Sorry to disappoint anyone who was looking forward to following along for a few full days of Cape to Cape walking. The guys bailed out! There were reasons….. One reason was the second day was to have been from Ellensbrook Homestead to Rainbow Caves Road, which would have been around 15.5 kms, providing they could walk directly there across the mouth of the Margaret River. In the summer the rivermouth forms a solid, walkable sand bar, but in the winter, when the river breaks through the sandbar, the only way to the other side is to walk a reasonably boring additional 7 km detour, some of which is on main roads. Currently the sand bar is still forming, and they didn’t fancy the boring detour.
There aren’t many vehicle access points for two wheel drive vehicles along the Cape to Cape, and one of the strategic two wheel drive access points at Redgate Beach is currently closed for an upgrade. They could have found a walk to do but after the first gruelling day I think they were fancying a walk of around around 10 – 15 kms, and there just weren’t many accessible walks on the track of that length with parking at both ends. Instead they decided to do the Dunsborough to Cape Naturaliste trail, which is an extension of the Cape to Cape walk, on the Eastern side of Cape Naturaliste. (The Cape to Cape walk is on the Western side.)
They decided that instead of leaving a car at one end, I could drop them off in Dunsborough, and they would phone me when they were nearing Cape Naturaliste 15 kms away. I could then pick them up and we could go out for lunch.
Paul parked in Dunsborough, and I waved them on their way.
After they set off I followed a little behind them with Mr Tilly. I had hoped they’d still be in sight when the actual track started. Turns out we’d parked at the wrong car park. The Hurford Street carpark at the commencement of the track was approximately two kilometres away. They were long gone by the time Tills and I reached the start of the track. Never mind, it gave Josh a good look at some of WA’s most prestigious homes, homes with views over one of the nicest Bays in our state, most of which are only used at holiday time.
Tills and I checked out the start of the track, then made our way back to the car and came home.
I had planned to do a few chores at home, then head up to our prime whale watching spot at Point Picquet where I would spend a couple of hours quietly watching the whales. I had no sooner left home when their call came through. They had lost the track, could I pick them up early. Damn! I had been looking forward to that couple of hours. The lesson of the day – make sure you drop a car at the other end for the walkers to walk to. That way they have to find the track! Admittedly, looking at a map indicates there are breaks in it, and I know from experience that it’s easy to lose tracks here in WA. In some places there could definitely be better signage. Never mind. Here are a few photos are from their walk.
In the next photo you will notice a dark streak in the water on the far left. That’s a whale cruising past. I had guaranteed Josh that on this walk he’d see whales. He had thought I was making a brave promise but apparently soon realised why I was so sure of myself. Three hours of coastal walking along that track at this time of year, the sighting of at least a few whales can almost be guaranteed. Apparently they spotted dozens of them.
It wasn’t far past this point when they lost the track and decided to call it a day. Not only, but also, they called the next days walk off too. I think perhaps Josh was missing his girlfriend… I get that! Paul and I though, well we’ve been bitten by the bushwalking bug. Neither of us are particularly wanting to do gruelling 20km walks, but we’ve decided we’ll try and do a few short return walks on the Cape to Cape and we made a start this morning……. There are definitely sections of the Cape to Cape I won’t be contemplating, but there are sections I can do, sections I intend to do. I’ll tell you about this morning’s walk from Sugarloaf Rock to Three Bears and return soon……