The time had finally come to leave Perth and the stability and comforts of a proper home. We left behind things we had started to take for granted, like a regular wage, friends, hot showers, a clean toilet, a washing machine, clean drinking water, rooms with 4 sturdy walls, SPACE.
We once again packed up the Motor home with our small amount of belongings, filled her up with water, diesel, butane gas, clean pants, off we drove back into the unknown.
It was Australia day the day we left and we wanted to be somewhere special to celebrate it. We had originally planned to go into Perth City and watch the fireworks over the Swan River, but at the last minute we changed our plans and instead we drove an hour south to Rockingham. We arrived just in time and happened to be at exactly the right spot to witness a great display of local Rockingham fireworks. They were exploding right in front of us and then faded into the inky blank sea beyond.
Our experience was dampened when we heard the tragic news of the light aircraft that had just crashed into the Swan River in Perth, just before the fireworks were due to begin and killing the 2 passengers on board. They obviously cancelled the Perth fireworks because of this. My heart went out to the 2 that died and all their family and friends. I had empathy for all the excited families that were out that evening to watch the firework display and instead they witnessed a tragic event. It was by chance that Glen and I weren’t there as it would’ve been our 3rd fatal aircraft crash that we’ve witnessed since we’ve been together.
On a happier note……..the next day we swam with wild dolphins.
It all sounded idilic, taking a fast cruse out into the ocean for the day, having lunch and endless cups of tea and biscuits on board while cruising along the deep blue ocean, diving in where the dolphins happen to be hanging out. Reality wasn’t quite like that though. It was rough. We were holding on for dear life at the back of the boat for hours and hours while the boat went round in circles on a hunt for wild dolphins. When dolphins hunt for fish, they move at incredible speeds, so by the time we finally managed to spot a pod and by the time we had all been harnessed up and the health and safety measures were put in place, the dolphins had long gone.
By this time, three of the passengers were not at all well and were throwing up over the side. In the meantime, the other passengers (including us) were everting our eyes while trying to enjoy the on-board lunch with the added challenge of not losing it overboard.
The day was finally made worth while when we came across a female pod of dolphins who had a young pup of only a few days old with them. Luckily these weren’t in such a hurry to speed off, so we were privileged to hang out in the water with them for a while. Seeing them doing their thing under water through our snorkels on was just so special. They seem to accept we were there and interacted with us quite happily. This was the highlight of the day for me, unfortunately some of the others missed the lot and were still being sick over the side.
Three days later we were in the Margaret River region. What a contrast this was to the rest of dry, arid and hot WA. The far South West corner of Australia is quite lush and cool and is teeming with vineyards and tall Karri forests. The coast line is stunning with sandstone cliffs and white sandy beaches as far as the eye can see.
We stumbled across a spectacular protected beach called Hamelin bay and were blown away by the huge wild sting rays hanging about in the shallows. They were so tame they came right up to us while we were paddling, something I’ve never experienced before.
There were also labyrinths of under ground caves to explore with the most stunning chambers of massive stalactites and stalagmites.
We finally reached Augusta which is the far South West corner of Australia. We reflected on the 5 months we’ve spent along the huge WA coast and felt a little sad as we said goodbye to the sunsets and the stunning white beaches of the West coast. It’s been a very special time.
We have now circumnavigated three quarters of the Australian coastline and now we are all set for a third more. What we have realised without a doubt, is that Australia is a massive country with diverse terrains, climates and cultures. For the past Ten months we have witnessed tropical monsoons, travelled through scorching hot deserts, braced the wild western coastal winds and now we are turning East and ready to embrace whatever the South coast has to offer.
BRING IT ON!!