My friend aptly commented that the people get ruder the further north we get. We’ve had a complaint at every campsite bar one, and today we even got told off at a café (if it could even be called a café- it was more like a random room with some chairs in it). They had a go at us because we were “being rude”- ie, sitting there, buying their food and using their electricity. What bogans! It wasn’t even as if we’d taken up all the chairs- there were plenty to spare.
The upside down river
The final straw was that there wasn’t even a toilet anyway near! We had to drive 1km down the road to find one, but in the end we used the one at the campsite we’d just stayed at. We even managed to get told off there, as apparently “we needed to report to reception as we were no longer guests here”. Really?! We’d paid good money for this place.
So we were stuck in this shithole of a town, which survived off income from banana plantations, which were only there because of the River Gascoyne (which is actually known as the upside down river because half of it flows underground) with no toilets, no accommodation, and only one car! Successful road trip, right? It was then that our car decided to give us a scare and not start. It was at this precise point that I realised that I’d left my clothes drying on the roof of the car when we’d driven off…and my iPad charging at the campsite. Good one, me. I was actually most worried about my adored Bali Bintang top (probably the most touristy thing you can get). How else would people know I’d been to Bali?! I never did find that beloved top, but I did manage to recover my iPad. My friend had been teasing me about leaving my iPad there, and it turned out that he’d also left his phone there…so I felt smug, and less stupid. What a relief!
Our not so trusty cars
So today has gone well so far! It’s such a ridiculous situation that I can’t help but laugh, and feel incredibly sorry for us. When I get back, I’m going to have a huge go at “Traveller’s Autobarn”- the company that rented us these godawful cars.
The car spent three hours at the garage, during which we were getting hot, frustrated, stir crazy, and kicked out of cafés. At last, at 2pm when I was reclining in the car drowning my sorrows in liquid Nutella, the car returned! I’ve never been so relieved to see an automobile. We set off happily, stopping only once to take a picture in the middle of the road (I feel bad cause the other car must’ve thought we’d broken down because they were waiting for us- whoops).
Trying and failing to get a picture of the termite mounds
The scenery changes the further north you get. Scrubland and dirt are replaced by grass, wildflowers, and hundreds upon hundreds of huge termite mounds. They remind me of smaller versions of the Pinnacles! The land also gets much flatter- the terrain fades into a dark haze on the horizon, which is so far away that I mistook it for the sea. One we entered the shire of Exmouth we went kinda crazy with happiness- we’d made it! All we needed to do was find a campsite…and get alcohol. The other car wanted to get alcohol first (priorities, eh?), but luckily we saw sense and found a campsite- just in time actually, as reception was just about to close.
We decided to hit the beach before setting up the tents, and cracked open a cheeky beer. The trials and tribulations of the previous two days made us truly appreciate our arrival and we all larked about on the sand, making fun of each other’s accents again. (We’re an eclectic mix of four English, three French, two German and one Canadian). We were just heading off when we saw a blood red orb rising out of the sea. I’ve honestly never seen anything like it. It was majestic and surreal, and utterly spectacular. I attempted some failed photos, but my friend managed to get a better one on his camera (see below).
Blood red moon rising out of the sea
We’d driven half way back when the other car called and said that their car didn’t start. A cold shiver ran down my spine. Not again. Luckily, a few ciders and an angry call to the mechanic later, the car magically started. What a relief. We then hungrily wolfed down dinner (I swear pesto and pasta has never tasted that good before) before meeting up with some uni people. We somehow didn’t get kicked out of the campsite, even though we were making a hell of a racket, but saw sense and embarked on the trek to the beach.
My rather drunk friend decided to skinny dip in the freezing ocean, obviously hoping that one of us would join him. Unfortunately for him, none of us obliged, and he was left swimming naked and alone for around half an hour. He certainly provided comic value for the rest of us though.