Saturday, 11 February 2017

Liebster Award!

While Alissa and I were away on the Overland Track, we received a lovely email informing us that The Long Way's Better had been nominated for the Liebster Award!

I'd never heard of the Liebster Award before, but after a bit of research I discovered that it is an online award given to blogger by other bloggers. Basically, its a nice way for another blogger to say; 'Hey, I think you're awesome!', and then you get to pay that forward by nominating blogs that you feel deserve similar recognition. The award is meant for blogs with less than 200 followers. With roughly 1000 Facebook followers, I'm not entirely sure if we qualify, however I felt it was important to thank the person who nominated us and pass the award onto other blogs that I feel are deserving.

Michelle and Mark from Walking Two by Two doing the Coast to Coast in the UK
We were nominated by Michelle from Walking Two By Two (thanks Michelle!). Michelle and her husband Mark are keen long distance walkers and their blog focuses strongly on multi-day hikes, as well as informative guides on gear and advice for fellow hikers. Trails they have walked and covered on the blog include the Cape to Cape Track in Western Australia, the Great Ocean Walk in Victoria, the Coast to Coast in the UK and several Caminos in Europe. 

Beyond writing, they are also big on community engagement, and have passed on their knowledge through presentations at info nights. Indeed, we met them at an event where they provided a trip report on the St Olav's Way. At time of writing, Michelle is fundraising for the Bibbulmun Track Foundation, and will be completing a thru-hike End to End in May 2017. 

The rules for accepting the Liebster Award are as follows:
  1. Thank the person who has nominated you for the award and post their link in this post
  2. Display the award on your blog
  3. Write a 150-300-word post about one of your favourite blogs that is not your own
  4. Post 10 random facts about yourself
  5. Nominate 5-11 blogs that you feel deserve this award and provide links to them in your post
  6. Answer 10 questions that your nominator has asked you
  7. Ask your nominees 10 questions
  8. Let your nominees know that you have nominated them for the Liebster Award
Mark from the Life of Py on Mt Cooke on the Bibbulmun Track

Favourite Blog - The Life of Py

One of our favourite blogs is the Life of Py by Mark Pybus. Mark has been blogging about hikes in Western Australia since 2014, and has the most exhaustive coverage of day hikes in the Perth Metro Area of any blog online. Although other Perth-based blogs have existed well before Life of Py, most have focused solely on the Bibbulmun and Cape to Cape Tracks and have been very vague beyond that. As such, I would consider Mark's work in raising the profile of day walks in Western Australia as pioneering given how little information used to be available online before the advent of Life of Py and TrailsWA's move away from Top Trails to a more all-encompassing approach to cataloging the state's walks.

Having followed the Life of Py since 2015, it was a great pleasure to meet Mark last year and join in on a few of the group hikes he organises over the walking season. Beyond his own blog, Mark has been a strong advocate for building up the hiking community in Perth and was one of the earliest supporters of The Long Way's Better back when we launched in March 2016. We look forward to doing some more hikes with Mark later this year, including a planned traverse of the Stirling Ridge Walk. Mark will soon be branching out to include cycling adventures too - he's got a long section of the Munda Biddi scheduled for later this year!

10 Random Facts

  1. The Long Way's Better was not my first blog - previously, I founded and wrote for the Perth food blog known as Ministry of Gluttony
  2. Prior to blogging, my main extracurricular project was an original R&B/Soul band known as the Accumulated Gestures
  3. I collect vintage keyboard instruments and vinyl records.
  4. I used to be part of an art collective called Spatula.
  5. Although my background is in visual arts, I currently work as a planner/scheduler for public transport.
  6. I'm a keen home cook, and particularly enjoy the challenge of long, complicated dishes.
  7. My favourite cuisines are Japanese and Vietnamese, and I'm a sucker for noodle soups.
  8. I'm pretty open to a lot of different foods, but despise celery and thickly cut cucumber.
  9. My favourite colour is orange, hence the orangey-brown colour scheme of the blog.
  10. I'm very much a dog person, and I'm particularly fond of Golden Retrievers. 

Kevin Moss from Going' Feral One Day at a Time on the GR20 in Corsica

My Nominations

  1. A Wild Land (
    A collaboration between Caz (the photographer) and Chrissy (the writer), A Wild Land focuses largely on off-track wilderness walking, with trip reports from every state and territory in Australia. Although they publish only once or twice a month, the quality of Chrissy's writing and Caz's photography - and the wild and unique nature of their adventures - makes A Wild Land riveting reading.

  2. Goin' Feral One Day at a Time (
    Kevin 'Mr Feral' Moss is a true inspiration. An extremely prolific writer with 40 years of experience in hiking, Kevin has almost literally been everywhere in Australia, as well as undertaking many great walks overseas. As well as contemporary adventures, Kevin's retro posts are a major highlight - come for the photos of the Overland and Karijini from the 80s and 90s, but stay for Kevin's glorious mullet back in the day!

  3. The Heavy Hiker (
    The great thing about blogging is that it provides a voice for a diversity of views and experiences. Based on hiking 'fitspo' photos and tourism Instagram feeds, you'd think only young, thin model types go out hiking. Writing with eloquence, a strong personal voice and a clear passion for hiking, the Perth-based Heavy Hiker challenges such myths by sharing the positive way hiking can improve one's life, and that it can be enjoyed regardless of one's weight.

  4. Metrotrekker (
    Is it possible to only do walks that are close to a major city and/or reachable by public transport? Marc's blog Metrotrekker emphatically proves that you can. Covering walks in Perth as well as numerous Metro Treks in Asia, it is quite extraordinary to see how many rich and enjoyable adventures one can have even within such seemingly tight constraints.

  5. Nature Mondays(
    Bree was another new blog to launch in 2016. Although her posting frequency is relatively low, she has covered several walks of interest and we are forever indebted to Nature Mondays for introducing us to Whistlepipe Gully. Here's hoping for more adventures over the 2017 hiking season.

Walking Two By Two's 10 Questions

Were you always interested in the outdoors? if not when did you become interested?
My love for the outdoors began in primary school, with my parents taking me on road trip holidays through Australia's South West. My parents are not hikers however, and it was seeing Waugal markers along Lake Beedelup and reading about the opening of the new Bibbulmun Track in 1998 that captured my imagination. For Year 12 Leavers, I hiked Walpole to Denmark on the Bibbulmun and haven't looked back since. Alissa has similar fond memories of holidays in the South West, and caught the hiking bug after we did Albany to Denmark in the winter of 2012.

What is the most exciting adventure you have had?
Our most recent East Coast trip would probably have to be right up there. The Overland Track was the major focus of the holiday, however our time in Tassie was preceded by a road trip to the Grampians via Brae (one of the country's best restaurants), a challenging day hike in the Grampians, and a return trip to Melbourne via the 12 Apostles. After Tasmania, we flew to Canberra, visited the many museums and art galleries of our nation's capital and then drove to the Snowy Mountains for some bobsledding and tackling the Main Range Track in Kosciuszko National Park. All in all, a fantastic trip!

Do you prefer to travel solo or with people and why?
I prefer travelling with Alissa as we work well together as a team, and adventures are more fun if you get to share it with someone else. When travelling with others, I prefer smaller groups or being able to do our own thing rather than be tied to the will of a larger group. Larger groups can be hard to organise, and as a planner (both as a job and by nature) the inevitable disorganisation can be challenging.

What is the one thing you have never done and are keen to try at least once?
I'm really keen to get into Canyoning - its that next logical step up in difficulty from regular bushwalking. Claustral Canyon in the Blue Mountains is definitely on the bucket list!

If you could pick an era to live in what one would you choose and why?
I wouldn't want to live in an earlier era, as I think travel is becoming easier and more affordable that it has ever been. If I could live in a future where conservation and the preservation of the natural world was seen as paramount, where dealing with climate change was taken seriously, and playing politics didn't stand in the way of real social change, that is probably the era I would choose to live in. Throw in a few weeks of extra annual leave for more adventuring and a cure for Dieback, and that sounds like a pretty ideal era to me!

When you travel do you prefer backpack or suitcase?
Depends. When hiking, there is nothing better than the simplicity of having everything you need on your back and carrying as little as possible. Suitcases are generally much larger than the backpacks I would carry, and thus much more practical when going on holidays with a lot of shopping or if nice clothes are required for fancy dinners at good restaurants.

Also when you travel do you prefer warm climate or cold?
Without a doubt - cold climate. I have a high tolerance for the cold, while I can't stand hot weather. Summers in Perth usually fill me with heat rage, though this year has been uncharacteristically mild (so far).

Where in the world would you like to go if given the choice to leave tomorrow?
I'm guessing this means time and money are not an option, in which case it would have to be either to go hiking in Patagonia, or to do the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevadas.

How would you describe your blog site in 5 words?
Outdoorsy, Eclectic, Detailed, Personal and Visual

Do you have a favourite adventurer that inspires you to get out and do what you do?
John Muir. He is practically the patron saint of the wilderness, the father of the national park system and the environmental movement.


10 Questions for Nominees

  1. What is it about hiking that appeals to you?
  2. What has been your best hiking experience to date?
  3. What has been your worst?
  4. What do you prefer - day hikes, overnight hikes, shorter multiday hikes (up to 10 days) or long distance thru-hikes? Why is it your favourite?
  5. If you could blaze one new walk trail of your choice, where would it be and what would it be like?
  6. Other than hiking, are there other outdoor activities you participate in?
  7. Name your most essential item when out on an adventure.
  8. What is your blog about?
  9. What advice would you give someone new to travel?
  10. What's in store for you in 2018?


  1. Well deserved. I always enjoy reading about the two of you and excited to get the chance to have a stroll with you both on the Bibb real soon. Congratulations and keep writing and sharing as it is such a great inspiration to all that get to read about it.

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