards and hundreds of annoying flies surround me.
After 12km I reach the first track shelter (Hewetts Hills). I take a rest, while a slight rain begins. The shelters on the Bibb are perfect. Usually closed to three sides, offering sleeping capacity for at least 8 people, 1 or 2 watertanks, picnic tables, fire pits, pittoilets, etc.
My plan is to reach the second shelter after another 13km (Ball Creek). However the nice ladies at the Visitor Center in Kalamunda informed me, that the Ball Creek shelter is closed due to prescribed burning which is ongoing in the area. So there is a diversion in place without a place to shelter. But according to a flyer, there is the possibility to camp at the Perth Hills Visitor Center close to Mundaring Weir.
Arriving there, the Visitor Center is already closed. I catch a staff member anyways and ask her about the camping site. According to her, it’s for school classes and educational reasons only but I should talk to the camp hosts. The hosts turn out to be absolutely lovely people. The next school class is going to come here tomorrow at around 9am, since I am planing to leave early, they allow me to stay. I even don’t have to put up my tent, since I can just sleep under a pavillion. For moderatly 10 AUSD I even get running water, a flush toilet and showers (which I am not using, since I prepared to stink for 7 days and I do not carry a towel anyways). At evening the hosts invite me to join them around their fire. They have two friends visiting them and so the 5 of us have nice talks. They even offer me a glass of wine, chocolate and watermelon. Some of them walked the Bibb Track themselves and are very active in hiking.
I go to bed later than I expected to do. And I am not even half as scared of the critters around as I was at the beginning, so I just sleep on my sleeping pad under the pavillion without any „net protection“. It turns out that I survived the night.
Day 2 (11.11.2016)
Day two starts early. I have to take the diversion around the prescribed burn area at Ball Creek shelter. The diversion is well marked but leads me along a forest road rather than a nice trail.
Today Australia shows his sunnier side and I cover my head early enough because I don’t want to use sunscreen. I rest at Helena shelter and Waalegh shelter. I start to realize that every shelter has a trail register and I check who’s on the trail before me. It seems that I am the only one trying to End-to-End since almost 2 weeks. All of the End-to-Enders are far ahead or should have already finished their adventure down south. I prepare myself for some weeks in solitude but there are fellow hikers once in a while (dayhikers, section hikers, etc.). I meet an older guy and two young men going north.
I stop at Beraking shelter even if there are some hours of daylight left. I don’t want to push my body to the limit right away from the start and want to average 30km a day for the first week even if I could do more. Beraking shelter is absolutely beautiful, it sits at the top of a hill with views across the surrounding hills and valleys. The sun sets slowly but the wind chills the temps a bit. It is going to be a cool night again. Before it gets dark, a girl in here 30’s arrives at the shelter. We have a nice talk and she shows me her nice new cuben shelter (a Zpacks Hexamid) which she is going to use for the first time tonight. I prefer to sleep in the shelter, since it is warmer and drier than staying outside and there is no need to pitch my tarp, which saves me some work. The first two nights on the Bibb were cold so far and I am happy that I brought my Cumulus Quilt with 250g filling which kept me warm during those nights.
Click here for more pics and stay tuned for the rest of the trip report.