on the run, on my own: ‘the only thing missing is a dolphin’
Saying goodbye is never easy and after travelling with the same people for nine weeks, it was especially hard. But after our goodbyes, Leya (the only one from our original road trip) and I packed up Sunnie and met up with two girls that Leya knew from her previous travels in Port Douglas. So armed with crackers and humous, and excited for new adventures, we set off for the Margaret River region.
I was a bit apprehensive to start this new road trip because I knew it was going to be different – and sometimes it’s hard to remember that different can be a good thing. It was quite nice to travel with girls for a change and we were all from different places in the world. An English woman, an Aussie woman, an American woman and a Canadian woman all travel in a kombi… Sounds like the beginning of a joke, right?
On our way to Margaret River, we took the time to stop at some great places, some that I had never heard of. We had a perfect night at one campsite in a place I can’t remember the name of. We took a few bottles of wine, some blankets and a speaker and watched the sun set on the Indian Ocean. Margaret River seems to be going through a cold spot at the moment and also, unfortunately, a rainy stage, but I’ve come to realise the best sunsets happen when it’s cloudy.
This sunset will forever be one of my favourites of this trip because the colours were spectacular. You had the orangey pink glow from the falling sun paired with the rich purple-silver of the crashing ocean – definitely one of the most beautiful scenes that I can remember. In fact, while we were sitting there one of us observed that ‘the only thing missing was a whale or a dolphin’. Five minutes later, we saw the first fin of a friendly pod of dolphins close to the shore. Unfortunately I was too busy squealing to take a picture of the dolphins but take my word for it, it was perfect.
A few days later we made it, officially, to Margaret River, where we met our new travel mates. It’s always a little nerve wracking meeting people that you’ll be travelling with for a while but I needn’t have worried. It’s just one van at the moment carrying an Aussie and a Scot and on our first day together, we went to look around Jewel Cave. Because how else do you meet new people if you don’t go caving with them?
It was such a great trip but then again, I love caves. Our group happened to wrangle a private tour with a guide called Alan, who was brilliant. Even though I love roughing it and clambering up rocks to find lookouts, it’s fun to be a tourist and Alan was enthusiastic about the caves and the stories surrounding them.
Next on our agenda was WA’s tallest lighthouse at Cape Leeuwin. Again, we embraced our inner tourist and joined an alarmingly spritely old man who easily beat us youths to the top of the lighthouse. It was actually really fascinating because Cape Leeuwin is the place where the Indian and the Southern Oceans meet and you can actually see the different directions of the waves at the spot. The view was also voted the top three views from a lighthouse by Lonely Planet!
Before coming to Australia, I had a list of things I desperately wanted to do while I was here. Of course this list changed while I was travelling but one of the things I wanted to do the most was a wine tour of Margaret River. Margaret River is such a beautiful region full of lush green trees, rolling hills, huge cows and bounding kangaroos. And a load of vineyards.
On our wine tour we visited three vineyards, a distillery and a brewery. There’s something amazing about drinking booze in a pretty dress on a Saturday morning. But in all seriousness, if you find yourself in Margs, book yourself on a Bushtucker Wine Tour because they have good tour guides, the best wineries and the chance to win a bottle of wine (which, of course, we did).
I’m not sure how long we’ll be travelling with these guys but I hope it’s for a while. I have a feeling that this part of the trip will be full of fleeting interactions and moments. We’ve already had to say goodbye to an ace trio of Germans that we spent two nights with. But I think it’s OK because when these moments are added up, they’ll make for amazing memories, just like before.
One of the best things I’ve learnt about myself while travelling is how important it is to be adaptable. This trip may be different but I’m easily getting the hang of it.