Thursday, 20 October 2016

Adventure 14 - The one with a1000km trail

 Where: Bibbulum Track, North Terminus

When: October 2016

My Adventure Companions: The Giant Baby

“What do you want to do for your last hike?”

My maternity leave is nearly finished but had one last morning to squeeze in a hike before I had to start packing for our trip to the UK. I have wanted to visit the 1000km long Bibbulmun Track for a while. Its northern end is very accessible as it starts in Kalamunda, a mere 40-minute drive from home. Unfortunately, my hiking buddy was unable to join us on the day so it was just me and the Giant Baby on our little exploration.

The track is well maintained by a small army of volunteers (read: lots of steps) and the iconic yellow trail markers were plentiful and easy to follow. The weather was a little marginal but it made for a nice temperature as I moseyed down the trail into the Kalamunda National Park. The Giant Baby got comfy and snuggled down in the Tula for a nap. I’m going to miss this.

As I reached the turn-around time I realised that what goes down, must go up again, so up the steps we went. On the return leg, we passed a couple of solo hikers looking like they were setting off for a long journey. Not long after we passed a runner who I recognised as the legendary Bernadette Benson. Among other ultra running accolades, She currently holds the Fastest Known Time for completing the Bibbulman Track (15 days and 9 hours, if you were interested). The Giant Baby is getting pretty hefty these days but all the walking seems to be paying off as the way back wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared. Even the swooping magpies had gone elsewhere by time we returned to the Northern Terminus so we were left free to journey past their tree un-molested.

Opening Hours: never closed

Cost: Free           

Monday, 17 October 2016

Adventure 13 – The one where Mini Monkey got his mojo back

Where: Nobel Falls

When: October 2016

My Adventure Companions: The whole MAP family

“Do you remember how small she was?”

Nobel Falls was one of the first hikes we ever took Velcro Dog on. We keep revisiting this spot because it is such a lovely place (and allows dogs). Re-visiting is fun because it changes throughout the year: wildflowers and fast flowing water in the wetter months; shallow pools for paddling and crossing points in the dry. I think the only person to be disappointed about the venue was Mini Monkey, because he thought we were going to ‘the big, loud water falls’ (Lesmurdie Falls) and so he wouldn’t get to see the dinosaurs. It totally amazes me every time that he remembers things like the dinosaur statues on the drive into Lesmurdie Falls.

Mini Monkey seems to be getting over whatever was bothering him earlier this month and going from strength to strength. With very little persuasion, he walked the whole way, threw sticks in the water for Velcro Dog, paddled in the shallows and still had energy to play in the playground at the end. Suffice to say, he didn’t last the journey home before those little lids became too heavy for him to keep open. It was such a blissfully quiet drive home.

Velcro Dog had the most amazing time. Whilst she can normally be described as ‘energetic’, today she buzzed around with a joy I have not seen in her for a while. She bounced backwards and forwards, up and down the trail, in and out of the water, fetching sticks and gum nuts for us to throw for her. I love to see her so happy.

Comments from the Giant Baby: I got to go in the big carrier today! It’s such fun to see so much over Mum’s shoulder but the bushes are scratchy on my feet.

Walk Trail:

Opening Hours: never closed

Cost: Free         

Velcro Dog on her first trip to Nobel Falls in 2013

Bonus Adventure

“Do you think anyone will come?”

This was the third time the Bear Hunt in Kings Park had been scheduled. It was getting to the point where I just wanted to get it over and done with. The forecast was a bit iffy and it pelted with rain an hour before the meet time but as I said we’d go, go we did. As it turned out, one more family decided to roll the dice and we were all rewarded with the clouds clearing into a lovely sunny morning. 

Whilst I read the story to the three littles, Mr MAP went and laid the bears. Ok, so I may have taken some liberties with the ‘bears’ as one of our contributions was a koala, another a gold elephant and another a dog/rabbit (we were a little undecided on that one). The littles had great fun finding the ‘bears’ and a nice wander down to see the ducks at the Synergy Parkland.  

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Adventure 12 - The one with sixty feet of steps (plus a few more for good measure)

Where: Ellis Brook Valley Reserve, Martin

When: October 2016

My Adventure Companions: The Giant Baby

“Can I really put off the shopping to go hiking?”

This is now a legitimate question in my life. Recently I have a routine where I go grocery shopping first thing on a Monday morning. However, spring is quickly slipping by and the end of my maternity leave is looming. After a poop-tastic weekend solo-parenting, I felt like it I needed a little fresh air and some space. It was a great opportunity to revisit Ellis Brook Valley Reserve and explore the trail around the waterfall I stumbled on back in Adventure 1.

The aptly named Sixty Foot Falls Trail has a lot of steps. A lot. They were quite an effort with The Giant Baby on my back but the weather was cool and he slept soundly. I enjoyed knowing that, aside from an elderly gentleman and his dog, we had the entire reserve all to ourselves. It was nice to be able to go at my own pace, see Perth city from a distance and stop to take photos (mostly of steps) when I wanted. The Giant Baby woke just in time to stop me going around for a second time and demanded he be fed. Re-fuelling completed, we headed back to reality to complete the weekly grocery shopping.

Walk Trails Brochure: here

Opening Hours: 8am-5pm

Cost: Free          

Bonus Adventure
*The 'Cozy Cave', much loved by Velcro Dog

Where: Galaxy Drive-In Theater

My Adventure Companion: Mr MAP

“Who says no to free babysitting?”

Grandma pretty much shooed us out of the door on Friday night as we set of for Perth’s only drive-in movie theatre. We took a picnic and cushions and when we arrived, parked backwards so we could sit in the boot. Even though we were one of the last cars to arrive and had to park at the back of a full lot, it was still a good view. I enjoyed the cozy-cave* feeling, sitting in the back of the car. Even with all the kids running around during the screening it still felt pretty private. The film showing was ‘The secret life of pets’. It was light-hearted fun and just what we needed for a fun evening out.

A note for next time: as audio is provided on a radio channel we will need to bring an auxiliary radio as our ‘clever’ car kept turning the radio off every five seconds to conserve battery.

Cost: $10 per adult

Screening Times: 7pm Tuesday -Sundays

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Adventure 11 - The one where the Mini Adventure Gods had other plans

Where: Kings Park

When: October 2016

My Adventure Companions: Mini Monkey, The Giant Baby and another Hike it Baby Mum and toddler

“Have you seen the forecast?”

I had planned a Bear Hunt to celebrate the first anniversary of Hike it Baby Perth and the weather was not cooperating. I don’t just mean a light, British-style drizzle putting a damper on things, I mean a full on West Australian weather warning with gale force winds and sideways rain. I was gutted to have to cancel it, but no one likes a soggy teddy bear.

For a Bear Hunt, everyone brings a teddy bear and, whilst one of the adults reads ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ by Micheal Rosen to The Littles, another will be hiding the bears along the trail for The Littles to find when the story is finished. Even I was willing to concede  that we would be better off to down grade to a regular hike and conduct the Bear Hunt on another weekend. As Mr MAP said to me, maybe this was the Mini-Adventure Gods’ way of telling us that it would be more fun to do next weekend when both Mr MAP and Grandma would be there.

Out of the twelve or so families who were going to come bear hunting with us, only one turned up for the hike. The weather was blustery, the skies grey and the toddlers a little wild. We scoped out the path for the postponed bear hunt and had snacks on the Green Mile during a brief sunny period whilst the two older boys chased the magpies away as they came to steal our crumbs. As we headed towards home, the skies ripened ominously. We thought we were going to make it before the clouds burst, but no. I felt like a drowned rat by the time I had managed to get the boys and stroller back into the car. Thankfully Mini Monkey and his friend thought running through the rain was absolutely hilarious.  


Opening Hours: Never closed