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Sisters do it for themselves
Weekend West - Travel Magazine September 2013

JULIE ANGLESEY experiences a women-only adventure

Every muscle in my body is screaming obscenities as the roaring rain on my ten cleanses my mind and spirit.

It is the end of my second day on the Bibbulmun Track, a 1000km walking trail winding its way from Kalamunda to Albany; a trail which my daughter and I have never before attempted.

Yesterday, Ayla and I joined group of 14 "adventurous women" on a three-day, two-night guided trek from Mumballup to Collie.
From Mumballup Tavern we fell into a gentle rhythm, steaming steadily along a disused railway track. Heading south we climbed through green foliage and along a wide gravel road and were rewarded with a beautiful rolling vista of farmland, cottages and sunshine.

The terrain transformed as we marched on, chattering, laughing, pausing to explore flowers, fungi and the fresh West Australian bush. We ambled over flat ground, grappled steep, rocky inclines and became unsteady on the declines, mindful of the weight of the tents, sleeping bags, food and cooking equipment on our backs.

At 4pm we made ourselves at home at Noggerup campsite with its welcoming hut, fireplace and toilet. Our scrumptious two-course evening meal was provided by the man behind Adventurous Women, Chef Brad.
But the day's best was yet to come - the stars, the stars, the stars. All campfire conversations came back to the same wondrous comment - "look at those stars!"

On day two, we woke at 6am to the soothing sounds of the bush, the mundane pressures of daily life easily forgotten. The young jarrah trees standing stoic in the early morning mist mesmerised, delaying our departure, so a cracking pace was set as we retraced our steps to Mumballup Tavern. Ayla and I found it really hard going carrying 15kg packs. When we arrived at Glen Mervyn dam, we resisted the urge to book into the nearby B&B, instead refuelling our bodies and bandaging the soles of our feet.
Fourteen pairs of pained legs stumbled under a threatening sky into Yabberup campsite in the late afternoon. Brad's moving feast was gratefully devoured.

The rain on our tents that night worked its healing magic, refreshing and regenerating our spirits so that even weary muscles felt rejuvenated.
Day three dawned with a new lease on life, but a much slower pace. As the rain settled in for the afternoon, blisters and fatigue took their toll. When the opportunity to flag down a friendly motorist presented itself, it was welcomed with open arms.

A Good Samaritan, our saviour; rescued a couple of weary walkers and lightened the loads of others. Packless, Ayla and I wandered through the persistent rain, stiffened calves and blistered feet compelling us to stroll slowly into Collie.
We had experienced solitude, simplicity and struggle, and the subtle bonding of mother and daughter. A perfect introduction to Adventurous Women's motto - "Life is an adventure - are you living yours?"