October 23rd – “Down Under” – no internet but a new temporarily “home”
Upfront: long time no internet! Sorry for such a long time without news from us. Regarding internet availability Australia is really challenging us. Rarely available and if so it is incredible slow AND expensive…
We hope you will enjoy the three chapters which summarize the past five weeks of our trip… and how we found our new temporarily “home”.
Cape Range National Park, Exmouth, a fishing boat trip and whale watching,
At our last evening in Tom Price Annie prepared a “Cobb Loaf” for dinner which is warm crispy round bread filled up with a delicious combination of spinach, bacon, spring onions and sour cream … so yummy!!! And we are looking forward to prepare one for them one day when or where ever ;-)
On our way back towards the west coast we spend one night next to the road… a beautiful red sand area with white gum trees and a fireplace. Not necessary to mention that immediately all our fresh washed clothes were not clean anymore – but that’s “wild life”. The next day we arrived at Exmouth and after we arranged with our CouchSurfing contact Karen, that we can stay with her in two days’ time we were heading towards the Cape Range National Park. Fully loaded again with water, food and wine we found the last free camp site. The park is a little bit too organized from our point of view. Usually you need to do an online reservation and we were told that we are just lucky that they had a free site for one night. For the next night we had to move to a different spot… This did not make it really comfortable for us… packing unpacking… Nevertheless we enjoyed the endless white beaches, the dunes, the kangaroos… and the turquoise sea.
On Friday afternoon we left the park and enjoyed riding along the coast. We stopped at the lighthouse for awesome whale watching and finally we reached Karen’s house in Exmouth. At the same day like us a new house mate, Glen, and 3 more couch surfer, a French couple (Steff and Sergio) and a guy from Belgium, Ben, moved in. We had an amusing BBQ together and Glen offered to go on a trip with his boat the next day.
We all got up early the next day and we spend an amazing day on and in the sea together… fishing, snorkeling, having another BBQ and watched the giants of the sea again and again: jumping whales! This is what you call a “Perfect Day”!!!
Karen took us to a „hidden cave“ in the bush using her 4W LandRover. After a steep climb down a stairway out of steel we explored the cave it was just amazing. When we came home Glen was back from his very successful fishing trip and we all could enjoy another delicious fish dinner.
“Marron Homestead” sheep farm experience mixed with the „AustralAsian-Safari“
It was time for us to continue … but it was Sascha’s birthday ;-) So we had a little birthday cake and before we left we got some wine for the evening. We were heading south along the coastline with gusty wind from the side. In the end we decided to go south of Carnarvon to a beach. We filled up the tank and our water bottles and got some bait for fishing in Carnarvon and finally we found a nice beach area with the sunset to put up our tent in the sand dunes. It was time for dinner, having a wine and a fire. Suddenly it started to rain… so we sneaked into the tent. The next morning it was cloudy and we had a very low tide. We enjoyed the day at the beach, collecting new fire wood and preparing the fishing gears. In the afternoon with the high tide we went out to the beach for fishing with a glass of wine to try our luck… hoping to catch a big fish for dinner. Hmmm… not really lucky with catching one but after some chats with camp neighbors we got two little snapper filets and a bottle of water for our dinner.
We contacted John via Couch Surfing before we drove the next day to see him. He is running a merino sheep farm called the “Marron Homestead”, which is located about 100km south east of Carnavon. We arrived around noon, were welcomed by his two dogs immediately and by John with a cup of coffee and a pie. We had a very interesting ride together with John through his “little farm” (actually you do not call it a farm over here, it is a “Homestead”) and we were introduced to flora and fauna and the background of running a sheep farm. John told us the „AustralAsian-Safari“ is passing through his farmland so we stayed 5 days with him giving a helping hand where we could and we had a great time together with him and Björn (a German guy who was working for John for a couple of weeks). The “race day” itself we spend in the bush and had a BBQ while watching the race – what a great day! The day after the race it was cloudy, windy and the forecast was rain… nevertheless time for us to say “hit the road” once again…
We spend a night at a river side. There was a little rain in the evening but we lit a nice little fire to keep us warm afterwards. Back at the coast we spend two nights camping at the “River Ranch” in Kalbarri. We explored the beautiful sea site and the national park with the he gorge.
Heading south we passed the Pink Lake at Port Gregory and found a gorgeous place up in the high sand dunes just before a little town called Horrocks. We went up with the sunrise to have a walk within these never ending sand dunes – getting an idea how it must be wandering around in the desert.
Fishing, fencing, chucks and olives and we found a temporary new “home”: Life in a caravan
We left with the idea to go down a bit further south to have a look at “Coronation Beach”; a few kilometers north of Geraldton. When we got there we noticed that the small nature campsite is packed because of the long weekend. We parked the bike to have a look around. Suddenly somebody from the barbecue area was yelling at us through the strong wind. And the next minute we were standing next to Relic, his son Cody, their friend Timo and their two dogs, Plank and Rex – some local guys enjoying the long weekend. We were immediately invited to share some beers and had another BBQ. After having a chat and a drive around the beach in their 4WD we shortly decided to spend the night together a few kilometers down the beach for fishing. As there was really deep sand we parked the bike with the “care taker” of the campsite (who was not at home at the moment, but a safe place to park as we were told). We spend a really good time altogether at the beach and early the next morning Sascha caught his first fish!!! The curse is broken finally after 12 hard months trying to fish ;-)
Relic is a lovely person, unique! A sheep sheerer and a fencer; he is living with his sun Cody in Nanson, the Chapman Valley. We stayed with them and met many of his friends and learned a lot about the live style and habits in the outback.
Time is running… we are in Australia already for two month – but it is such a HUGE country.
… Time was running indeed!!! Today we have October the 23rd! We spend some more days with our friends, Relic and Cody. Cody’s job is to take care about the chucks (chicken), but again and again the fox got one of them. So we promised Cody to build a proper chuck yard – of course in a style which fits them: rusty parts like an old-timer car roof, an old motorbike, an oven etc. moved in to provide the chucks some cozy shelter. Relic showed us a few of his fencing tricks and after planting some greens from the outside we handed over the chuck yard to Cody – and Cody prepared us a big delicious omelet for breakfast ;-) One day Relic took us with him showing us the real fencing job and we passed by the Olive Farm where his brother, Jacko, is working. Here we go our Greek friends: Kalamata Olive Trees! We had some fun driving the bikes of Relic and Cody around, Sascha renewed the cylinder head sealing of our bike and we were killing a sheep with the dawn. We really had a good time together in Nanson!
The Olive Farm where we went is owned by the parents in law of Jacko, Gil and Eric. As we need a little rest to organize the planning of our further trip they offered us to stay in their caravan at the farm if we give a helping hand here or there. (Something like this is called WOOFING in Australia; you help a bit and get accommodation and food for it). A great opportunity for us to settle down for a little bit longer after being one year on the road – yes, next week at the 26th we will have our celebration being “One Year on the Road”. And maybe we can have a look as well to find a job via sponsorship here in Australia –we really could imagine finding our new home somewhere here in Down Under.
We got our visa extended last week and now we have something like a home for the time being: our caravan within the olive trees surrounded by sheep. It is a very different feeling having something like a home again ;-) We have a bed, a table, some chairs, a fridge, a microwave and an oven… Gil and Eric are just lovely and gave us many little things which make life easier, like pots, pans, sheets, pillows etc. Kerstin planted already a tomato plant in front of the caravan ;-)
The Olive Farm is located in the middle of the Chapman Valley which is a beautiful area. Geraldton is about 30 km and the closest beach, Coronation, is just 10 km far away. We are here now for one week and we could help in different areas. Sascha was checking the water system for the trees and Kerstin was helping to fill and label the jars with the famous table olives. We will get a reasonable internet package from the telecommunication company to have a more regular contact with our family and friends again!