Great South West Walk Day 11, Tarragal to Cape Bridgewater, November 2021

Today’s walk was a combination of inland and coastal. The first section was inland, from Tarragal camp to Bridgewater Lakes, a bit over 12kms that took around 3 hours. The walk was along some bush tracks, tracks running alongside farms and also through farm fields including some electric fences to be negotiated.

One of the more interesting sights on the approach to the lakes was Tarragal cave.

The facilities at the lakes were a good place for a pit stop, snack and rest before taking on the coastal section.

Cape Bridgewater was beautiful. It was mostly quite rocky walking with fantastic scenery. It was sunny, warm and very windy which meant a lot more water consumption. For the first time on this trip I had to ration my water a bit. One feature of the walk was wind turbines. There are a lot of these scattered along the coast all the way to Portland. If you turn your back on them the coastal scenery is still amazing. No doubt the wind does a great job of generating power here but they do detract somewhat from the feeling of being out in nature.

On the eastern side of the cape there is a seal colony, apparently the only mainland one in Australia, with New Zealand seals on one platform to the right and Australian seals to their left. Apparently they don’t mix. Read into that what you will.

Aussies to the left, Kiwis to the right

The walk along the cape is very exposed with virtually no places to shelter from the wind and sun. A viewing platform near the seal colony with a little shelter was a very welcome place for a rest before the last few kms into the small township of Cape Bridgewater.

While in Nelson a few days ago I saw the forecast for tonight was not looking great with high winds and rain expected. So I took the opportunity to book into the the Seaview Lodge B&B rather than camp. It also evened out today’s and tomorrow’s walk to around 22kms each rather than something like 29 and 15.

There isn’t much by way of facilities in the town but there is a cafe that serves hot food. I arrived into town around 3pm, rushed off to the B&B to have a shower and came back to the cafe before it shut at 4pm for some decent hot food. I feasted on a burger and chips washed down with a Blue Heaven milkshake. It was amazing!

I had a relaxing night at the B&B chatting with the other guests and reading in my room. Nice to be indoors while the wind and rain battered the coast outside.

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