3:45 AM. The alarm rang. Why? Tikka (Trailname of my new fellow) and I woke up early to watch the sunrise from the summit of Mt. Cooke (5am). We hiked up pretty fast and when we reached the top we climbed a rock to watch the sunrise. We talked more when we stopped or took a rest but during walking everybody was in his world. At the first camp site I head out for the second to overnight earlier then Tikka because he needed a nap and wanted to sleep between both sites but we will meet the day after.
The 5th day was again a +30km day, the 4th in the row and I felt it this time. Legs are getting heavier and skin on one shoulder hurt a bit but I finally made it to the camp and knew I gonna have some nice for dinner. I stayed close to a roadhouse from a highway and I many hiker stop there to eat. Without my backpack (so much easier to walk), I went down and enjoyed my first Burger while I’m on a trail.
(Little note: Some of you know that I adore burger. Since I am passing many trail towns where I definitely prefer a meal at a restaurant over my trail food, I will eat always a burger and give a little review over it on my blog. If your in Australia, New Zealand or ever want to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, you will know where to get a good burger (in my opinion 🙂
Satisfied, I went back to camp, read a bit and felt asleep very quick with the view of trees and the blue sky turning darker over me.
After those long days I forced myself to hike only to the first site. The trail was crossing the Albany Highway and after walking along the street I arrived at another burned area, this time in purpose.
A couple years ago, there has been a huge bush fire and it burned down a couple shelter, a bridge and a big area. Because of that, the state burns down some sections to avoid big burns. On one side it was really scary and the other also interesting to see how the environment can change.
Walking almost half a day through this area I knew I am close to the shelter were I would stay the afternoon and night. Wondering if it also burned down, I arrived at a street from where on the forrest was green again and there was the shelter.
Since Tikka was around 10km behind me (he stopped already earlier to have a shorter day), he arrived a couple hours later and left again after a break. Im going to see him again on the last campsite before Dwellingup (my finish)
Okay, there is one thing I’m not going to do. Since there is no public transport back to Perth from where I finish, I needed to hitch hike. I’ve never done it before but will definitely sooner or later on my trip. I asked a friend I met during my time with the consecration volunteers if he can pick me up and it will be also a nice time chatting again with him.
Today is my second last hiking day. I planed first 9 days but since I’ve made so many +30km I one day ahead my plan. And since last day was shorter I went out for another 30km day. I left the site by myself again because Tikka walked further the day before and slept in is Hammock between the camp sites. The talking with him is great and I tell you more about him in an extra post
Im enjoying the time more now. The women from day 3 was right, it gets better and you learn to appreciate the time out in the nature away from all the modern life. Wondering how it will be when I’m back in town, I actually decided to go for another trail (cape2cape) before flying to Cairns. Many australians told me why I’m not hiking this trail because its much nicer and you meet more people. So I will follow their advice and start hiking the c2c on Tuesday the 22nd till Sundy the 27th. Spending Christmas on beach and on trail sounds great to me 🙂
Before arriving at the last shelter I caught up Tikka and we walked the last km. He will again just take a break at the site and sleep in the bush between the camp site and the town.
After he left, I knew it is going to be my last night on this trail and thought about the past what I have seen, thought and accomplished. It will help me on my future trips and I am glad that I stick through and finished the whole section.
The last part. Walking first through an area which looked like in Jurassic Parc, I arrived at the rail track which is going to lead my way to Dwellingup. I have been in contact with my friend Daniel and after a long walk he welcomed me at the right before I got into town. We met Tikka again in the Visitor Centre and he is going to walk the next section (100km). First we thought we will see each other again on the Cape to Cape track but plans have changed. We ate lunch at the local pub and said goodbye. Maybe we will see each other again on next year when I am hiking the Pacific Crest Trail or even years later if he is in Germany or I am hiking another trail in the US. He will be still in my thoughts and it was again such a special moment to meet somebody, who hiked all tree trails in the US here in Australia.
And for myself? I had a lot of different thoughts and this quote from the book I’m reading at the moment explains it well.
“Im the experience of walking, each step is a thought. You can’t escape yourself”
I forced myself to think to be for myself. And there will be still more days on trail when I am alone or hiking with somebody. But the first step is made to know the feeling and learn how to deal with it. And what is the reward? Meeting amazing people, seeing beautiful landscape and an unforgettable experience.