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I didn’t realise when I signed up with friends to do this 135km hike from
Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin that it would be such a challenge.
We first bought a book which divided the trek into about 7days with walks of
between 14-25kms.
There was really only a couple of notes about the difficulty of certain
sections, however together with the pelting rain and strong winds for a
few of the days made it tough going. It also was unseasonally cold. We were
in wet weather gear most of the time. I personally would have preferred to do the track later but the others said it would be too hot so I went with the flow.
Maurice the masseur did a good job of rubbing my calves and knees before
and after the walk which helped enormously resulting in no aching muscles.
I did manage to rub a big blister on my heel where I have no nerve or feeling however
with “fixomoll” hiker’s wool and blister bandaids I had no pain or further damage.
A lot of the track was very narrow or littered with rocks or quite a lot of
soft sand walking on the beach which when walking into a headwind was
very challenging.
We had to cross several creeks and the Margaret River so it was off with
socks and boots to traverse them.
The easiest day was the walk through the beautiful Boronup forest with it’s
majestic and tall karri and marri trees. Even then there were a couple of
steep hill climbs. MY lung capacity is not great so I usually had to pause
for a few seconds mid hill.
Maurice ferried the three of us between sections. We decided to stay 2days
at the Yallingup Caravan park, 6days at Margaret River and two days near Augusta.
The coastal views and the various rock formations were spectacular. Our two friends had to return a rented motorhome but they wanted to get to the lighthouse at Cape Leeuwin so we three did the section m skippy rock to the Leeuwin lighthouse on their last day. They missed one section of track which was the hardest. Luckily Simon,a friend decided to come down from his holiday house in Yallingup and join me for the missed section. We managed 25kms that day with a 7km soft sand beach hike and we missed the turn off from the beach up to the high ground and I managed to get my boots and socks thoroughly drenched and we had to clamber up some steep rocks or rather Simon hauled me up them.
Dear Maurice had a gin and tonic for Simon and a prosecco waiting for me when we finally came through the bush to the parking area.
I only saw the back for a snake in the bushes further away from where I was and Simon and I saw a small snake cross ahead of us on a sandy wide path. The only other wildlife that we saw was as small bungara (lizard) who just stopped and stared at us and a large kangaroo at the side of the 4WD track. The many and varied wildflowers were out in bloom and the scenery was spectacular for much of the track near the coast and in the forest.
The whole Cape to Cape track has not been maintained too well with leaning steps and uprooted ones and missing signs in places to show the way to the track from the beach.
Next year a government body will take over the maintenance of the whole track with some shelters and toiles (we were told this by a ranger) so that it will be a lot better.
All in all it was a great experience but much tougher than I thought it would be especially with the inclement weather on many days.