Long Trails

Zero at Gregory Brook and food theft – Bal to Pem, Day 19

I awoke early, as you do on the Bibb and wandered over to the shelter to see who was there. Only one person remained, Daniel from Germany who is thru hiking and was taking a zero day. Most hikers zero in towns where they can get down to chores such as laundry, shopping and eating good food. Daniel was taking a zero due to some very nasty weather that had been forecast that day.

I had my beakfast and sat with Daniel watching the rain fall. I was very tired from the day before and was starting to consider staying at the shelter too. I had doubled the previous day so was still on schedule.

As the morning wore on I slowly accepted that I was going nowhere in the wet and cold. I put Kmart up in the shelter and settled down for the day. I had previously met Daniel in Perth YHA and he proved very good company for the day. Someone had left the book ‘The woman in the van’ which Daniel read in a matter of hours and recited funny passages to me. Seemed such a random book to be left behind out in the Australian bush!

A peaceful and non eventful day soon passed and little did I know what drama would be in store for me that evening.

It was around 2.30 am and I awoke to the sound of crunching that seemed to be coming from my food bag. I always put my food in the corner of my tent to stop animals getting to it. This had worked well for the previous 18 nights on the track, but not this night.

I pulled my food bag away from the tent wall to find that something had chewed through my tent and food bag! It had accessed some of my crackers and had eaten two of them and destroyed many others. I leapt outside of my tent and saw someone the size of a cat sprint away into the darkness. The culprit was probably a marsupial mouse.

Poor old Kmart had lasted over two weeks without any issues but had succumb to the sharp teeth of a hungry marsupial. I was understandably a bit peed off by the night’s drama but glad that Daniel was not disturbed. I hung my food up in the shelter and went back to bed after covering Kmart’s new hole.

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