Roadtrip #3: Perth to Adelaide (part one)

It's really actually quite silly. I left Pirates for the road trip over a month ago yet I'm only just coming round to typing up this epic adventure... One of the best experiences of my life, one I'll never forget, one I thought I'd never get round to doing (given my original plans of flying over to the east), and one I'm so glad I did... The 3250km trip from Perth to Adelaide in less than six days.
Without it turning into a complete essay of this and that, something I'm very much prone to doing (sorry guys), I'm going to try and condense the adventure into a relatively small post as not to bore you all... That being said you know I'm going to get a little too happy with typing away, reminiscing about those fantastic memories, that I'll no doubt get totally 100% carried away and out springs a 3000 word essay. Jokes. In all truthfulness I'll try and keep it short. Watch out for plenty of photos too, they sometimes tell the best story. In retrospect I should've written this up day by day, documenting each leg of the journey like a true travel blogger. Unfortunately, this is just me - just Rachel - I'm hardly Little Miss Organised and sometimes that's just how the way I like it. So, without further adieu, let's begin...
Perth to Pemberton
Stolen from Colin, sorry pal :)
On the 11th February (I told you it was a long time ago) we left Fremantle and Pirates Backpackers, the home away from home. I'd been there just short of 2 months, the others 3 months + , and as much as I adored the place it was definitely time to leave (as I write this I think much of the original group has left now). The day was filled with collecting and filling up the cars (two trusty KIA Grand Carnivals), some hard goodbyes, a lot of tears, a few wineries in Margaret River - a must do since we were passing through the region - and more driving until we reached Pemberton a little before nightfall. We stopped in the little village, chose a perfect spot opposite a hotel and bar just on the outskirts of the forest, and whilst the others went up Gloucester Tree we set up the cars as beds, enjoyed a nice warm beer, and scoped out the pub for some grub.

N.B. Sleeping in the boot of a car without pillows is not in the slightest bit comfortable and does not allow for good night's sleep. If you repeat said roadtrip with said KIA Grand Carnivals then please think this through and BUY SOME PILLOWS. End of.

Pemberton to Albany

Waking up after a terrible night's sleep and managing to grab a quick wash and change of clothes at the hotel (sneaky sneaky does it), our car decided to go venture up Gloucester Tree since I wasn't up for it the night before. What an experience! Just a little bit of background, Gloucester Tree is a giant karri tree , the second tallest tree used as a fire lookout at 72 metres in height. There are 153 spikes that you use to climb to the top and, take it from me, it's bloody terrifying. I didn't bring my camera but I've managed to steal one off my buddy Mr McLean, going down down down. It hurt every bit of my body - my knees were aching, my arms were shaking from holding my weight, my heart was stuck in my throat again, I was freaking out from looking down, but it was such an awesome experience.

Leaving the tree and grabbing some petrol we rounded up the troops and head on the road to Albany via another little stop off point, this being the Valley of the Giants treetop walk. It was fun, don't get me wrong. but had there not been the little forest walk through underneath the actual treetop walk then this would've been a total waste of money. So, the Valley of the Giants is located in Denmark (no, not Europe, but within the Walpole Wilderness of Western Australia) and the tree top walk is a 600m walk through the giants... Okay it wasn't that interesting but there were a few photos before we head underneath to explore the forest floor...  

A tad on the dark side, sorry.
Shoesies (also a McLean photo)

Leaving the Valley of the Giants we needed to get back on the road to reach Albany... but not before visiting another little wonder - Elephant Rocks (and Green Pool of course). Situated in William Bay National Park, a little down the road from where we were (and still in Denmark for the record), Elephant Rocks is an example of nature just being truly wonderful. We were quite lucky with the tide but essentially there are a series of exposed granite rocks that, from the right angle, look like a herd of elephants. Very cute!

Just look at him :)

We didn't stay too long. As you can see from the photos the weather wasn't especially on our side which is a pity because Greens Pool would have looked absolutely incredible in the right conditions. Nay mind. Moving on... Onwards to Albany... As it so happens we arrived at approximately 5.55pm, by the time we'd reached Coles it hit 6pm and everything had shut. Everything. Just our luck. Anyway, we jumped back in the car, had a drive around to find something that was open and eventually came across an IGA (win win situation). We bought a lot of food, some mixer for the vodka, and left to hunt down a BBQ.

In the end (after a lot of googling, GPS, failed searches, and hunger) we came across our resting spot for the night, the edge of Eyre's Park which came equipped with fully functional BBQ and park for our drunken games later on... It happened to be one of the best nights we'd had in a long time, we cooked up a mean BBQ, drank vodka, had a general good laugh, and sat down in the early hours listening to Colin's song about Albany... Don't ask how it goes because to be frank I can't remember but it was awesome fun and everyone had a good little sing-a-long. Bliss!

N.B. If finding a place to stay by a park, a) make sure you can actually do so, and b) if you're drinking into the night DO remember that at some point the sprinklers come on. We didn't realise and we all ended up a little soggy...

Albany to Esperance
Ah, Albany. Another night of discomfort but alcohol induced sleep we awoke to hunt down something to make sleep a little easier. Off to K-Mart. Whoever came up with in incredible idea of lining the car with $50 worth of pillows, I love you. It was a worthwhile investment and made sleep something to be excited for, not something to dread. Huzzah! 

Okay so this day was made for driving. We had a lot of ground to cover and very little to see on the way so off we go. We finally made it to Esperance at about 6.30pm and scoped the place out to find some food around 7.30pm. Funny how most places seem to shut super early in Australia. We wandered into a place that had no outside menu but relatively cheap drinks - perfect, this had to be a good place to eat, it was packed. Ladies and gents, if you're on a backpackers budget do not and I repeat do not go to the Loose Goose. The extortionate price aside the menu was actually quite exciting - a lot of random foods I'd never eaten, pig nipples anyone? Seems we were in for an early night with some junk food, a cheeky vodka, and Austin Powers. 

Evidently I can't keep to my promises of keeping it short so, instead of absolutely butchering what I've already written I'm going to whack it into TWO posts (aren't you lucky). I just hope these bloody computers can handle the amount of photos on here.... Fingers crossed!! Also, these are photos taken directly off Facebook since my copies of the photos are stupidly large. I apologise in advance if any of images break at whatever point and, as soon as I'm back in the UK and able to do a batch resize of images, I'll rectify it immediately. Ciao!



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