Long Trails

Zero days at Dolphin Retreat and future plans

I love zero days! The zero refers to the number of trail miles that you do that day. Basically it’s a day off. A nero day is when you just do a few miles.

I stayed in Dolphin Retreat many years ago and it’s nice to be back. The owners are so friendly and nice, they keep giving me lollipops every time I pass their office! I am sharing a dorm with an older chap who says little and a talkative young German guy who is keen to perfect his English. A good balance.

It’s a really hot day outside (around 30C) so I am glad not to be hiking. It’s great for doing my laundry though. I have bought a new sleeping bag. It is a little on the heavy side at 800 grams but was only $60, which is cheap for Australia. A chinese takeaway dinner for two would probably cost the same (seriously).

My mini keyboard. Kindle is in place of my phone for illustration’s sake!

I had thought about going back to Collie and making this a full thru-hike (or end to end) from Kalamunda to Albany, but I have realised that despite having almost a month left before my Australia visa runs out, I’d not have time to do it all at my current pace. I am not prepared to walk stupidly long days. Hiking is suppose to be enjoyable, to me anyway.

Instead I’m going to take a bus to Balingup and do the 160 km section through to Pemberton. I might then go and do the Walpole to Denmark section, which is suppose to be the highlight of the whole track. That would leave me just a couple of hundred km short of a sectional thru-hike.

Whatever happens I will probably come back one day and do the whole Bibb in one go. It’s just so damn nice and easy. It requires little planning, unlike other long trails. I will also have shaved off a few kilos from my pack weight with lighter gear. I want to buy a Zpacks tent that would only be around 600 grams compared to Kmart who weighs in at 1400 grams (which still ain’t bad for $12).

Lovely Back Beach in Bunbury. Next land is South Africa!

My plans for the next few months will see me heading back to Southeast Asia for 6 weeks or so to get down to some work at a co-working space.

I am then going to head to New Zealand in December where I want to do a couple of short sections of the Te Araroa in the South Island.

Also in the South Island is the Rees-Dart track which is finally fully open again and remains one of my must do hikes in NZ. I might also head to Stewart Island as I have not been there (NZ’s third island). Planning on checking out the Hollyford and Caples track too.

I am contemplating doing the desert section of the PCT in April / May. The Pacific Crest Trail is one of the most famous long distance hiking trails in the world, running from the Mexican to the Canadian border. At over 2600 miles long, it’s not something I’d likely do in one go, but 600 miles or so through Southern California holds great appeal to me.

I am more of a wide open space person and have always had a fascination with deserts. We will see what happens. For now it will be back to the forests of the Bibbulmun.

Brilliantly run YHA #YHAoz

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