Thursday, April 19, 2012

You Put the Buff in Bluff Knoll.

As noted as one of the top 25 best hikes in Australia, you definitely need to be buff to hike this non-knoll in Western Australia’s Stirling Range. Perhaps, if not definitely, chosen for it’s well-known name and fame, I was not prepared for such physical activity. And by not prepared I mean: 1 run in the last month and a half, lifting bottles of wine and cases as the most exercise I get every day, 30C cloudless weather in the middle of the day, the caloric endurance of half a banana, a Cadbury egg, and leftover wine swimming in the system from the night before, and no water bottle to accompany the hike. Let’s just say that if I were thrown into the Hunger Games, I would not survive. While I was climbing up the steep incline, if I wasn’t thinking about fainting or about my knee popping out of the socket as it often does or about whatever creature was lurking in the leaves around me or concentrating on my non-inhaler breathing techniques, then I was thinking about the silver parcel floating down from the sky delivering me a bottle of ice-cold water. It never arrived to drown out those other thoughts from my mind and I thought I would certainly evaporate into the heat. Actually, the top of Bluff Knoll actually does get snow - maybe one of the few places in Western Australia that does - although it was hard to fathom such an idea at the time.

1,000 million years old
 I did make it to the half way point - 1.6km up - and had a lovely viewing spot to contemplate whether or not the photo opps at the top or my pride were worth the physical exertion required to make it the rest of the way. I did try to continue, until JD came bounding down, saying that the second half is much steeper and the view was impressive but all I needed was a shrug of convincing to turn around and head down towards water and lunch. 
view of the carpark down below.
The Stirling Range National Park is home to over 1,000 different species of flowers and plants and amongst those along my way, I actually saw a lizard the size of my arm walk out in the path in front of me - which for a 5'10" person is of impressive length - but I could not muster up the energy to take a picture of it as I tried to swallow my panting and not scare it away. But as I could have lied and said I made it to the top, I didn't, because I am a terrible liar, so you will just have to believe me when I say it was Huge.
Awkwardly trying not to fall down the ravine below. Awkwardly. 

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