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Riding the Gib’

©Nicki Rehn

Going all out stay just ahead of the Back of the Pack! ©Nicki Rehn

It just so happened that my holiday to the Kimberleys coincided with the Gibb River Road Mountain Bike Challenge. The ‘Gibb”, as it is known locally, is a 700 km dusty, hot, corrugated, uninspiring 4WD road that creates a shortcut from the west coast to the east through the un-tamed desert of northern Australia. (more…)

A little jog in the wilderness

Mandalay Beach ©Nicki Rehn

Mandalay Beach ©Nicki Rehn

I was the only witness to my unforgettable experience, my thoughts and pain and joy the only companions for days on end; and silence, my closest friend. So, it is hard to convey a real and true picture of my journey. It took me 20 days to run 963 km from Perth to Albany along the Bibbulmun Track. I was able to do it alone and unsupported by carrying a 30lb pack, sending food drops ahead, sleeping in the track shelters, and doing without luxuries such as clean clothes, real food and a hair brush. And as it turns out, complete exhaustion is a sufficient substitute for a pillow and mattress. I ran (which was more like an ultra-marathon shuffle) between 50 and 60 km each day, moving slowly with the heavy pack, across the difficult terrain and in unseasonal scorching heat. It would take every morsel of daylight to complete my distance, as well as the first hour by headlamp. I actually wasn’t chasing a speed record, but was hoping to find space … not just wide open physical space that characterizes the Australia outdoors, but the mental and emotional space that comes from lengthy solitude, continuous days of motion, and time defined only by the sun rising and setting. (more…)

Bibbulmun Run

Kalamunda trailhead

Kalamunda trailhead ©Nicki Rehn

This Sunday, I’m going to get up really early and drive to the outer Perth suburb of Kalamunda and start running south.  Way south.  963km south.  Solo.  Unsupported.  In 19 days.  I’m going to fast-pack the entire length of the Bibbulmun Track, a spectacular continuous hiking trail that links Perth with the south coast town of Albany via remote bushland, virgin forests, and isolated beaches. (more…)