I’ve left Amy’s house for now. After I met Miriam and we decided that we will travel together (I seem to have luck with travel partners with that name…) I had to look for a place to stay for that night. I knew I was going camping the next day and since I hoped to start driving up north as soon as possible, I will look for places from day to day now. I wanted to walk to Planet Inn Backpackers because I saw online that they were the cheapest and offered breakfast and wanted to ask whether they still had a bed for me for one night. However, once I got to Newcastle St, I realized that I’d have to walk over a mile to finally reach the high house number. Therefore, I decided to just walk into the first backpackers I’d find and ask there. And so I walked into Underground’s Backpackers. As soon as I stepped in, I thought that I must have been mistaken.
There was a reception but it all seemed a bit abandoned and chaotic. I already wanted to turn around, when an Asian guy asked me, whether I was looking for something. So, I asked my question, although I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t stay here. He asked me, how many I was because he could only take up to four people. When I told him I was alone, he said, that sure, he’d have a room for me. I asked how much it would be and he asked me, how much I’d pay for a room in another hostel. I said between 22 and 30$ and then he said, ok, you can stay here for 20$ 😉 This still seemed odd, but luckily, then two other people walked past us and he introduced them to me. Also two backpackers, who actually stayed here and they told me that it’s a good place. Then, the nice Malaysian guy showed me the room and explained to me that the hostel was being renovated and that he wasn’t really taking any people in at the moment.
I was really lucky the door was open when I arrived, because every later time I got back to the hostel, the door was closed and I only could open it with a key card. I had a room with four beds to myself. Everything is air-conditioned, there is a pool and I had the nicest shower I’ve had so far in Australia. Again, I ended up giving the lovely daughters of the hostel owner a swimming lesson and later, they therefore let me eat dinner with them in the hostel kitchen 🙂 Everyone is really nice here but I think all the other backpackers help with the renovations and stay for free or less money. Cool atmosphere 🙂
Now, to all the pictures I’ve posted above. After the night at the hostel, Jess picked me up with his big 4wd car and I got to see part of the road I’d soon take again. He made a short detour into Yanchep NLP, where we walked over a wooden path (similar like in the Everglades in Florida) except that we were looking for Koala bears instead of alligators. Of course, they were all sleeping but at least I got to see my first Koala bears in nature. Afterwards, we walked down to a swamp that used to be a lake, where we saw a group of kangaroos resting in the shade. When we left the park, the only animals I saw after that were sadly pressed flat to the road…
We had lunch in a rest area on a small green patch in Lancelin and then drove off towards the white sand dunes. My second time sand dune driving, except that this sand was white and mostly not as soft as in Dubai. Except at a few places which better were avoided but unfortunately, two guys from Scotland got stuck. I don’t know how long they’ve been walking around to look for help already, but their heads were pretty red. I hope if I stay on normal roads, this won’t happen to me…
Jess drove towards their car and shortly got stuck himself but we managed to shovel Betsy (his car) free again. Then he used a rope to pull the other car free and eventually, we were all back on the path we wanted to take. Jess drove us more into the dune land and suddenly, we were driving along a beach. We drove the car up a dune to park behind it, so that our tents would get flushed away during the night. So, the ocean was really just 30m from where I slept but I could only hear it because it was hidden behind sand and grass 🙂
Under Jesse’s instruction, I managed to pitch my tent and after a refreshing swim in the choppy ocean (quite cool but also somewhat scary when really nobody else is around), Jess made us burgers on the bbq. With kangaroo and emu meat…Didn’t think I’d get to eat that so soon. The burgers were good but I can’t really describe a difference to other minced meat 🙂 But just sitting there in the middle of sand, water, nothing and sunshine, eating hamburgers and drinking red wine, really can be put on the list of most special dinners I’ve ever had.
When the night fell, we could watch the stars (I now can find the southern cross) and once the wind died down, we had a fire at the beach (we made sure there was no danger of starting a forest fire or something). At some point, it was time to crawl into our tents. We only put up the tent, without the rain and wind cover, so that we could see the stars. It was wonderful to be so close to nature but even with my silk and normal sleeping bag, it was quite cold. Just have to cover my head from the beginning next time. Or wear a jacket, or put the second tent layer up.
After the sunrise, soon I was sweating again. A little more balanced weather would be nice but I won’t complain about all this wonderful sunshine.
The way back over the dunes was no problem, since we didn’t have to rescue anyone this time. We drove back to Perth, where we tried to catch some fish. I was proud that I managed to handle the rod but we ended up just feeding the little fish rather than catching a big one. Maybe next time.