We made it!
Exactly on schedule Ree, Marilyn and Walter hiked into Kalamunda, the Northern Terminus of the Bibbulmun track! We had hiked 820 kilometers in total (due to the many closed sections we could not walk the entire 1000kms). Walking with us were Judy and Marg, good Camino friends who also joined us on the trail previously. We came to Kalamunda to find a ribbon across the trail. No, not another diversion, this was the finishing line put there by our friend Alastair who was there waiting for us with fellow hiker Phil and his wife who formed the welcoming committee!
The next day we ventured into the Big Smoke of Perth to find the well hidden office of the Bib Foundation to register our end to end as it helps with their funding to show people are doing it all!
Driving into town and parking was an experience not ideally done after two months of serenity, make that three months if you count the bicycle ride from Tasmania to Albany! But we did it. We found the office, were told it was easier to complete the paperwork and do it on line - after we made the effort to come in. We bought all the Bibbulmun souvenirs available (the metal Waugul, the patch, the car sticker, magnet and the pendant) but could not afford the Bib marked apparel and hiking equipment.
Friday night we had a communal dinner at Chris and Shinomi's home where we also had Eric, Marilyn's husband. Saturday Marilyn and Eric drove off with the caravan towards Tasmania and Walter and Ree took off to visit friends in the Bunbury area. This was the end!
Not quite the end,.... we arrived back in Tasmania and completed the paperwork for the End to End and I received an email from the Bibbulmun Foundation:
Walter, congratulations on reaching your destination. We hope your goals were achieved.
However I'm afraid we cannot register your walk and issue you with an End-to-Ender badge, and it saddens us because we want to recognise every achievement.
This is because you intentionally ignored signage asking that you do not walk through various closed sections (due to prescribed burning) such as Willow Springs to Brockman Hwy and north through Nerang Campsite. Moreover you flouted the fact that you walked through this section (Nerang to the Powerlines) on social media. With this in particular we, our volunteers, Parks and Wildlife staff and other walkers were not at all impressed.
Sections are closed for your safety and the advice you were given before your walk (with our trip planning advice) and during your walk was obviously ignored. By doing this you place not only yourself at risk but others as well if indeed we have to perform a search and rescue.
By recognising your End-to-End we would be publicly endorsing what you did and I am afraid we cannot do this......