Closed off… or set free

VALERIYA KOVALYSHEN is a Cockburn resident who recently made a long-held dream come true. With WA’s sudden lockdown reminding everyone that border re-openings can’t be taken for granted, she says there’s some great opportunities for the whole family, right here in our backyard – if you’re willing to take the plunge.

WE did something different this summer holidays. 

Due to Covid or due to a decision to follow our dreams…

We hiked the whole Cape to Cape Track as a family with our three little kids aged 2, 5, and 7 years old. 

It took us nine days to complete the 130km trail end-to-end from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin. 

Hiking the Cape to Cape Track with kids was my dream for so many years. 

We did our first attempt to hike part of it in 2015, when our daughter was 1 year old and I was 22 weeks pregnant. 

We completed about 30kms of the trail and decided that it was definitely great but too hard. 

However the dream to do the whole track with kids was still there. We just waited for when we would be ready, and when our kids would grow up, and when the weather would be good…

The dream

Then we decided to stop waiting and just go. 

The Cape to Cape Facebook group recommendation is to hike the trail in April-May or September-October, when the weather is cooler and more enjoyable.

For those who wants to hike in the summer the general recommendations would be: 

• Start early to avoid day heat,

• Carry plenty of water and do not rely on the water in the tanks,

• Reduce the weight of the backpack.

Well, we did the opposite.

We could not start early, because it takes time to pack two tents, five mats, liners, sleeping bags, filter the water, feed the whole family, apply sunscreen, you name it…

We carried plenty of water but not as much as we wished to. We heavily relied on the water in the trail tanks. 

On the second day of our hike we were going to re-supply our water from the Quinninup falls. 

Three different people on the trail told us it was dry and the waterfall was not even dripping. Luckily when we arrived we found it full and running.

Our backpacks were heavy.

Our daughters helped as much as they could and carried their backpacks. However there was still a lot to carry. Gear, food, water and our 2 year old son. 

He was carried almost the whole way in a baby carrier. 

As we love food and we eat a lot, we couldn’t carry all our food with us (even though it was dehydrated). 

So we had three resupply boxes with food and nappies which we left in caravan parks before our trip.

It was tough and hard at times but we absolutely loved our experience and super proud of our family achievement.

They say Covid separates families and unites families. 

Here in Australia we are now far away from our relatives overseas. 

This remoteness of our families is bringing us closer together to our kids. 

We are holding on to each other and helping each other like never before.

No matter what is happening around, together we are stronger. 

Together we still can follow our dreams and achieve goals.

I hope this article will inspire families to set their family goals and fulfil their dreams.

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