Hope your doing well wherever you are. I recently turned 34th. Ain’t getting younger for sure but always trying to stay in good shape and having a good life. On this side of things, I have completed an half marathon last month at the Twilight Run in Brisbane (another check on the bucket list!) and we have been traveling to Western Australia last week. Beside, I came across this great post by another blogger online. I definitely worth checking it out, even is your pass your 30th!
One of Mark’s lesson is about focus on doing few things really well because you can’t simply get everything done. Life is indeed quite absorbing and if you’re not paying attention where your time is put, you don’t get the value your expecting out of life. This is why it worth reviewing your close social network or things you do on a regular basis but that doesn’t bring you anywhere nearby you want to go. Easier said than done sometime, I agree. Recently, it’s been a bumpy ride for me out here. Economics in Brisbane aren’t quite what they use to be with the recent end in the mining and energy boom, therefore Mr Adam Smith invisible hand had to let many people go at work and I must say I had fear for my position as well, which remains still quite insecure in the mid term. This sucks but life must goes on, but it can takes an hold on your focus and motivation.
Progress on Hike for Life
I have made interesting progress on my big project for this year Hike for Life. The big challenge in Tanzania to hike the Kilimanjaro is planned in only 3 months, therefore you will see a lot of activity on that side. We have confirmed the team of 5 enthusiastic explorers and have now affiliated with 2 charity organisation and raised over an hundred dollars. This is one a tiny milestone over our objective pf 2500$. Please support our cause by donating to either the National Breast Cancer Foundation – Hike for Life or Fondation Cancer du Sein du Québec. We are volunteering for this project and each donation will go straight to support cancer, a cause that concerns all of us.
Western Australia Trip
We flew to Western Australia on a 5 hours journey with Qantas on Good Friday for 8 days. As usual, our trip was somehow well planned in order to condense a 2-3 weeks schedule into a 1 week schedule! Arrived in Perth, we took possession of the car rental and drove straight to Augusta 3.5h away at the most south western location in Australia in the Margaret River region to meet with Mathieu and Genevieve (friends from Uni who moved to Perth recently). We arrived quite late so we unpacked our tent, had a drink and chat before we went to “bed”.
Next morning, we packed our stuff and we checked out Cape Leeuwin LightHouse, the most south western point in Australia where the Southern Sea and the Indian Ocean met. Then we went exploring Jewel Cave nearby with our friends. The cave was enormous and really impressive.
Once we figured out where we would sleep the next night (everything was booked out), we started exploring the Margaret river region, stopping by wineries and the chocolate factory (humm). We ate in Margaret River at a nice restaurant and our friends went back to Perth afterward. We arrived late at the camp site in Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park, set our tent and slept almost right away.
Third day, woke up at sun rise after a cool night, we had a very long day ahead. Our plan was to reach Esperance before night, a thousand of kilometers away. It was a cloudy and rainy day, so we decided to extend the drive a little and drove by the stunning Karri Forest and do the sky walk in the Valley of Giant between Denmark and Walpole. There was a nice elevated ramp (40meters) from where you can admire the old forest, at the bottom there is another walk to do by the huge trees (they aren’t as big as the Sequoias on Vancouver Island tough). We continued our drive along the south coast, then passed by the Stirling Ranges which offered a fantastic scenery and mix of dry farm lands and mountains at dusk. We decided to stop for the night in a rest area pass Ravensthorpe as I was tired driving and more than 2 hours remained until Esperance. Moreover everything was booked up and Kangaroos and Emus were on the roads in the darkness! Almost no one else was on the road beside us.
We slept in the car but after 6 hours it began to be quite uncomfortable. We managed to still get rested and on sunrise we resumed our drive up to Esperance. Prior to do anything else, we stopped on the way to the town center at Pink Lake, that famous postal card real Peptobismol coloured Lake. Unfortunately, the picture we saw online were more like a photoshop job to us as the salty lake was pretty dried up and more blue than pink! Anyway, we managed to get some pretty wicked pictures! Never seen a salt lake like this before, I feel back home as it looked like snowny and slushy to me.
Then, it was more than time for a good coffee before doing the Great Ocean Drive, Great Ocean Road little sister. That drive is a 38km circular loop taking in some of the most beautiful coastal scenery Australia has to offer. This mean stunning white sand and turquoise water beaches, wind mills, granite rocks, all of that almost for yourself as there is quite few people around these wonderful places. Remember that finding a selection of few pictures is quite a difficult task but you are able to find more in the pictures gallery.
After the drive, we decide to try some bush walking around the wetland lakes in the area. Lakes were quite dry in fact and the walking trail wasn’t that spectacular, looked more dead to us and long so we decided to continue our drive to be closer from Cape Le Grand National Park, our ultimate eastern destination within Western Australia. We stayed at Dukes at Orleans Bay in a caravan park for the night, a great place out of no where. We set our tent and drove couple of km to Wharton Beach, one of the most amazing beach I’ve seen, to check out the sunset doing a picnic with a bottle of red wine from Margaret river. Sunset was unreal.
Good thing, we had a better night than sleeping in the car. It’s a fact that camping get you down to bed quite early when everything is dark and up early when it turns very hot and bright and that you feel every part of your body in pain. Things being, we packed the car and drove toward Cape Le Grand National Park a bit over an 100km away. That park is known for its stunning and idyllic beaches and pristine water where you can swim and snorkel (Luck Bay, Hellfile bay, Le grand bay and Thistle cove) or even go out on the great ocean trail linking each beach together trough bush walking along the coast. We were early so we were able to get a good camping spot and get warmly welcome by a little friend. Then we checked out out Lucky Bay and the beach that was literally in our backyard. It was splendid. We decided to do the walking trail from lucky bay up to Hellfire bay, a 6 hours walk.
The walk was truly amazing as you can see from the pictures above. Once back to the camping, we got the last bottle of wine remaining and snacks we had and headed for the beach. The sun wasn’t setting on lucky bay side but we were lucky enough to have a clear sky so we stayed there watching stars for some time until we got bitten too much by mozzies. Again, we slept early around 8-9pm, nothing else much to do, but with the sounds of waves and our legs tired from the long walk, it is so fade away!
Next morning, I went to check out the sun rise on the beach to find a fishermen in the morning haze around the bay, picture perfect shot! Then, we went to climb the Frenchman peak, a short but quite steep mountain in the National Park. The mountain featured an interesting granite cavern at the top. Apparently, million of years ago, this whole area was under sea level. The plan for the day was quite easy, driving back to Perth through the golden outback, a 9-10 hours drive. The only other stop of the day was Wave rock in Hyden 4.5hours away. I’m sure you will figured out why they call it the wave rock 😉
Needless to say, our bed at the hotel in Perth (Rendez-Vous Central) was quite comfy after that long drive. We visited King’s Park the next morning before we were to meet again with friends we knew from more than 3 years ago while we were living in Sydney. It was great to met them again. Once they arrived, we drove north 2 hours away from Perth toward the Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park where Rising mysteriously from the sand dunes are thousands of limestone pillards up to 4m tall. We then stopped at Lake Thetis where some of the most ancient form of life on earth exist, the stromatolites. They are some sort of rare rocks of sedimentary grains formed by microorganisms, especially cyanobacteria. These primitive bacterias are the first that created oxygen on Earth and therefore allowed life to develop. Back to Perth, we went out for dinner in the city and explored what the city center had to offer. Couple of streets and alleys were quite busy.
We cancelled our plan to go to Rottnest Island the following day for two reasons, first the weather wasn’t that great so spending the day on the beach when it’s cloudy, rainy and a bit cold isn’t that interesting and second we though the cost of the ferry ride was exaggerate, almost an 100$ per person for less than a hour ride. So instead, we decided to spent the day to visit Fremantle, one of the area close to Perth that is quite famous. Indeed, we didn’t regret at all our choice. Fremantle was very interesting for ANZAC day. as there was a commemoration of the Australian and New-Zealand Veterans of the WWI/WWII, this is a well respected day here and it is different to hear the stories from the Asia-Pacific region, that are mostly absent from our history class or movies in North America. Then we visited the streets of Fremantle, which reminded me a little bit of old Quebec as it has an historical feeling, as compared to most other place in Australia that are quite modern and new without much history. We visited Little Creature Brewery, a famous and good brand in Australia (one of the best, far above XXXX to me).
At night, we meet once more with Mathieu and Genevive for his birthday. We went out for dinner at a Greek restaurant and drinks afterward with two other of their friends from Quebec. It was a fun night for sure.
On the last day, we said goodbye to our Peruvian friends and went simply visiting some beaches around Perth before heading back to Brisbane. In the picture below is Cottesloe beach. Pretty decent beaches I need to say. Overall, we appreciated Perth, which is a nice and tidy city, way more dry than Brisbane. Could definitely live there, although it is a bit isolated as there is not much close around Perth. Don’t worry, we have no plans for now.
Thanks for reading,
Pascal & Gabby