The three of us set off along the Cape to Cape track as soon as we reached the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse. In hindsight, I regret not taking some time to explore the lighthouse itself considering that it is a landmark and an integral part, as a start or end point, of the Cape to Cape track.The beginning of the trail was very easy to locate as the sign posts were very clear and very prominent. We set off down the wide, red path shortly after midday, the sun still high in the sky. The path lead us to the registration booth where we took a moment to sign in. Signing in helps the 'Friends of the Cape to Cape Track
' to keep a record of
the demographics and how frequently the trail is used.As we walked along the trail, bush flies (Musca vetustissima
) started to buzz around our heads. I was worried at that point that they would be ubiquitous throughout the rest of the hike, but those worries turned out to be unfounded. After several 'Aussie salutes
', the irksome presence of the flies was quickly forgotten as a gorgeous view appeared before us - a vast azure swatch of the ocean, with the glittering peaks of the waves reflecting the light from the sun, a view that was magnificent, awe-inspiring, breathtaking...
The path from the lighthouse to Sugarloaf Rock, which was specially constructed for hikers with disabilities, merged into a fenced wooden walkway soon after which elevated us above the unending heathland and began to curve Southward as we approached the coast. I barely noticed it at the time as my eyes were still transfixed on the magnificent vista in front of me. As we approached, the sounds of the crashing and pounding of the surf began to intensify, sounds that were to accompany us, to lull us to sleep, for the the week to come. This walkway turned out to be popular with day walkers. I suppose that was something that should have been expected as the walk to this point from the lighthouse was a brief one and the reward was absolutely spectacular!
The Real Trail Begins
We were walking along the coast now, heading Southward with the vast ocean to our right. The wooden walkway had ended and the trail continued on as it cut through the shrubs and heathland that completely surrounded us. Looking ahead, we could see stretches of perfect, pristine beaches stretching endlessly away into the horizon. I was very aware at that point of the sounds of the surf - the initial thundering crash of the waves impacting the rocks, and the suds, the only remnant of the power that once was, lingering momentarily before hissing as they dissipated. It struck me that there was something very soothing about the regularity of all this.The track then began to cut inland where it passed a carpark, which was the start of the short walk up to Sugarloaf Rock. Sugarloaf Rock is a very large granite rock formation that juts out and looms up and above the ocean. The conical, triangular shape of the rock explains the name. We decided to keep on walking along the Cape to Cape trail as it undulated up the hill, through rocky areas, sandy swaths, and rocky areas once again. The islet that is Sugarloaf Rock receded into the distance as we looked back over our shoulders.
The limestone ridge that we were walking along seemed to get more and more eroded, occasionally creating cave-like undercuts with very sharp protruding edges. I thought to myself then that they could possibly function as shallow shelters but then dismissed it soon after realising that their sheer existence was an indication that they were directly exposed to the wrath of the elements.