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So now we can tick the Cape to Cape off as done from one end to the other. The Dunsborough Taxi driver dropped us off at Cape Naturaliste. On the drive we were telling her of our first experience. I think my words might have been something like ”at least we won’t be seeing you again” because this time we will be finishing the whole 135kms. How stupid did I feel when we realised we had left our walking poles back at the Dunsborough Hotel and we rang her to bring them back. But after this minor anomaly, we were on our way. 

Before I say how amazing the scenery was, how majestic the karri forest is, what is it about the weather between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin.

The sky was a dark purplish heralding imminent bad weather, just as we started the trudge in soft beach sand. The horizontal rain arrived pushed by gale force winds. The wind caused the sand to flick up in our faces. The teaming rain hurt as it hit our cowering faces. It stung like very small hail. Perhaps it was. The only thing to do was to duck the head down and keep taking one step after the other. As another strong gust powered through, it brought our progress to a halt. 

And this was not the worse day. How can an eight-day period have such extreme weather. We chose to sit out the first big storm in Yallingup because it was one of those ones the weather bureau says is a “five times a year” event. That would be silly walking in that after our first experience.

When we started our hike, the last day according to long range forecasting was going to be sunny. Turns out long term forecasts down here are not worth listening to.

Besides that the Cape to Cape is a spectacular walk. The coastal scenery is truly inspiring. Even though we have visited the capes many times, we never knew the amazing range of rugged views.

Being September the flowers were in bloom and there was a huge array of colour. I think the acacia was making our noses run or was that the wind and cold. When the weather fined up, the hours between the rains were gloriously sunny. Even got a “bit of colour”. On the Bibbulmun Track we were the “Orchid Hunters” so to stay in character we saw pink lady, cowslip, donkey, and spider orchids. 

Coming into Prevelly was a tragic sight because of the bushfire last year. Many places were completely devastated by the hot burn.

I think our highlights were nature based. When our feet where getting a little over walking heading into Moses Rock Campsite, one kangaroo popped his head up, then another and yet another. Turned out it was a mob of thirty kangaroos standing bolt upright just watching us stagger by. They were within ten metres.

The next day we stood watching the majesty of a large school of dolphins surfing in the huge swell stirred up by the storm. Certainly takes your mind of heavy backpacks and sore feet. 

Karri are our favourite trees and after days of coastal cliff tops and sandy beaches, walking through Boronup Forest was energising.

The walk was full of challenges, physical and mental. And there is nothing like finishing and sitting in the Augusta Hotel celebrating with a glass of bubbles after a hot shower, clean clothes and the anticipation of a fresh cooked meal. 

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Tags: Cape, Pelusey, camping, hiking, to, top, trail

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Comment by Colin Lyndon Pickles on November 20, 2012 at 10:01am

Hi Jane.  The Greenstone and Routeburn tracks are fantastic with amazing vistas around every corner I did the guided walk with Ultimate Hikes staying in their lodges, no heavy pack, proper beds, all meals, beer and wine available each evening.  Cheating really but very enjoyable.  I will probably do the Great Ocean Walk in Victoria next year and would also like to do a long walk i.e. Bibb track end to end or Larapinta trail end to end sometime in the next couple of years before I become too decrepid.

 

Comment by Jane Pelusey on November 20, 2012 at 4:00am

Hi Colin, We remember you and Kerry. We agree with you that the Cape to Cape is not an easy trek. Your bad weather day was in the same place as ours on our first attempt. There are some long distances and the weather is so changeable. But what doesn't kill us makes us stronger :) 

Wish I knew that when I was pushing into that gale force windy and stingy rain. 

We haven't done Greenstone and Routeburn yet. They are on the list. What is next on your trail list?

Comment by Colin Lyndon Pickles on November 19, 2012 at 5:30pm

Completed my Cape to Cape end to end after 6 and a bit days on 13th October.  I did partly to tick it off the list and get the T shirt but also to get fit, after a 2 year absence from any serious hikes, in preparation for a 6 day tramp on the Greenstone and Routeburn tracks in NZ.  Like you I found it harder than expected especially the last 27 km day from Hamelin Bay to Cape Leeuwin when we encountered strong winds and heavy freezing rain.  We went from near heat stroke the previous day to near hypothermia on the last day.  We had intended to camp between Deepdene and Cape Leeuwin but decided to go on as the prospect of finding a spot and setting up camp in the rain became too hard.   It was a great and looking back a very enjoyable walk with my two track buddies Kevin and Daniel who looked after me throughout and kept me going.  It also made my NZ trek much more enjoyable.  Perhaps I should have done the Greenstone/Routeburn tracks first.  Anyway I can advise that the Cape to Cape is not to be taken lightly and does require a reasonable level of fitness to be enjoyable.   

My daughter Kerry and I did a section of the Bibb track from Northcliff to Walpole with you when you did your end to end afew years ago.

Colin Pickles 

Comment by Linda Daniels on October 11, 2012 at 10:01am

Beautiful photos.  Congrats on making your end-to-end - particularly in such awful weather!

Comment by Adventurous Women on October 8, 2012 at 2:29pm

So glad to hear that you completed in Jane, well done!

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