“When every climb comes with ocean views, there are tougher ways to spend your time.”
As pampered as we are, we’re not physically carried along the GOW (hmmm, a gap in the market?), although Jack must feel he’s carrying at least one person in his huge pack: “Anyone misbehaves and you get to lug this,” he jokes
early on. Hikers need to be fit enough to cover
the distances and the terrain. Day two (20.5 kilometres), with its many elevations, is the most challenging but when every climb comes with glorious ocean views, there are tougher ways to spend your time.
Day two also acquaints us with the wildlife; mostly shy wallabies and echidnas who, like little kids, think you can’t see them when they simply cover their eyes (in this case by sticking their head into a bush). By contrast, the mob of kangaroos we encountered earlier that day – a couple of them so big and heavily muscled that they would have looked at home in boxing gloves – were too insouciant to hide.
The highlight of day three (17 kilometres) is descending some 350 steps onto Wreck Beach, a wild strip of sand into which a couple of anchors are still stuck since the boats they were connected to – the Marie Gabrielle and Fiji – ran aground on rock bars in the 1800s. Jack details their history and that of the Shipwreck Coast with the same
easy manner he uses to tell us about the flora and
fauna on our walk.
Late on our third day of hiking, I finally see
our destination. Standing in the water, way over
west, two limestone stacks are almost camouflaged against the cliffs behind them. The 12 Apostles!
Well, two of the remaining eight that haven’t yet succumbed to erosion. “This time tomorrow you’ll be there,” says Jack but I’m not entirely enthused by the prospect. I’m not ready for the journey to be over.