Third and final Road Trip in South Western Australia
Well here it is, third and last road trip to the South of Western Australia!
The third and last
The first one to the South was also short, but impressively beautiful. All comfort, rental car and Airbnb. The second was longer, very intense, tiring but animated by friendships, superb discoveries and games of seduction. More rudimentary in term of accommodation, but we were rather well in Stinky Britney!
Let’s go for the third one. Then we definitely less planned . At least we booked all the nights except one, and that, it is already not bad! It is the vacations of Christmas, no choice, if we want to sleep!
On the other hand, the vans becoming out of price, we opt for a car rental and … A tent ! A beautiful tent for 4 in which we will sleep all three of us !
But who are the other two accomplices?? Here is the small clan of broken hearts, we have Ale, the Italian, Hugues, the Belgian and me. They will be my men during this road trip which promises to be relaxed.
Good first day, hop I go to get the rental car, I take my two traveling companions on the way and we hit the road. Roads… Which are very congested… Ouch, it starts slowly … like the rest of the trip.
Small break for a late breakfast, and we reach Eagle Bay around 2:30 pm.
The water is of an intoxicating turquoise. The wind blows and the flies are a little annoying. But we have only one desire to jump in this marvelous ocean.
I’m the first to go in the water, after putting on sunscreen for hours, they end up joining me! The moment swimming and beach is pleasant. The beginning of the vacations!
It is time to leave before the end of the day. That’s not all, but if we could avoid setting up the tent in the dark…
We go along the coast, we take some pictures. And finally we arrive at the camp. The site is almost too big for our car and our poor tent.
Prevelly Caravan Park : Chilled campers
I didn’t go with the camping pros, hop, hop, I take things in hand, they follow obediently! Tent set up… On the other hand, our tent seems quite ridiculous next to the luxury campsites of our neighbors… We have the camp which we deserve!
Let’s go we are hungry, a small restaurant in town, a quick shower and I join my makeshift camp. The boys are terribly slower, I’m almost already asleep when they arrive a good forty minutes after me.
On Sundays, the birds wake us up at dawn, seeing that neither of them wake up, I go back to sleep. It’s sweet to be woken up by the chirping of our feathered neighbors. I end up getting up at 7:00 a.m., shower, and wait for the boys. Not a movement. They are gooey. I knew who I was leaving with. I take the opportunity to write.
I have a wave in my soul this morning, my heart is sad. I think of Ben, and tears are flowing. That’s how it is, I accept it, I let them pour down on my cheeks.
Finally, the boys finally get out of the tent and we leave for a big breakfast. Dismantling of the tent, teeth washed, I’m ready to leave… But I wait, again and again.
This road trip promises to be one of patience and slowness.
We finally leave, it is more than 10 am. My two lazy people follow obediently it is already that. We arrive at Hamelin Bay, the Bay where the rays come on the beach. I had already made it in March, earlier in the day, and I had been able to take advantage almost alone of the rays. Today the onlookers crowd around its underwater birds that make their wings dance under the transparent surface of the water.
We find a small beach sheltered from the children and the tourists, we revel in a small morning sunbathing. Only flat, the wind is so strong that it is almost cold, and especially, the sand now covers every part of our body.
Come on, it’s time to move, it’s past noon when we walk along the crest of the cliff and admire the landscape.
We wanted to make a vineyard before joining our second camp, now is the time.
Driving on the roads of the Margaret River region is a real pleasure. They wind their way through the giant trees, the sunlight is subdued, and an atmosphere of peace and serenity reigns. Sometimes you may come across other vehicles, but most of the time you feel like you are alone in the world.
Yet all this morning, my spleen has not left me. You miss just one being and everything is depopulated.
We arrive at the vineyard we have chosen. It’s a chic place, in which one can easily imagine a wedding being celebrated. We start with the free tasting of seven wines and we continue with three tastings of Premium wines for a fee ($5).
Lukas, the youngest of the hostel joins us then. He flees the hostel, too noisy, too busy, which has become a place of debauchery for the time of a week. We welcome him with warmth. He does not want to drink, he drives. That’s good, he is more serious than us…
The main summary of the tasting is that we prefer our European wines. We have a little crush on a red. We will drink it with crackers and pâté (argh baguette I miss you!!) in front of the green garden of the vineyard.
Then hop, hop, it is necessary to take the road, we are supposed to arrive at the next camp for 18h.
On the road, I find that Alessandro drives on the left side of the road, I’m anxious that he goes off the road all the way. When suddenly, a huge kangaroo stops on the road a few meters away from us. I had rarely seen one so close, wow!
I compliment Ale on his reflexes, a little more we took it on the hood! I have time to admire the beautiful marsupial, before he disappears.
After a two-hour drive, an express stop to fill up and buy dinner (pasta, pesto and parmesan), we desperately look for the Emu Farm which is supposed to welcome us.
Farm spotted! A family seems already to camp there, we join the house of the owner.
She is nice, a little rough, but friendly. She shows us the location, and we settle there. Here no light, no toilet, no shower, it’s rough.
Lukas, the savior
Luckily Lukas joined us, otherwise we would have eaten sandwiches in the car and joined the tent by the glow of our cell phones. The amateurs in camping.
The area where we are camping tells me nothing worthwhile, the courageous Mylène from Australia is replaced by the Parisian Mymy. My imagination creates snakes and spiders ready to devour me during the night. I announce to the boys, I sleep in the back of the car tonight. I don’t want to stay awake all night long. Besides, I have the feeling that it will be hotter there than in the tent.
Lucas has everything, table, two chairs, a gas stove, water cans, in short, he is the perfect camper. And it suits us well.
Alessandro, like the Italian of the group, takes charge of the pasta. They are eaten with hunger while sipping beer and wine.
It’s so cold on this evening. It must be barely 10 degrees, Hugues and I are freezing.
We leave Lukas and Ale to their chess game, and we each go to bed.
I lay down in the back of the car, I read 5 minutes before falling asleep… Then I wake up… Then to go back to sleep… Haha makes the back of a car, it’s funny… Uncomfortable. My back hurts, my legs dream of stretching out, all night long I wake up to the rhythm of my aching limbs.
A time with the animals
At 7:00 a.m., I end up getting up and writing. Less wave to the soul today, so much the better. On the other hand, I feel like I have something in my eye, but I can’t find it. It hurts me and my eye keeps crying. This morning, it won’t be Ben who will make my tears fall.
Boys take time to emerge. Lukas is finally the last one standing. Two slices of Nutella later (thanks again Lukas) and it’s time to tidy up the camp.
Our tent is quickly repacked, however, Lukas is meticulous and the storage of his material is long and laborious. I wish I could make things go faster (you know me, patience…), but he is not very communicative. Hugues and Ale help at their own rhythm, but they put some of their own into it.
Finally, at 10 am, we end up leaving. Direction the small house of the owner, she promised Lukas to let him feed her baby Black cockatoo. Lukas, being a parrot enthusiast, he is over the moon.
When we arrive at the farm, the great Italian white shepherds welcome us with a lick, and Legs, the emu, follows us with curiosity. Pauline, the owner is friendly and shows us her farm, her ducks, her chickens and her vegetable garden. It’s time for Lukas to feed the cockatoo, and it’s up to us to discover the smallest possum in Australia.
It’s a moment of exchange, a nice moment. But with all that, it is almost 11 am and we have a good two hours of road before reaching the camp without reservation that we target. We leave thus, with pretty memories of crazy Emu, a dozen eggs and jam, and we launch out on the road.
In Search of the Lost Camp
My eye still cries, I leave the steering wheel to Ale. Once again, I’m a little anxious about his driving very to the left, but I’m taking it upon myself.
Arrived at the camp, ouch, it is full, we arrived too late. The tension rises, it is almost 2 pm and we have nothing sure for the night.
And there, the least fun afternoon of the stay begins. We drive desperately looking for a camp site that is not complete. Lukas is extremely stressed, and Hugues doesn’t know what to think, Ale is relaxed, and I am frustrated to spend this sunny day driving around looking for a damn camp.
In the end, the last camp will be the right one. There is still a place left, it is for us. Hallelujah. We set up the camp quickly.
We are all hungry like wolves. So much for beautiful beaches, so much for a wasted day. We are going to eat something in Albany, we take advantage of it to take a hot shower near the beach.
Lukas proposes to go to the beach for the sunset with his 4×4. Good idea. Finally an activity worthy of the vacations!
The sunset, almost the wheels in the water
The 4×4 split the dunes, we are heckled. Arrived on the beach, several vehicles have set up camp. We pass them and we drive on the beach several hundred meters. After a small fright to be stuck in the sand, we stop in front of the sun, it is cold. We sip our beers while shivering. Thank you Lukas for the parka, it was not too much.
The view is clear, the beach is superb, the sun blinds us, it struggles to hide behind the two hills in front of us.
The water starts to rise, if you don’t want to get stuck by the tide, you have to leave the beach before the end of the sunset.
A 4X4 to save
Lukas does not camp with us tonight, he found a place to put his 4×4 and to unfold his roof tent. He wants to check that the spot is free, he takes us there.
And there, little adventure of the evening, an Australian in his Rav4 is completely muddy. He is covered with dirt, and seems confused. I observe the scene from the car, the mosquitoes are too voracious to stay outside.
The three boys talk with the 50 year old. After several tries, Lukas takes out his superhero cape, and towing the Rav4 with his big 4×4, pulls the Australian out of the mud.
A good deed done. It is time to join the camp. Lukas abandons us, leaving us his table and a chair… not the stove. No stove, no dinner.
It starts badly…
Tonight, I sleep in the tent with the boys, thanks but the car is too uncomfortable!
I get up a little before 7am, I take advantage of the morning calm to write. Melancholy is still there, but no tears, and my heart is better.
Today, I intend to continue the activities, we didn’t do anything yesterday, no question of doing it again. I wake up the boys at 7:30 am. (When I say that, I really feel like a mama!) They grumble a little, but they keep up the pace. At 8:15 everyone is ready, but no trace of Lukas. He arrives a good half hour later, playing with my nerves.
After having reinflated the tires of the 4×4, finished to tidy up the car of Lukas, we can finally leave. Stop in Denmark for a copious breakfast on a terrace in the sun. (ah there, it is the vacations! Thank you!), then we cross the roads of the day before in opposite direction to join The Valley of Giants, a forest of Tingles centenaries and its course at the top of trees.
The place is full of tourists, families, Chinese, I feel that it will be a nice tourist trap. 21 dollars, 21 dollars to see trees. I serve the teeth. Let’s go now that we are here…
The Tree Top Walk is a little scary, we are perched on iron pontoons at several tens of meters from the ground. My fear of the emptiness wakes up a little. The boys laugh nicely at me, it is finally a good moment.
Good, but short. In less than a quarter of an hour, the course is over. We continue towards a tarred path through the forest of the “Ancients”. Yes, well, it’s nice trees. But 21 dollars.
Green Pool and Elephant Rock
We quickly flee the crowd of tourists and we go towards our next destination: Green Pool and Elephant Rock.
Arrived on the spot, same observation, the place is populated by tourists, families and company. Fortunately the site is large, and the view is clear.
The immense rocks form barriers to the waves and create natural pools of a beautiful turquoise color. It is a really beautiful natural site, too bad we are not out of season.
We settle down on one of the big rocks. Hop, it’s time to jump into the water. Lukas and me, we dash. The bite of the icy water is such that it takes me a little time to get in. Even after a few breaststrokes, the water remains… Invigorating. I swim for a little while. No way to stop, at the risk of losing a toe.
Hugues joins us, but we are too cold to paddle for hours. The burning black stone welcomes our refreshed bodies. The wind blows, making me shiver, but the sun warms us with benevolence.
I don’t know how long we stay reading, sunbathing and sleeping on our rock. After a good hour, I think, we start a very small walk towards Elephant Rock, it’s about the same scenery. We stop for a moment to take some pictures and enjoy the view.
Albany : Hostel 1849
Direction Albany, where a good shower awaits us in our hostel.
The hostel is rather warm. The rooms are clean. The showers are old but well maintained. On the other hand, the population of the hostel is more than unusual. Families everywhere! Large families, with their own family invade the hostel, with blankets, pots, rice and company. If a chicken passed by, we would not be surprised!
Showered, I wait for the boys again and again before finally heading to a restaurant.
All of them are full. Lukas takes over the search. He’s walking at a crazy pace (and I’m the one saying that! ), and is in a state of stress completely out of proportion to the situation. Calm down Lukas!
We end up finding a very Australian pub, a little expensive, but it makes the deal. Full of fish and chips, I drive almost to the inn. We open there a wine, quite simply infamous, and we discuss while sipping. The atmosphere is strange, the big Malaysian family plays ping-pong. My eyelids are heavier and heavier. I leave the boys to join my bed.