Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Bibbulmun Track revisited: Part 2

Well, one of the very few problems of the Bibbulmun Track is that there is no cheap internet in the trail towns and therefore I have not been able to update my blog for so long. But I have finished my thruhike now and want to tell you a bit more about it: I felt quite like a memorable person because I kept running into people whom I had met 2 years ago and who still remembered me. Unfortunately, I also ran into people I did not want to meet again like Reiner from Germany.

Reiner wanted to hike with me in 2008, but he was about the most negative person I have met on any long-distance trail and therefore I politely declined. He banged the door and disappeared without saying goodbye. But to my big surprise I saw him again in the Bibb Track registers this year. He must have hiked behind me for almost 3 weeks before overtaking me in one town. I assumed he wanted to avoid me as much as I wanted to avoid him after our last unhappy encounter 2 years ago. But on the contrary: He had decided to do a mini flipflop in order to see me again because he thought that he would not be able to catch me otherwise. So he showed up totally unexpected in a shelter one day. Although we got on a bit better this time and chatted for quite a while I was still happy to leave. Some people I just cannot hike with - and he unfortunately is one of them.

On the beach
Other than infamous Reiner, I did not meet many interesting people on the trail this year. Most of the time I was alone - probably because it is very hot in December and most Australians prefer to hike when it is colder. I still met a puppeteer with an eye problem, 2 uni students, a homesick American expatriate and a desperate woman who had left her husband after 35 years of marriage. And for the first time on the Bibb Track I also met some really rude hikers who arrived at the hut with 2 sixpacks of beer and started smoking immediately. I left immediately then!

Christmas swimming pool
What was different this year? There have been more insects - lots more flies, lots more mosquitoes and unfortunately lots of march flies. I had not seen a single march fly in 2008 - luckily, as these flies have an extremely painful bite. It has also been much hotter this year. One day it was so hot that I was even sweating buckets in the complete shade of a hut, but luckily this was only one day. Christmas was unbearably hut, but I hiked only one day and spent the afternoon in the shade and splashing in the nearby water pools of a river.

But altogether it has been a good hike - even the second time. But I am pretty sure I will not hike it a third time in the near future....there are other hikes to do!!

PS: My friend Reiner has hiked the trail NINE times now!!! That is dedication!!

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