6 guys, 5 nationalities, 2 vans, 3 weeks - Melbourne to Perth! Ohh WAW!
As I said in the last post I decided I wanted to move on from Melbourne and the perfect opportunity came up for me. My friend Tom from Melbourne was also wanting to chase the sun and head west and he had a huge 4x4 so I asked if I could join him. The plan originally was for me to go with him and another German guy that I had seen about but not much would maybe join us. This however changed and ended up being a huge road trip that I will never forget!! It ended up being:
Tom the English handy man, Fabien the German Tatooist, Tim the chilled out Chinese American, Flo and Lyo the French surfers and me! Lyo and Flo had their own campervan which they had pimped out and Lyo had painted it himself! A bit rickety now and again and had to have 2 new tyres after a bout of doughnuts but it was really cool! Tom had his 4x4 that he, Fabien, Tim and myself managed to pile in with Tim, Fabien and myself sleeping in a tent and Tom in the car. I would sometimes sleep in the car as Tim and Fabien had these great ideas of sleeping out in the middle of car parks in the rain!!
We left Melbounre early April and headed down along the Great Ocean Road towards Adelaide. We spent most of our days on the beaches the French guys surfing and us messing around and having the odd go on the boards. The first night we slept in a makeshift car park for a surf tournament that had just happened and were told to move the next morning by a ranger, this was actually the only time we were told to move on our whole trip! We didnt want to spend much money so every evening we would drive around and find spots to camp in. We slept in lay by's, on a dirt road in the middle of a forest in a national park with Kangaroos! in the tent on a beach, on the beach with no tent, in car parks by the beach, and most randonmly which I will come to, in some old guys house!! We also sneaked into a proper legtimate campsite but our honesty got the better of us and we sneaked back out!
We took our time driving to Adelaide as the surf was good and there was a lot to see. We stopped off at the 12 Appostles a load of stacks in the sea, actually quite interesting if you like your Geography and looked pretty cool. We visited a few towns and explored a lot of beaches and the forests around them. We saw Kangaroo's and a lot of Koala's who have the real lazy life! We would cook in the evenings on our cookers in the cars and have whatever cheap meat was in the supermarkets or normally our favourite pasta and sauce! I think for the whole 3 weeks we were travelling we must have had pasta and sauce for at least 2 weeks of it! Cheap and easy!! When we got to Adelaide Tom, Fabien and myself checked into a hostel because we were all in need of a shower! We had sneaked into a campsite on the third day to use their showers but by now we did need another to be fair! We all had showers and used their sockets to charge up again and me and Tom introduced the French to Ring of Fire. That was an eventful stop-over and nice to feel a bit more clean. The next day was a bit of a write off so we chilled on a beach in Adelaide which was amazing then headed up north towards the nothingness of South Australia.
Tom, myself and Fabian decided we should all take a de-tour and go down south to Port Lincoln to check it out and possibly do something there that you can only do 2 other places in the world! We took a couple of days and finally got there, again with nowhere to stay. It was fun not knowing where we were going to camp every night and Port Lincoln was going to offer us probably the most memorable and strange stop we could imagine. We got there and everyone went off to do their own thing so I went off down the jetty with Fabian to check out some fishing spots and see if there were any sharks or swimming areas. I got chatting to this old guy who was fishing and got into a conversation about travelling. He asked where we were staying and I said we didnt know so eventually he offered for us to go and stay at his place if we could give him a lift home. We went and confered with the other guys and thought that a bed and a shower would be good and thought what was the worst that could happen? So we took up the offer and drove him home. We got there and went in to this house which was a proper Auzzy type bungalow. It was filthy inside with fishing rods all over the place. To be fair he lived alone and didnt really need to clean up for anyone so we let him off for that. He lent us some fishing rods and we went off fishing for the day which was good. We got back and he had cooked us all the fish and squid he had caught that day, it was good to have a meal. In the evening we had to entertain his long stories which were interesting at first but then got a bit strange and not so belivable so we just nodded and smiled! We also met some of his "friends", I wont go into it but this is probably what made the whole thing so wierd. Anyway we spent 2 nights at his house both days he lent us rods which was cool and we had showers etc!
On the third day in Port Lincoln Tom, Fabian and myself went diving with Great White Sharks! It was a whole day trip and an amazing experience. The boat sailed a few hours to the Neptune Islands which is a renowned shark feeding ground. They chummed the water with Tuna and fish blood and pretty quickly some sharks turned up! There were Bronzewhaler sharks that came first and then the beasts, the huge Great Whites! They were massive! A good 14ft long I would say at least! We got 45 minutes in the cage that was just off the boat. The sharks were really impressive. The guys on the boat would lead the sharks in towards the cage with the Tuna bait so we got to see all their nashers! The sharks werent as aggressive as I thought they would be but you could tell how powerfull they were. It was a great day out and we got looked after really well, there was a lot of free food and drink on board so we defiantely took advantage of that!
We left the old guy's house and went to spend a night on a cliff-top next to the beach. We had been there on one of the previous days and me and Tom had seen a Sting-ray, we had all seen a whole pod of dolphins swimming, jumping and surfing in the waves (UNREAL!)been harpoon fishing in the bay (CLASS!) and sand boarding on the dunes so we knew it was a pretty good spot!! We spent the most of the next day there obviously and then headed up towards the Nullarbor!
The Nullarbor is basically a desert which has a 1,000+km long road that runs straight through it! We took a couple of days to do this, it felt like the proper Australia I had imagined of: Red dusty roads and plains, dead trees, no water, a few birds in the cloudless sky and the sun beating down all day. There were some unusually green areas to which was suprising and mixed the long drive up a little. There were signs here and there for the next town but when we would drive through them all there was was a petrol station and maybe a small Motel joined on to it! Glad I dont live there! It got dark at about 6pm and the stars out there were amazing! We would get up early with the sun and then go to bed early! It was a really cool experience and so glad we did it.
Once we had got to Norseman at the end of the Nullarbor we headed south to the bottom of Western Australia. We went to some beautiful areas and towns along the southern coastal road. Its a really nice spot down there, really green and kind of the same landscape as home but then crystal clear sea and huge cliffs along the white sandy beaches. One of the beaches near Albany was so amazing that we decided to put up the tent on it and slept there. Some locals turned up to do some night fishing and showed us a gummy shark they had caught earlier!! Tim, Lyo and myslef also decided to sleep out under the stars on another beach which was so cool! We travelled along the coast stopping here and there until we got to a place called Margaret River. Its a small town not far from the sea and surrounded by wineries and green countryside. We stayed there for a few days. I rented a board and we went surfing for a few days, I'd say I'm improving and hoping to carry it on when I get home I think! I'm good at doing impressions of being in a washing machine anyway! We went and visited a few wineries and they do free sampling so we went around a few pretending we were connoisseurs! I dont think they belived us because we were all in our surf gear but they were nice people and we learnt and tasted a lot actually!
Tom and I had decided that we needed to get going to Perth as we needed to sort out jobs etc unfortunately (the other guys are going on a month trip to Bali! Sooo jealous!) so on the last day we packed up our tent and tried to dodge the ranger that was working at the campsite we had stayed at for the past few nights (the first campsite we had used). He however had sussed us out and caught Flo and Lyo, the other guys had driven off just in time and I was hiding in the tent. Flo and Lyo didnt have enough money to pay him so said they would leave the tent there as a deposit till they had got some more money... Soooo we took the tent down and did a runner. The ranger said he had our rego numbers and would phone the police so we may be wanted people!! haha! We would have paid for the campsite but it didnt have any facilities except for a horrible toilet so was better just going in the woods, and therefore we felt we shouldnt have to pay, we hadnt for the past 3 weeks and this site was no better than anywhere else! Anyway on our last day we went caving in some really cool caves out in the country, had our last Peanut Butter and Jam sandwiches together and me and Tom left. It was a shame to leave the others as we had had such an amazing road trip, but we planned to see them in Perth before their flight to Bali. So Tom and myself headed up to Perth for the next part of the adventure!!!
Wow sorry for the novel!! We did a lot!