Cape to Cape Day 03 – Moses Rock to Ellensbrook
I continued on without the other two along Cowaramup Bay, scrambling and clambering up and over all the boulders that lined the coastline. I found this section of the coastline to be almost devoid of people, something that I found fairly surprising then considering the proximity to Gracetown (although in hindsight, I suppose the violent waves that were smashing the coast and the large, sometimes impassable, boulders explained this).I ran out of land shortly after and was forced to ascend the Gracetown South Point stairwell that lead back up to the road. The C2C path branched off to the right winding its way around the cliffs that overlooked the swarms of surfers down in the waters of South Point. The trail passed a small memorial dedicated to the victims who perished in the 1996 rockfall of Huzzas Cliff (that lay just below) before continuing on into Leeuwin-Naturaliste national park.
The Advantages of solo Hiking
I quickly realised that despite a quickening of my pace since continuing on alone, I felt far more relaxed. There was no trudging of boots and rustling of plastic bags strapped on haphazardly to backpacks that followed me. I was able to immerse myself with the sights and sounds - from the whistling of the wind to the rustling of the underbrush as critters were caught by surprise - that surrounded and completely engulfed me.The extra speed and stealth left me feeling somewhat emancipated, unburdened, unhindered.I also became keenly aware of my vulnerability, being out in the wilderness completely alone, a vulnerability that I had come to love when crossing the High-Altitude passes in the Himalayas.After a while, I came upon strange fields of barren grey twigs amongst the green shrubs a couple of kilometres from Gracetown. The trees had charcoal-black undersides with glistening white tops and strange granule-like pods hanging from the branches. The black undersides must have been due to fire as I came upon fire rehabilitation signs shortly after that (more information about controlled burning can be found here). I continued along, with the heavy clouds far off to my right, as brilliant rays of sunlight periodically pierced through the clouds leaving bright swaths of light on the ocean.