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Published: February 26th 2007
Our little Hyundai Getz (Gets you where you're going) - wheels until we leave Australia
We didn't mean to go to Nannup: we were actually heading for Margaret River, but realised that we weren't going to have enough petrol to make it, so we turned right instead of left after Donnelly River and went to Nannup. Nannup had two petrol stations, which was sheer luxury as we hadn't seen one in about 80 miles.
In Nannup we stayed at the Black Cockatoo Hostel, a lovely hostel, with individual rooms/huts/caravans/camping set in a lush garden, well provided with comfortable seats and with piles of interesting magazines, (things like the Guardian Weekly, New International, Rolling Stone and my favourite Earth Garden Australia, which was full of articles aboiut green energy, straw bale building and growing vegetables organically).
We had a very pleasant evening, sitting around drinking wine and chatting to other residents. The place had a really gentle laid back feeling to it.
Overnight things deteriorated - at 3am, I got up to go to the loo. There was a large frog, as big as my hand, sitting in the toilet bowl. There was no other toilet and I certainly wasn't going to pee outside in the undergrowth, where snakes and spiders may have been lurking.
I considered simply picking up the frog and letting him go elsewhere, but wasn't sure if Aussie frogs are poisonous, so I discarded that idea. If he was posonous, I certainly wasn't sitting down and exposing my nether regions as a target, so I hit on the brilliant(?) idea of peeing standing up. Men make it look easy, but let me tell you, it isn't easy for a woman. The frog didn't like it anyway and quickly got out of the flow, then when I flushed the loo, he hopped out altogether and went off into the night.
Back in bed and almost dozing off, I heard thumping footsteps on the flat roof, followed by yowling and screeching: possibly cats, probably not kangaroos anyway! This happened two or three times during the night, so I was exhausted when the birds woke me with the dawn screeching (birds here are not melodic: they screech, wail, bray like donkeys or scream like chimpanzees, but they do not sing or tweet). Willy got up, but I tried to sleep on. Having failed, and needing a pee again, I got up and dressed only to find that Willy had bolted the door on
the outside when he left. I was locked in. I rattled the door for a while, then listened for people walking past, but no one was there, so I had to wait patiently for twenty minutes till Willy came back. He knew he'd bolted the door, but hadn't realised that this would lock me in. Perhaps his brain cells have started to die off now he doesn't have the mental stimulation of work, or maybe he's like one of these nutty professors that can't boil an egg.
I had been sitting in the garden listening to the birds and chatting to Gary (the hostel owner) whom I discovered had also done the old "Hippie Trail": having travelled overland from India to Europe in his youth. So while Wendy was locked in our room the 2 of us sat around lamenting the fact that kids today couldn't get the experiences we had and the low cost airfares, Lonely Planets and Rough Guides whilst opening up the world, had somehow devalued the experience of travelling.
We left Nannup and headed for Margaret River, but it was all booked up. The tourist office suggested Augusta - "just down the road: only
Our Room at the Black Cockatoo.
Look at that sun-tan. I'm no where near as brown
40ks". That's 25 miles, so it's like saying there's no accomodation in Preston: you'll need to go to Liverpool. Anyway we drove to Augusta past 25 miles of more gum trees and booked into the Youth Hostel, which was really nice: quite luxurious in fact.
We went for a walk along the estuary and watched kite surfers whizzing along doing their stuff: it looks such fun, but it looked like you need to be very fit.
We then headed further south (as far south as you can get in WA) to Cape Leeuwin, to the lighthouse where the Southern and Indian Oceans meet. It was incredibly windy, so after a quick wander round the point we headed back into town to make tea then a lazy evening watching the Simsons and West Wing.
Sunday had a longish lie-in then took a walk along the first part of the long distance Cape to Cape path. After a couple of miles we found a really nice beach so we went for a paddle in the sea The beach was much too steep to go very far out as even when only up to my knees, I could feel the
rip tides dragging me as the waves ebbed. We saw a couple of dolphins. This whole coast is a mixture of huge granite outcrops and limestone extrusions some of the latter give rise to some very peculiar formations including what we at first took to be some kind of petrified forest poking up through the sand.
Returned via a gravel track (to avoid the bush part of the walk out thereby reducing further our (very) limited chances of encountering any snakes). It was now early afternoon and the temperature had risen into the 30s.
Then back into town for a belated brunch and a lazy afternoon
I am now reading the guide to Singapore that we bought in our brief time in Margaret River, as we go there in less than a week, and I can't remember much about it.
Left early Monday winding our way back up to Perth. Feels strange having only a few days left. There's been thunder in the air.
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