The Bibbulmum Track is one of the world’s great long distance walk trails, stretching nearly 1000kms from the Perth Hills to Albany on the south coast, through the heart of the scenic South West forest and coast of Australia.
For my 40th birthday a couple of years ago a friend gave me a present which was to “walk a section of the Bibbulmun Track” together as a day walk. What a great gift. The Northern Terminus is in our suburb in the hills and we see it every time we go to the local village.
We decided on doing the ‘first leg’ which runs from Kalamunda to Mundaring Weir, a cross country trip of 18kms including a descent of 300m down to Piesse Brook, then a climb of the same up the other side.
The walking was wonderful. We chatted some of the time then spent long hours quietly crunching along the gravel, finding our own meditative rhythm through the changing scenery. We passed through woodlands, jarrah forest, valleys, a camel farm, a national park, an old abandoned golf course, a thirsty weir and across the top of the ridge.
I was always a keen bushwalker which came from my days of Army Cadets and being a Youth group and Scout Leader. Some day I’d love to walk the length – people come from all over the world to do the “End to End” trip. It just so happens that it starts near my home and ends in one of my favourite places in the world – Albany on the south coast. It is a marathon adventure though and generally takes folks around seven weeks to walk it if they cover 20-30kms per day.
We got lost a couple of times and retraced our steps back to the marker only to find it had slipped and was pointing in another direction. A quick snap of a twig made a makeshift rivet to hold the sign in place for those behind us.
The walk we did came two months after I’d recovered from the Swine Flu – yes, the real one. It nearly killed me and has left a post viral storm that became the catalyst for activating Rheumatoid Arthritis in my system. Since then I haven’t been physically able to walk very far due to pain and swollen joints. I’ve been working on it though. It’s been two years since my diagnosis and I’m just beginning to walk daily, establishing a routine that will see me reclaim some health and fitness. I’m aiming to venture out into nature once again, far enough away from the sound of traffic would be a bonus.
I might not ever make it End to End in one go, but I will aim to complete another section sometime this year. Maybe I’ll take it bit by bit. Stay tuned.
For more info about the Bibbulmum Track visit the Foundation here