So after realising yesterday that I was in the company of some seriously hardcore walkers (take Kevin from Melbourne for example, a sinewy bloke with a floppy hat and the proper socks and gaiters and trekking poles) – I decided it would be socially acceptable to bring my walking poles today. Luckily, my partner Tim gave me these, and a heap of other hiking gear, for my birthday a week or so prior. The birthday loot, much to the amusement of my friends who were around at our place for a birthday dinner that night, included a set of shock-absorbent trekking poles, gaiters (which I didn’t know existed until I was given a pair – they are like bits of cloth with elastic around the top that go around your ankles to keep the sand out of your boots), a Camel-Pack (another item I thought was only for serious hiking and cycling nerds) and some all-important hiking snacks including trail mix, Boost bars and Summer Rolls. I would need them today – 20km is a big step up from 14km!
Today’s walk was truly epic. Our guide was Nyree, a Kimberley-born, Margaret River-loving local lass, with an infectious laugh and brimming with enthusiasm. Nyree’s background was environmental science and zoology so she was super knowledgeable about the flora and fauna – but she also worked another job as a wine tour guide, which came in handy. Everyone learned a lot about wine on this trip! We started off from Yallingup Beach and headed south towards Smiths Beach, knowing a hot coffee was waiting for us at Lamonts at Smiths Beach (perks of the luxury tour option). And did we deserve it – oh yes, with Gunyulgup Brook having broken the night prior, we had to strip off shoes and socks, roll up our pants, take a deep breath and hope the water didn’t come any further than our knees… After a flat white at Lamonts and drying ourselves off with the towels kindly lent to us by the Smiths Beach Resort staff, we pushed on past some rocky sections to Injidup Beach – one of my favourite beaches in the region.
After lunch under the trees near Injidup carpark, it was on to Canal Rocks and Wyadup, with spectacular coastal views along the way. We even spotted a New Zealand Fur Seal cruising around near Wyadup Rocks, which was pretty cool. There had been some huge storm swells in the region so heaps of the sand along the coast had been washed away, exposing some fascinating rock formations. A short detour took us up to Quinninup Falls, which only flows for a few weeks each year, was a great photo opportunity. After finishing up at Moses Rock, the end of the day was spent resting our weary legs and tasting some delightful local wines at the rustic Cape Grace cellar door, which were accompanied by a selection of delicious local cheeses prepared by the CCET team. Wine and cheese at the end of a long day’s hike – coz that’s how we roll in Margaret River.