Friday, September 1, 2017


Made it to the first town. Two weeks and 211km. Less than 800km to go! Walked a couple of 30km days. The last had the 20km walk into town following it. 
At the start of the day all is good, then get to the first hut and it's early and feeling good. Before lunch early. Enough time for another hut: double hutting. Eat up, shoes on, pack on and head off. After the first couple of km, thinking it was a mistake. Could have been resting back at the hut, but committed now, not turning back. The hours pass with lots of rests, stretching and more thoughts is why didn't I just stay at the last hut. Next time I will, I tell myself. Finally the hut is spotted and everything is better. Not better as in wake-up better, but relief that you've made it. 
Feeling it with tender feet after the 30km days. One small blister with the new Vibram Five Fingers. A seam at the end of a toe just touches. Will have tape that toe. Not sure what else I can do about that seam. Otherwise the Five Fingers are working well for me.
The trail is easy walking, (if not double hutting). A lot of it is fire trails. Some parts are recovering from bush fires of the past, showing the different stages of recovery. Some good views from the mountain tops. Pleasant days with only the last couple threatening and delivering on showers. Sitting out two nights in town to miss further showers, winds, and a 2c overnight. A bit of a drop from the usual overnights. And of course washing, hot showers and food. Did I mention the caravan park huts are heated?
The trail huts are wonderful. Not heated, but water tanks, seating and shelter. Can be busy though and I've slept out a couple of times under my tarp when they have been full. With fine weather a lot of people are out walking.
My pack weight is about 11kg before food and water. At the moment I've about 500-600 grams of food a day at the moment. Water, at most 2 liters so far.  I'll leave Dwellingup with food for five days for the seven day walk. I'll eat before I leave town and have a small snack that night, last day not eat till I'm in Collie. Not a ultralight pack, but not super heavy. Not everyone's idea of comfort either. Just weighed it again. I'll leave with 15kg all up, including one liter of water.
A small annoyance is my sleeping system. No matter what I've tried, I wake up sweating and chilled. In the bag, using it as a quilt, thermals on/off, light cloths, naked. Early morning I'll wake sweating and chilly. It's been 5-12c nights. Lately had some success wearing all my cloths, sleeping without the bag till I get cool, then use the bag as a quilt with vent gaps around the edge. Not sure what the problem is.  One thought is the bag isn't breathing enough, trapping moisture, hence the venting helping. I'll try using a small throw blanket to see if that helps on the next six nights. I'm getting enough sleep each night, sleeping from sun down to midnight or later before waking the first time, then every couple of hours till first light. 12 hours nights at the moment. It would be nice to not wake sweating and chilled. If I can sort that out I'll cut down a bit more on clothing carried. But till then I get to mix and match at night. 
In town, lots of eating. The cafe and pub serve large delicious meals. Then there is restocking the larder for the next leg. The local IGA has a good range of food for me. Breakfasts are oats, cashews, sultanas soaked over night. Chocolate, and trail mix, peanut butter, flat bread and some condensed milk make up the rest of the food.  Apart from breakfast, food is varied each day to make up  lunch/dinner. Best to save some to eat just before bed.  I'm not cooking, so less weight: no stove or fuel and only a peanut butter jar for soaking food. I'm calorie deficient on the meals, so am losing weight. Depending how much I lose, I'll have to increase the meals in the coming weeks.