Bibbulmun track pt 8 Balingup to Donnelly River Village – the mental game - thru hike end to end
Morning of day 27, leaving Balingup after a good little rest day. Great little trail today. We've actually done this one and we've come from Donnelly River north to Balingup before and so we're doing it in reverse now It's a great day - leave Balingup, we walk through a tree park where somebody's organised and planted many different trees from around the world. Get to walk through some farmland today, which I love. Pine plantations, which I love. It's not very, I don't know, probably not very Bibbulmun but I just, yeah, I love walking through pine trees so that's my thing. Too bad! Yeah, it's gonna be a beautiful little day. It's gonna be a great section coming up, as well, actually. So all's good!
(music plays) All right now, lost sight of Howie. He's already down there. I'm not sure how best to show you this gradient but it's steep! What we're going down is steep! It's about to be. Two years ago this was day three - the last day of my first ever through-hike and on this hill - a hill that I wasn't expecting - the hill that was very steep - going upwards in the opposite direction I found myself powering up it and I found myself enjoying powering up the hill which was not at all something I ever expected. Let me just show you another beauty! All right, I'll start going down. i might employ my sticks! Sticks are another story for later.
Right, so this hill, as I powered up it Can i give you a sense? I... Really, it's really impossible for you to see how steep this is! Right, as I powered up this hill and surprised myself with enjoyment of powering up the hill, I remember laughing with Howie as I said, "Who even am I?!", and so, this, my friends, is Who-Even-Am-I Hill! That's what I'm calling it! Oh, look at these! Brilliant - brilliant! All right, one last thing before I get careful on this hill. I'll show you this. These are these great new cutaways that the wonderful volunteer workers on the Bibbulmun Track are doing on these steep tracks to ensure decent runoff They've got a special tool for it It's hard work maintaining these trails! Good on you, volunteers and the BTF - the Track Foundation Much appreciate your work! Who even am I? Right. so I asked the question, which means maybe you're looking for an answer. And it's a big question, so let's not try to answer all of it! But one thing,
the new thing I discovered that day, was that I was someone who could persevere, that I could push past pain and discomfort to get to the top of something. And it came to me quite late in life that belief, I think... physically, anyway So, who even am I? I'm a through-hiker! hoping, not long from now, to be able to say I'm an end to ender. It's poignant today, I think, to hit this hill. I've been feeling some pain in my feet, my ankles, my arches. They're very tender and every now and then there are shots of pain
that happen when I'm walking. I'm hoping it's not going to cause a bigger problem but I'm listening to my body, taking the breaks that I need, rubbing my feet, stretching... Stretching! But... there's a difference between pain and discomfort, so listen to the pain but don't let discomfort stop you! You know, we're not meant to be comfortable all the time, or we'll get nowhere This section of the Bibbulmun Track is twinned with the Bruce Trail which is in Canada about there somewhere. 890 km Bruce Trail
Might just have to go and do that! Joined on the Greenbushes Trail Loop. We also get to follow the Kaarak sign - that's the red tailed black cockatoo They're often around us. We really like their company Noisy, messy buggers - but wonderful, wonderful birds! Less impressive, once again some d*#!head trail biker has been through here churning up the track. There's a bit of that on the Bibbulmun either side of Grimwade as well. I can't imagine what it might be like if a bike comes around a corner and confronts a hiker unexpectedly Someone's gonna get hurt! But the damage that it does to the trails is pretty bad too Whinge over! (music plays) Just dropped down into this valley and everything has changed! (music plays) Where we're going is up there! That's where our hut is tonight.
That's where we just came from! That's great! Not only do we get to walk in the fields, (Clatter and clang of gate opening) but now we get to walk through the pines Tell you what, what this place needs is dung beetles! Need some dung beetles Into the pines. Oh yeah, what a day, what a day. Through a tree park, through bush great little bit of bush, past a dam, down country roads - great farmer lets us walk through his paddocks and fields and then finish the day with a nice little cruise through pinefield - uh pine fields! Ha ha ha! Through the pines Now the only problem with today is all these little friends we've managed to pick up I don't know if you could see that or not but... We might be carrying them into camp, which is a bit of a bummer, but they seem to disappear once we're there. They're just flies who like travelling as well! They're like, "Yeah, let's let's go somewhere else!"
Can't be bothered flying! (music plays) Morning on day 28. Of course, a great night last night at Blackwood. There's the views and the sunset there last night was just spectacular. Just finishing off the last little bit of Cardiac Hill this morning, as we go down, the easy bit at the bottom here A good little warm up for the rest of the day! It was a bit of 18km or something today Once again, nice mild weather. A few things we'll be going past... Well, we've already done the Cardiac Hill, then we'll be walking past a little farm. Hopefully, the little - little? - the big clydesdale horses are still there and we'll say hello to them, cross a nice bridge, up a hill past a dam and then into some big, big southern forests. Apparently the beginning of it so... Wow look at that chonker! If that was edible then it would be a whole meal in itself! Gregory Hut. It's special for Kath. That was her first
overnight hut. Great little spot; nice little creek out the front of it so that's going to be good. A little bit of behind the scenes footage happening here Ahoy hoy! Oi! Donk! Aw! Hehe! I found a pair of socks at Blackwood Hut, which feels like an odd kind of karma given that i gave my others away. I 'm enjoying this and the birds And 'On-on!' Quick little snack break by the river and before we climb up there! (music plays) king of kingias This is the bullich gum - it's lovely Shiny grey silvery skin. It's got enormous leaves. Bark peels back. It's very exciting for us to walk into some different terrain.
I love the way the fronds of the kingia spray out like a fountain That's so tall! These are the tallest ones we've seen. I feel really very small in this landscape but in a good way. I feel embraced by this forest. It's not frightening, it's welcoming Hear the birds? (Bird song) Get a real good look at this If a tree falls in the forest... how do the hikers climb over it? I'm going to try the roll method previously untested Hi (Kath sings) If a tree falls in the forest, does anybody hear? Does anybody hear? On-on! (Kath sings) Ease on down, ease on down the road. Ease on down, ease on down the road Don't you carry nothing that might be a load, oh, ease on down, ease on down the road Just your tent, and your sleeping bag and your food, and your...
If you're not sure where to put your bottle, Bob has the answer... Put it in your shoe! He's a Hash House Harrier. They drink from their shoes - the weirdos! Only new shoes! Only new shoes, he hastens to note! He's either going to freeze or run away. He's doing a bit of both at the moment As long as he doesn't run towards us See him? Where is he? There! You can fly! Go on! He's like, "I'm a fly" Fly, be free! (music plays) Kaya koorda! Hello friends! Welcome to day 29. Last night, the people we shared the hut with, people walking the other way, told us such tales of the delicious food at Donnelly River that we we got up remarkably early really and we've headed off with gusto! The only problem is, there is just so much to film here, I fear it's slowing me down! It's going to be a fantastic day of walking. These things are new! These things are new! These things are new! That's what we like,
change of scenery! There's nothing wrong with the scenery, but you know, change feels like progress The Bibbulmun guide[book] says there are Balgas up here, up to 800 years old! Let's get Howie in for proportions They just keep going up and up... beautiful trees! And, honestly, out here I don't find myself thinking all that much! The days pass. You think about the pain in your feet. You think about the next Waugal and making sure you're on the right path.
You think about where to put your tent -in or out of the hut Whether you'll have one cup of coffee, or two Pretty simple You think, "What was that?" That, that sound up there. I don't know if you can see them (cockatoos cry out) black cockatoos You ponder things, about what you're seeing How old is that? Why does that grow there? How is that possible? But, as for anything outside the walk, It's hard to give it much attention Another great day. Oh, these - walking on these rail formations. They used to be the old railway tracks, for when they were doing the timber and the logging through here We've walked on a lot of these, and they're just definitely the preferred mode of transport around here! And these ones especially. Great with all this leaf litter- it's really nice underfoot Back to having hummus. This beetroot hummus that Kath made up - dehydrated Love the colour of it. Look at it! mmmm, and then coffee soon Bloody luxury picnic spot here, with a deluxe dunny, shade There it is Willow Springs (music plays) Inception! The old fella standing in front of this tree...
I thought you were taking a photo No, no! It's all great! Anyway, the most remarkable thing about this tree... [is me!] is the man standing under it! Now, it looks pretty gone but, hey, hey my friends, up there... up there it keeps on keeping on We've been worried about Bob. He's usually not so far in front of us,
thought he might have got lost but a clear sign here On... On... ON-ON! Ah, so we've made it into Donnelly River... Village. 23km day. Not too bad - a bit tired... and we've finally found an emu! (On on) Hey emu. What's up? There he is Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum! Donnelly River General Store. Time for a burger
Had lunch and a shower and now we're off to put some laundry on with some very friendly locals here. This young fella and both these guys seem very friendly. Wanna say hello? I think they expect to be... well, they do get fed here quite a lot, so
a slightly bigger one just hopefully you don't eat the camera. You cannae eat the camera! very soft and furry, though. A whole mob of of them down here pretty chilled Want a bit of a scratch? A little bit of a scratch? No and these are some of the young ones and that's a... Yeah are you a mum? Maybe a mum That looks awkward So we're staying at the old Donnelly River Primary School and they've got bunk beds and stuff in here. You can stay at the old bush shelters like we normally do, but this is the old school school building and it's got bunk beds, showers and a kitchen and one of these one of the old school chainsaws they used to use did a little bit of logging around here