We had breakfast at the lake and then left Pemberton in direction Denmark. In Denmark, there would actually be more wineries and a cheese factory but we only stopped at the chocolate company. Only to find out that it was run by a lady from Switzerland. Her Swiss German was better than mine (I get used to English so quickly :)) but she seemed happy that we stopped there. Annie gave us different chocolates to try and even offered us a praline. Mhhhh! She had lived in Perth for 30 years and just moved down to Denmark 4 years ago. She also said that here it’s a lot more like Europe. Miriam and I actually stopped at Green Pool before we went to the chocolate place. It would be a beeeeeautiful bay. However, it was rainy and cold that day and very uninviting to go swimming. When I walked back to the car, I saw two hikers and almost said “Grüezi” because I forgot for a moment that I wasn’t in Switzerland. But then I heard the waves and thought that something couldn’t be right:)
We stopped in a café in town for delicious mochas and enjoyed the wifi for a while. Then, we started the last leg of the day towards Albany. The drive into town is quite nice, since you have the ocean to your right, a beautiful building at the end of the road and many interesting things on the left side (one of it a big ship that I think it a museum now). We went to the visitor center to get a map and then the lady pointed out to us that there are a few free campsites close to Albany, that there are free hot showers and toilets close to the visitor center and that everything should be drinking water, if it’s not indicated differently. A very backpacker friendly town. The wifi at the library is open and free too.
We took the road to Frenchman Bay, stopped at the wind farm and had a look at the mills and enjoyed the beautiful view over a wild ocean. Unfortunately, the temperature was still freezing and the sun nowhere to be found.
We drove on to “The Gap” and “Natural Bridge”. The first point was a small gorge in the ocean that the waves would fill up and empty out again and again. Right close by was a rock formation that looked like a bridge. It was huge and the people walking around on it looked tiny. Again, we had great views of the ocean but it was really cold and windy. On top of that, we knew that it would be getting dark soon, so we moved the Blowholes to another day and drove back into town to find a campground. Since the weather was pretty unfriendly and we knew it would be dark once we get to the site, we wanted to stay on a campsite that night, so that we could freeze our water bottles for the esky, have showers and not have to use all our gear. We checked in to the cheapest campground (King River Park) and were happy that it was only 24$. However, we soon found out that the kitchen only consisted of a few bbqs and a sink under a pavilion. Not at all sheltered from the cold. On top of that, we’d have had to insert coins to pay for the light and the gas. That would have been more expensive than using our own things!! Okay then, we set up our tent and went cooking in the bathroom. At least there was enough space and light there and it was warm too. We’ve certainly eaten at many special, beautiful and/or convenient places but on this small bench in a shower cabin was definitely the weirdest one.
The night then luckily wasn’t as cold as the day felt. At the moment, the nights seem to be warmer again anyways and I hope it stays like that!
The next day we drove to Porongroup NP. Again, parts of the NP seemed to be free, just like Frenchman Bay. But we have our four week pass for 44$ and are save anyways. We parked the car at Castle Rock car park and then started the 2,2km long walk. For the first 50min it was a steady uphill path that anyone could walk. Then, we reached fantastic looking rocks. One of them was balancing rock that was set on top of another one, like a sculpture. From there, in 50m more we reached a look out from which we saw far over the countryside. We probably would have seen the ocean if the weather was better. Then, we started the short climb up to the Granite Skywalk. That was fun but way more touristic than the hikes in Karinjini.
The way back to the car park was quicker but also hard on our muscles, since we feel them from climbing the trees yesterday.
We drove on to Tree on a Rock but could have skipped that place. We both thought that this tree didn’t look very special. Therefore, we just had a little snack.
On our way back to Albany, we stopped at the Sandalwood factory. I was really looking forward to this, since I normally love the smell of sandalwood. They also had many products and we could try them all, however, they didn’t smell like I expected them to and therefore I was a little disappointed.
Back in town, we went to Coles to shop for our next few meals, had a late lunch in the park next to the library and then it was already time to go fill our water bottles up and find one of the free campsites. We decided to go to the closes one and after a short detour we found Cozy Corner Rd that led us to Cozy Corner Campground. It’s only a small place and it was very crowded with campers but we found a spot between a grey nomad and another camper van. Behind our tent are a few trees and a sand dune and then there is the ocean. The waves are pretty loud but I’m sure that will be the perfect lullaby for tonight. The toilets seemed nice too, so for now, we consider spending another night here, since we won’t go to Esperance because the weather just seems too bad at the moment. I hope I get another chance to go there on my way to Adelaide. It should only be a small detour of 100km then 🙂 Not 900km, like it would be now.