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Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Big Hike

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
     Leaving our hostel in Perth, we dragged our luggage to the central train and bus station to catch a bus to Augusta, the southern most tip of Australia’s mainland. Took 5 hours of driving like a bat out of hell, down narrow winding roads. I never get car sick but I did this time...
 
It was a short five minute haul in Augusta to our motel. We have a nice, self contained room with a kitchenette. Augusta is very blustery - a storm is howling through town right now. Getting here was a total climate change from the 30+ weather we had been having. It was 19 when we arrived, but a lot warmer today despite the wind.
This morning we embarked on our next adventure: hiking the Cape to Cape Walk, 135 km from Cape Leeuwin to Cape Naturaliste!
Check out: http://www.capetocapetrack.com.au/pages.asp?code=10 

We booked the hike through a special agency. This way we did not have to do any of the research and bookings of where to stay, where to eat etc. They book everything, sent us a big book of the trail, step by step, with hotel information, dinners booked, and our luggage transported to the next place.
We are in Augusta for 3 nights so we can wash clothes, and make our own lunches here.
We started off at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, by touching the corner stone. As the plaque states, the Dutch ship Leeuwin (Lioness) reached the southern most point of Australia in 1622 and the land was mapped as ‘land of the Lioness’. Fun to see all of the Dutch connections here.
The trail today was not easy. 25 km of bush wacking, clambering over boulders, trying not to step into deep blowholes, plowing through kilometer of kilometer of soft, sloped sand on the beach. Once in a while there was a nice section which made for easier hiking. But the Pieterspad was a piece of cake compared to this. The scenery is glorious, but a strong wind (thank goodness it was in our back) whipped up sand that pelted us.


Day 2 was more glorious scenery, great weather (hot sun and no shade anywhere!) but also more very strenuous hiking. Whenever there’s a real path in the woods, it is wonderful. But much of the time it was heavy slogging along the beach. In very soft sand that gives way with every step. Sometimes like quicksand, it pulled you down with every step. Try that for 2 hours... And then it was up the headlands, climbing quickly.
I decided that I was not enjoying this and so I am skipping Day 3. I don’t have anything to proof... The option of spending the day in a resort on a glorious beach, with pool and ... with wifi, was just too tempting.  Kees however is bravely trudging along. He loves the challenge. I did buy him some cold, dark beer. So he will be happy when he makes it here tonight!
The wildlife we saw included kookaburras, again finally!, a very large kangaroo on the trail and two very large (1.5 meters long) black snakes!




3 comments:

  1. Sounds tough. A quick run up Mount Erskine when you get back will be a piece of cake.

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  2. Hopefully the scenery will compensate for the hard slog. Sitting by the pool sounds divine after your boggy 2 first day of trekking.

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  3. Your pictures bring back so many fond memories! Happy trails.

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