Saturday, January 17, 2009

Yanchep National Park

Yanchep National Park is a 45 minute drive North of Perth. Its known as Perth's natural and cultural meeting place. There are cave tours available, aboriginal cultural experiences, koalas, kangaroos and an abundance of other native animals. This park is one of WA's oldest National Parks.

There is a wide range of walking trails available from 500m to 55km, which is why we headed up that way. We were in search of a different place to run. We had a choice of a 15km track or a 19.5km track to run. Luckily (in hindsight) we chose the shorter of the two tracks.

It was a really hot day, about 36 degrees and neither Jason nor I had done a long run for a while. We were a bit more sensible than previous long runs in that we took sports drink and food as we didn't know what the terrain would be like at all.

It started off ok.... but then we realised what we were in for. The Yanchep National Park is a coastal park... which means that the trails (even though they are inland) are basically sand. So what started out as a nice easy off road run ended up being a really tough sand run. Sand drains your legs and we were totally feeling it. What made it worse (and slightly funny for me) was the fact that the track was totally criss crossed with spider webs... massive spider webs, really strong and not nice to run through. So Jason ran in the front, wielding a stick like a machete to break all the cobwebs apart before we had to run through them. It was pretty funny watching him from behind... especially when he couldn't break one and he got a mouthful of cob web!

All jokes aside though I really appreciated the web breaking.... about halfway through the run we had spotted 2 kangaroos, two iguanas, 3 eagles and had heard numerous "things" scuttling away in the bushes as we approached them... so at least there was some good wildlife to take our minds off the actual run.

It was getting hotter by the minute as we were running and NZ amounts of replacement fluid just didn't do it for us... another lesson learned. So by the time we finished the run we were pretty dehydrated! We were pleased with our effort though, and its always nice to see another part of the state.

One of the sad things is, this week the temperatures in WA soared to 42+ and there was a fire in this national park. Over 7000 hectares have been destroyed and firefighters are still trying to contain the blaze.

Once we finished the run I spotted these fellas... they were friendly as and deserved a couple of photos....

After the wildlife photography we both decided that it was pretty important to get to some water and cool off a little. So we headed into Yanchep itself... and came across Yanchep Lagoon. It was a beautiful spot to swim in. Although Jason does prefer waves to play in.

This is a great family spot and we saw two weddings while we were there as well...
Jason looking out over the lagoon, he is actually about 15 m up looking over a cliff but its hard to tell that from this photo.

The water was looking pretty inviting at this stage and I was dying to get in. It didn't disappoint either... its a great way top end a run!
Heading back to the car after our swim:
I couldn't resist this shot... I kid you not... the lady in the middle of the shot at the bottom is walking a pet lamb down the beach!!!
A beautiful spot and well worth the trip even if we did nearly kill our legs on the run : -)

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