Farewell West Coast

Trip Start Mar 03, 2007
Trip End Apr 2009

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Well this is I suppose where the great coast to coast journey really begins. Traveling with my good friend and estemmed drinking buddy for the last 8 months Mark a.k.a. Canada the days very quickly counted down until our final night in Perth. A quiet night was planned as we had our farewell drinks at The Saint on sunday (thanks to all those that showed up for a final few beers), but a few friends turned into a few more and a few bottles of vodka turned into a few more.

The next day we awoke with huge hangovers and a fear that we were in no way ready to leave, I had to head out to the Swan Valley to visit my family to say farewell and thanks. With said farewells completed I jumped into the car that refused to fire and the day seemed to be rolling incontrolably downwards at pace. As fate would have it I had brought the car from my uncle and at the time I was parked outside his mechanical shop. After an hour the fault was found and fixed with a healthy dose of electrical tape. So actually I think I was quite lucky it had broken down here rather than two weeks or so when we were on the Nallarbour Plain. That would have sucked for sure.

I eventually got home after mid day and then started to pack, as true to form hadn't taken the time to do so in the previous week. In the end we both lost patience and threw everything into the car, vowing to sort it out once we were down south. Our good mate Ceri gave us a call to say he had some going away presents for us so we had to make the trek into Perth CDB with car fully laden, eating up another hour.

And then we were on the road. But only a far as Freo, a mere 20km down the road. Here we meet up with Emma, another partner in crime over the last 6 months for a beer, despite our hangovers at the Little Creature Brewery. As we sipped back on our final pints it was nearing 4pm and there was serious talk about staying put in a hostel and having another final night out. To my credit I finally put my foot down, we leaving and so further south we headed.

We passed all the usual suspects, Mundurah, Bunbury and Capel until we passed into untrodden territory trying to beat the fading sun. After 3 hours we finally pulled up to the local pub in Margaret River where we would end up until closing time. Setting up tents both drunk and in the dark is awesome fun and I would reccomend it to all serious campers. The sorting out of the car would have to wait.

The next day we picked up a few vital supplies and then headed on a tour of the region starting at the beach at the famous Margaret River break. The waves even for off season were pretty big and the sets were nice and clean - Impressive. There were about twenty or so surfers out at the time taking on the waves. After this we headed further south through the mix of wooded forests and rolling green land to Augusta and then onto Cape Leeuwin to visit the most south-westerly point of Australia and also the spot where the Indian and Southern Oceans join forces. Here the giant lighthouse stood strong against the roaring winds.

The next day we spent the morning exploring the local area and also visiting the Lake Cave, one of many massive caves in Margaret River. We took the tour deep down into the cave which was first discovered in 1867 and soon enough we were surround by a stunning crystal like cave system. The lake in the middle served to dramatically mirror the surrounds and highlight the feature point of the cave the suspended table, which is a massive column of calcite weighing in excess of five tonnes that seems to hang precariously from the ceiling, defying gravity and hovering just a few centimetres above the lake. The caves were very well presented by the tour guide and a series of flattering lights. Well worth the $17 spent.

That evening we went and visited Ben's (who was traveling with us) Mother and Cousin at their rented villa in a secluded location, enjoying plenty of the local wine and a good BBQ.
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