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Reflections from the South African Chooks!

Penny Allen and Hilke Kruger (the SA Chooks), South Africa

15 June 2013

To walk nearly 1000km and to be pretty much away from civilisation and self- sufficient for 50 days appeals to only a few crazies. Well I confess I am crazy. And Hilke must be too. The two of us came all the way from South Africa especially to walk your Bibbulmun Track.  And we loved it.

At the giant tingle tree
At the giant tingle tree

We were so impressed with the Track itself.  It was so much prettier than either of us expected. Each section had its own appeal, although I must admit I was very pleased to have a slight change of scenery after 500km of jarrah forest! Photos don’t do justice to the magnificence of the karri forest and the sheer size of the tingle trees. I struggled to enjoy the swampy section, but I have to confess to having a very sore back by then and feeling constantly hungry. Days and days of cloud and rain didn’t help. However all was forgiven and forgotten on reaching the coast. The delight of sun again and of swimming and the beautiful coastline, tempered the flies, mozzies and aches and pains!

Thank you to all the wonderful people who work so hard to maintain the track. I loved the simple shelters and feel so privileged to have spent 50 nights dry, safe and comfortable (that is relative of course!) but still open to the elements and not shut indoors. The fact that most of the long drops (as we call them) had toilet paper was an impressive bonus! (Ed note: walkers, don’t rely on this. Carry your own!)

Penny and Hilke half way
Penny and Hilke half way

Last but not least is mention of all the wonderful people we met or walked with. To the team of five ladies who maintain the section around White Horse Hills and other gents that night; thanks for the warm friendship and generous food contributions! Was I so obviously hungry?  To Danny who we lost along the way, we were offered your uncollected food parcel at Peaceful Bay. We gratefully fell on it like starved vagabonds! To Hauke for all the interesting chats. To John, our Mr Australia who made our trail eventful, colourful and unforgettable. And finally to Jack and Isabel for your incredible, generous hospitality, advice and friendship.

Altogether we regretfully left Australia with wonderful memories and a great sense of achievement.
Thank you!