Bibbulmun Track :: Preparations
After what seemed like 6 months of intense planning, purchasing and lately training, we felt extremely well prepared. I had an extensive spreadsheet that calculated everything from intended walking durations and expected arrival times to food consumption, shopping lists and food drop labels! It had been checked and re-checked and we were comfortable that we were ready to trust it.
Packing for an interstate walk was extremely scary though, knowing that if we forgot anything it was going to be a long way away! Our standard packing process worked a treat: collect everything into the sun room, ticking it off on the list, then double tick as it gets packed into the pack. This time though it was complicated by all the other, non-walking stuff, we had to take as well: like clothes for before and after the walk.
The morning went well, we got everything packed and I got my hair cut, and before we knew it we were walking to the station to catch the train to the airport, feeling very odd to be walking with a pack and a jacket... or maybe the odd feeling was coming from embarking on something so long planned? Whatever, it was odd.
We landed in Perth at midnight for a hectic 3 days of rolling out of our preparations. The basic plan was simple enough:
- Hire a care
- Pack Food Parcels
- Deliver Food Parcels
- Return Car
- Start Walk
Jon picked us up from the airport and took us home: it was already a long day and we were exhausted. The next day we were up early to collect our rental car at 8:00am and then hit the shops. My spreadsheet had calculated our shopping list for us:
|Powdered Milk||2.96 kg|
|Tea Bags||388 bags|
|Large Clip-lock Bags||43 bags|
|Small Clip-lock Bags||118 bags|
|Muesli Bar||96 bars|
|Dehydrated Meals||43 meals|
|Supper Snack||82 servings|
|Drinking Chocolate||41 sachets|
|Coffee Bags||82 bags|
|200ml UHT Milk||11 cartons|
|Boiled Lollies||318 (maybe ~7 packets)|
|Emergency Chocolate||1 family bar|
|Laundry Powder||10 washes|
|Garbage Bags||12 bags|
|Packing Tape||1 roll|
|Honey Soy Chicken||2|
|Thai Chicken Curry||3|
|Chicken Tikka Masala||2|
|Chicken A La King||1|
|Roast Lamb & Vegetable||1|
|Sweet & Sour Lamb||2|
|Classic Beef Curry||2|
|Beef & Pasta Hotpot||2|
Jon took us to the bulk food shop Kakulas where we started filling large plastic bags with muesli and scroggin... but it started looking too ridiculous so we only purchased half what we needed there and decided to get the rest from a supermarket. This would also hopefully add some variety -- Sandi was not overly happy at the prospect of eating the exact same food every morning for 2 months! We then trotted around to Mountain Designs to pick up our order: everyone there impressed that we were just about to head off on an end-to-end and regaled us with their own stories of the track.
We then headed back out toward Jon's local shopping centre and filled two trolleys at Coles. It was quite good fun filling the spreadsheet quantities, and relatively easy too: but I've never, ever stood in line at the shopping centre with sooo much in the trolley! It was starting to get a little late and we didn't have enough time to go anywhere else and the selection at Coles was not as broad as what we'd thought it would be. So we lugged two trolleys of stuff back to Jon's (unceremoniously dumped in his lounge ;) ), had lunch, then proceeded to compile them into the food drop parcels.
The spreadsheet had a tab that calculated a recipe for each food parcel, so it was a simple matter of lining the garbage bags up and throwing in the number of each item that was required. It was quite good fun, but did take longer than I'd expected, and we had to take a dinner break.
We headed out to a restaurant for a meal then desert at a lantern cafe, and then back to finish the food parcels off so that we could deliver them tomorrow.
We were pretty focused and one-tracked... the time felt just a little too short, and we were pretty stressed.
Jon was so cool, putting up with pretty distracted yet focussed us, especially when trying to get to know us again. Took us to Kakulas: a big bulk place (P and I had been to one in Fremantle), where we got 10kg museli and 7kg scroggin basic mix.
On Sunday we packed the car up and headed out for Mass (I was sure I'd added a waypoint to the GPS, but I couldn't find it) and then a Fathers' Day Brunch with my Dad (serendipitously it was Fathers' Day).
Sunday 7:30 Mass at St Columbas Bayswater, but we didn't have a GPS waypoint. Managed to find our way though with an argument and bad feeling and being a little late. Readings all about being reconciled to those offending you, so we were. Then the hymn was "The Lord is my Shepherd and I want to follow..." It felt like a promise for the walk, particularly with the "over the mountains, valleys and byways". Very, very touching, such a blessing.
Then it was the 1,154km round trip drive down to Albany, via Mundaring Weir and North Bannister; then tomorrow all the way back via Denmark River Mouth Caravan Park, Peaceful Bay Caravan Park, Coalmine Beach Caravan Park, Rest Point Caravan Park, RoundTu-It Holiday Park, Pemberton Caravan Park, Donnelly River Village, Balingup Transit Park, Collie River Valley Tourist Park and Dwellingup Caravan Park.
We'd booked Albany Backpackers for the night and also the 3 nights after the walk: if we finished on time; if we were actually late, then it would be shorter (if at all).
Got on our way very scenic drive to Mundaring Weir Hotel, then Three Ways Roadhouse... then Albany. Backpackers usual quirky. Room great. Walked and went to Pub for tea. Bit expensive for what it was. I had carrot sweet potato & chile soup. Perry had vegetable platter. Lovely, but small; so followed by pretty good sticky date pudding, but freezer broken, so no icecream.
The Monday drive back took us a huge amount of time longer than we were expecting.
We stopped in Pemberton for lunch, and whilst there we got a shocking SMS from Sandi's family in New Zealand that her sister had taken very ill and was not expected to live very long. We were immediately very glad of the mobile phone, and suddenly concerned about reception along the track. Sandi's sister's health stayed with us for the whole walk. thankfully without too much mishap and communication issues.
Finally, after a couple of "where are you?" SMSs from Jon, we got back to Jon's very late for a very late dinner... then rushed to bed for the start of the walk tomorrow.
So tired last night following our rampant race South and back in rental car; 5 hours down but 12 hours back. Perry did all the driving and it was a big effort with quite a deal of driving in and then out again. However a great relief when the last parcel was safely delivered to Dwellingup at just after 7pm to a chap who bet Perry half a stubbie concerning what time we would arrive there!
Bless Jon, he had dinner ready just perfect when we arrived and it was simply wonderful and made up a for a lunch marred by tears and a breakfast with P upset with himself (not a jolly meal).
Had a wine, last bottle at a winery we stopped at en route of an award winning variety made in Italian tradition. A brother and his wife and sister being the wine makers. A very full bodied rich red, very nice. Bought a Merlot mix for R&T that he makes for his father and grandfather, alternating with a Chianti from year to year.
Created by • Last edit by on Nov 20 2018