Getting friendly with the Cape to Cape Track

Over the last couple of weeks we have been walking with the Friends of the Cape to Cape Track (FOCCT) group. Biannually, Cape to Cape Explorer Tours offers the end-to-end walk to members of the Friends Group where they can join one or both of the 4 day legs with our guides out on the Track. The first four days on the Track saw members of the Friends Group traverse the Track from Cape Naturaliste to Ellensbrook followed by the final four days seeing the Group complete the walk to Cape Leeuwin after three rest days in the middle.

Friends of the Cape to Cape Track Yallingup
Day 1 – Friends of the Cape to Cape Track in front of the coastal hamlet of Yallingup

With monster swells smashing the coast line, we were all dusted with fine coating of salt by the end of each day. During the first week the weather was extremely kind to us, mostly drenching us in sunshine apart from a little rain on the second day which definitely added to the atmosphere of the walk. “Many of the members noted day two to be the most enjoyable of the first week” said Mike Evans, who walked on each day of the FOCCT program. On the fourth and final day of week one, members were invited by Karen Karri-Davies back to her winery Cape Grace for an afternoon of cheese and wine tasting, This was a fantastic way to reflect on and celebrate the walk thus far!

Cape to Cape Track Wilyabrup
Day 3 – Downhill from Moses Rock Campsite

The weather for week two was wild, wet and windy! Quite a contrast to what was experienced on the Track just days earlier. Day one coincided with one of the biggest storms of the season. With weather predicted to worsen during the day, the walk was cut down to 7kms seeing the group heading south from Ellensbrook to Kilcarnup Road. “The walkers in the front were kept busy pulling fallen branches from the middle of the path and the rest of us followed heads down” said Lyn Hellier recounting the shorter mornings walk. The wind was still strong on the second day of week two but the afternoon the group found shelter and enjoyed a bit of orchid and fungi spotting in Boranup Forest. The final two days were both longer stretches complemented by isolation, wild Indian Ocean and CCET’s Managing Director Gene Hardy.

Boranup Forest Burl
Day 5 – Big burl on a Karri in Boranup Forest

It was a fantastic opportunity for Cape to Cape Explorer Tours and the Friends of the Cape to Cape Track to note both the strengths of the Track and potential improvements that could be made, particularly to the signage. Jenny Kickers, an ex-guide of CCET took the role of ‘Tail-end Charlier’ to a a whole new level by playing ‘Doctor to the Signs’ by patching up and re-digging damaged signs along the way. Highlights of the walk for both Lyn Hellier and Mike Evans were not just the scenery, wild weather and big seas but also the whole physical challenge leading to an overall sense of achievement. To those wondering if they should do it; don’t wonder any longer, just of it while you can.

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
Finished! The group upon completing the hike at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse