Australia: Wizards of Auz

Thursday, October 31, Halloween night

Farewell to our camper

October 31, Halloween night and we are checked into The Witch’s Hat in Perth. This morning we were in the perfect campsite to clean out and pack our bags. Our groceries were perfectly finished after our last breakfast and lunch in the camper. Sad to say goodbye – both to the camper and to the lovely sites along the ocean.

Soon after leaving Yanchep we found ourselves on highways, heading into Perth traffic.
We dropped off the camper. Another efficient and friendly Britz office. Then the bus, loaded with our backpacks, into the city. Checked into the hostel. Feels cool to be among young backpackers from around the world.

Our backpacks are stuffed and very heavy. Part of the problem is that we keep finding wonderful books. We bought an iPad specifically so that we
could have lots of books without the weight. The problem is not so much that we don’t like reading on the iPad. It’s fine. The problem is that we don’t come across good books online. We find them in campgrounds, in second hand book stores, on shelves in the youth hostel, etc. So they pile up.

Pizza and beer in the city for dinner tonight.
So now we are spending Halloween night at The Witch’s Hat. We both chuckled when we heard we had room… 13.
So far nothing too spooky but the lights ARE flickering!

Witch’s Hat Hostel

With trees like this

Grass tree
flowering grass tree
and flowers like that
Kangaroo Paw

With names like…

and signs like that…

is it any wonder that I think of Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak every day?!

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!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s