[Day 86-90] Wave Rock & rest days

The only “famous” thing left to see on my checklist for Australia was Wave Rock, so I decided to fix that on May 25th.

I didn’t set any alarm in the morning and had a relaxed breakfast with Jonas, so it was already past noon when I set out towards Hyden, home to Wave Rock. Luckily, it was only a 260 km trip, plenty of time to get there before sunset.

Wave Rock is, as the name implies, a big wave-like rock, over a 100 meters long. It’s pretty cool, although I must admit that I had imagined it larger, especially higher. Still, it’s a pretty unique sight to behold.

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The aptly named Wave Rock.

You can take a walk across the top of the big rock, where there’s a few oddly shaped boulders lying about. There’s also a couple of small pools filled with water, which supports some pretty neat plantlife.

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Lots of these small red fly catchers up on Wave Rock.

Since I arrived rather late, the sun had almost set after my visit and I didn’t want to drive to my intended campsite through the dark, what with all the kangaroos hopping across roads. Luckily there were some vague tracks in between bushes near the road. Maybe I just got lucky, but no ranger came to fine me or tell me to move on.

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My van blends in so well with its surroundings that rangers seem unable to spot me :).

The next day, I went for a quick visit to the Mulka cave 16 kilometers to the north. It’s a small cave, the walls of which were covered with handprints by Aboriginals. It’s also central to an Aboriginal legend about a man-eating murderer who was supposed to have lived there. If you’re in the neighborhood, you might as well check it out, but to me it was not particularly impressive.

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These funny constructions can be found all along the Tin Horse Highway.

By nightfall I had driven to Albany, in the south. I spend the night on a very nice campsite near the beach. The sea was really wild here and the morning freezing cold, quite a difference with northern Australia. I was planning to stay for 2-3 days, but unfortunately I couldn’t, since there was no cell phone reception and I really needed that because of some problems with my VISA card being blocked due to alleged fraud and the shipping of a few orders in the US not going according to plan.

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A cold morning and a rough sea at the Cozy Corners campsite.

So the next morning, I set off in the direction of Perth and found a very nice place to spend the night in a small community named Greenfields. My overnight spot was next to a cricket field where beautiful parrots foraged during the day. I also saw two gigantic kangaroos, they must have been at least 1m75 tall!

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Lots of beautiful parrots foraging next to my van.

The camp spot in Greenfields did have cell phone reception, so I stayed there the next day, May 28th and day 89 of the trip. I spend a lot of time following up on several on-line orders to make sure 11 packages would make it to their various destinations on the correct date. The remainding time was spent planning my itinerary and food resupply for my hike of the John Muir Trail. Quite an ordeal as well!

After a few weeks on the road and some haphazard attemps at washing my clothes in my van’s tiny sink, I figured a real laundry session was in order. So on day 90 I drove a bit further north towards Perth and found a laundromat. A very exciting day ;).

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Keeping it classy in the laundromat.

That same day also had me experience the short and not very adventurous adventure of trying to recharge my SIM card. Since my VISA card has been blocked, I needed to pay in cash for a recharge, but the particular “plan” I wanted could only be bought online with a card. I wandered around a shopping mall for a while, asking random people if they would agree to me handing them 15 dollars and them buying me a recharge online with their card, but all that got me was suspicious looks and fake smiles. In the end I walked into a bank where it was quite easy to convince a teller that I was in fact not trying to scam him and that I would never even see his credit card information. Thank you, kind bank teller :)!

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