Reflections II
Five Years and Still Going

Hello. My name is Mark, a recently turned 33yo male living in Fremantle, Western Australia that enjoys hiking, photography and life (for those that only know me as the myth that is The Life of Py). It's been a couple of years since I've done one of these and with so much happening since then I thought it was best to put the remembering hat on and reflect on what has been a remarkable journey. Starting in 2014 I never thought this is where TLoP would end up and to be honest, I'm surprised at myself for sticking with it this long. Before I get into a long philosophical flow about life, love, hiking and the meaning of everything (this will be a long post that I make no apologies for), I'd like to thank a few people who have supported me to this point.

Caris (the partner of Py) is the one who lets me go on all my adventures by keeping the house together and doggos fed when I go off on my own for sometimes weeks at a time. She even joined me on a couple of adventures this year with an Easter trip to Fitzgerald River and beyond and a four day excursion on the Three Capes. Aron aka 1A1R is another who has been a big help, not only joining me on a few trips but also being a giant help when it came to tackling the regrowth around the Murray Campsite. The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions played a big part in my 2018 adventures with a couple of trips with the Google Trekker allowing me some experiences that were probably a year or two off if I'd organised them myself but I'll get to those a bit later on.

Now to the rambling... I'll start with a brief reflection on 2017 as it was an amazing year filled with friends, great adventures, new trails, stunning locations and a little bit of disappointment. I had a full year of organising group hikes where I met some amazing people and created some lasting memories. Thank you to everyone who came along to an event, it was great to meet you all and everyone added something special in their own unique way. Unfortunately I was unable to continue with the group hikes in 2018 because of insurance and license issues (which doesn't stop almost every other hiking group you see operating on Facebook but they seem to get away with it) but given what I have done in 2018, I'm not sure I would have had the time anyway. In between running the group hikes I explored some new trails, mainly in the South West with a couple of road trips to experience the wonderful natural beauty we are lucky to have all over the state. Before enjoying an amazing holiday exploring Europe in July (and getting in a couple of hikes in Switzerland and Greece) I took the first big steps in completing my sectional E2E of the Bibbulmun Track with a five day hike between Donnelly River and Pemberton.

 

Following Europe my focus was set on the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker and getting the training kilometres into the legs but the weather turned against us on the day and the 100km event was cancelled, to be replaced with the 50km option (you can read my thoughts on that on the page). That disappointment was quickly forgotten as I started another of my overambitious South West road trips trying to tackle way too many hikes where something would eventually go wrong. Starting off well with a visit to the Porongurups and Stirling Range, followed by an aborted attempt at the Stirling Ridge Walk, my faithful Audi A4 let me down at the Bluff Knoll car park with a mechanical issue (later diagnosed as a blocked catalytic converter) so I had to cut my trip down a little. I still enjoyed some hikes around Albany, Denmark, Pemberton and Northcliffe and the slower pace probably made it more enjoyable. Those hikes kept me busy for quite a while afterwards with lots of photo editing and posts to write-up.