You Call This a Vacation?

Trip Start Dec 03, 2004
Trip End Nov 31, 2005

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Flag of Australia  ,
Saturday, May 21, 2005

So after three weeks of perfecting my receptionist manner at the hotel (there was an earthquake in Port Hedland on Thursday while I was attempting to check a couple gentlemen out, which was amusing and the talk of the town for the rest of the week---the earthquake, I mean, not my attempting to check people out, which happens all the time) it's time for a vacation.

Friday afternoon after work I jump on the Greyhound bus to Exmouth, an eleven hour ride that pulls into the town at 3:30 in the morning. Ian's still out on the boats; I finally got the brains together to call his company and ask when the boats were coming in, and the answer was Saturday morning, not Thursday like I thought it would be; but earlier today I heard from him and he's on his way up now. Anyways, the ride was through that empty landscape that characterizes the Pilbara region: red desert flat to the horizon, tufts of spiky green bushes, a few wracked and twisted corpses of trees silhouetted against the deep colours of the sunset. It has a monotonous beauty but soon I am asleep, used as I am to getting into bed at 9:30 every night in order to drag myself back out at 5:00.

Upon arrival in Exmouth Julia (another girl from the bus) and I are picked up by the hostel and driven over and shown, quietly so as not to wake everyone, to our beds. In the morning Julia and I think that it might be nice to take the shuttle bus up to a nice swimming beach just up the cape, so we book to be on that bus at 1:30. Then at 12 the looming grey skies open. And open. And open. And seem to have forgotten that they might, perhaps, want to slam shut.

So I've left a place that has consistent 36 degree weather and hasn't seen a drop of rain the whole time I've been there in order to come to a place where walking 5 minutes to the supermarket completely soaked all three layers of my outfit through and where I had to walk through rushing rivers of water on the road that, at times, came up to my knees (!). And it shows no signs of slowing. It's weird, since supposedly this area doesn't get a lot of rain, that both times I've been in towns on the Ningaloo Reef, it's rained enough to drown a whale.

It had darn well better clear up tomorrow so we can enjoy the snorkelling, whale sharks, charter fishing, kayaking and swimming that I've come on vacation for. I don't want to go back to the dry heat of Port Hedland having spent six days holed up inside a hostel.
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