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Arriving at Cape Naturaliste

Arriving at Cape Naturaliste

Further thoughts on surfing between the two capes in the southwest of WA
After some 140 or so kilometres of hiking up beaches, through forests, between dense coastal vegetation and even down the main street of Gracetown for a beer midway, I ended up at Cape Naturaliste. The track does extend around Cape Naturaliste, but unless there's a lot of swell there isn't many options on that side of the cape for surf. So I didn't feel the need to take my board much further, even though that side of the cape has some of the more scenic parts of the hike.

One piece of planning before the hike which was invaluable was a stop-in at the Wardan centre at Injidup. It's an Aboriginal cultural centre in the southwest and they regularly put on bush tucker courses. Which pretty much means that I was taken around their coastal bush block and shown all of the bush tucker that was on offer at that particular time of the year. Everything from edible coastal berries to the saps of tree which would help with sunburn and the rest of it. 
This sort of ethnobotanical knowledge was invaluable, not just for its utility uses (some bush snacks along the way were great supplements to what I brought with me) but it also gave another way in which to view the landscape. A landscape which, to the real locals down there, was formed in a time when the land was soft, when great creatures formed the country and the laws which exist within it as they passed through it. And that was really something to daydream about when trudging along the quiet back trails.

 
(Cape to Cape map from capetocapetrack.com.au)
Craig Allsop
 
Craig Allsop
Craig Allsop is an applied anthropologist. He’s interested in remote ways of life as well as the stuff found down the street. His photography work deals with ways of seeing, and being in the world, the sort of work that’s not for people in a hurry. After long periods of travel the past couple of years have seen Craig somewhat settled in West Australia. Working and exploring the remote West Australian Desert.
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