Running for geos in Freo

Pond in Booyeemburra Park

I wake up at 2:30am and then again at 3am. The time difference between Brisbane and Fremantle is only 2 hours but it’s playing havoc with my body. Not that it matters; I’m on holidays and I’m used to the East-West coast time zone shuffle. I manage to go back to sleep and wake again at a more reasonable 5am.

It’s still dark outside when I take off up the road. My ankles feel a bit sore as I run up the hill past the Fremantle Hospital. I’m sure it’s just the cold air and I know from experience that they will feel fine within a kilometre or two. I also know that they only hurt because they are too tight and that my physio is working on fixing that.

I navigate my way uphill to the Old Freo Steamer geocache (GC22YJ2). The old steamer’s silhouette is clearly visible in the distance as I run down the hill in the dark blue morning darkness that is shrouding the world in the quarter hour before the sun’s rays start to crack the horizon. Unfortunately, I don’t find the cache. It’s partly the darkness but more because all the workmen are arriving at the nearby factories and I’m concerned not to give the GeoGame away. So I simply set back off up the road.

By the time I reach the Fremantle Golf Course just a block away I can see a line of red sunlight breaking the horizon between the land and sky. It’s incredibly beautiful despite my urban industrial setting. I run along the road with the golf course on my left and industry on my right. A pathway leads into the Booyeemburra Park where the Freo Frolic (GCJQY1) geocache is hidden. The park is planted with native trees, shrubs and grasses, and contains a few ponds. I follow the pathway around a pond towards the GZ (coordinates where the geocache is hidden).

Squelch the Platypus Travel Bug

After a short hunt I find the cache, which contained a cute Squelch the Platypus Travel Bug (a TB is a tagged item that move from cache to cache around the world). Squelch’s was released in the US. His goal was to travel the rivers and lakes of the US before returning to Australia to explore lakes and rivers here. He’s ultimate goal is to travel to Darwin to be reunited with friends there. I will take Squelch on our holiday and hopefully will find a good cache to place him in.

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie in a front garden

I love grasses

Buoyed by my find at Freo Frolic I ran up to busy Carrington Street. This long major thoroughfare is undulating. It’s not terribly inspiring but I enjoyed the run through ‘everyday Fre-O’, rather than only sticking to the tourist areas. I took in the sights and scents of the well-established front gardens that many houses here have. They are different to our gardens in Brisbane because Fremantle gardeners are cursed with dry sandy soil I am cursed with heavy wet clay.

Hilton Green Park

Up in Hilton Park I failed to find Hilton Park Green (GC21CMQ) and the nearby Freo Wrestling Rocks (GC367WE). I had a good search for the former and only a perfunctory look for the latter. As frustrating as DNFs are, I still enjoyed the run to get here.

Another long hill coming up (Lefroy Road)

From Hilton Park I followed Lefroy Road all the way back down to South Terrace. When I say ‘down’, I mean that I traveled south. Like the rest of my run, Lefroy Road was undulating, with a long climb in the middle section. But the good thing was that the climb gave me a lovely view over Fremantle.

Cute chicken pen in Bookworm cache

I found the Bookworm geocache (GC28HGT) easily when I reached South Terrace. It was well hidden and would be impossible to find when it’s busy because you almost can’t be stealth. But I got lucky; a delivery van was parked in front of the cache so was blocking me from the people having coffee across the road. The cache had a cute chicken pen in it, which is the cutest cache pen I have found. I used it to sign the log and ran back to the B&B where we’re staying.

I felt comfortable during the entire run so was surprised to find that I had run 9.5km at 5:15 pace (excluding stopping to search for geocaches) on such a hilly course. It bodes well for the City to Surf Marathon, which I will be running the day after tomorrow.

Total: 9.5km @ 5:15 pace


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