Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Western Capes

The state of Western Australia takes up nearly half the country. It's as if everything west of the Continental Divide were one big state, only with fewer than 1/3 the people. Perth and the north are the driest part. Heading south, things become much more pleasantly Mediterranean.

Possibly the most traditionally pretty area of Western Australia is the Margaret River Valley and the capes of the southwest coast. The Margaret River is wine country, and a national park hugs the dramatic coastline. Since there are other wine regions in Australia, and I was eager to get away from tourist havens and civilization, I stuck to the national parks. I spent a couple of nights camping in a forested area near the sea. Even from behind a ridge line, you could hear the pounding ocean. The waves were enormous. No swimming here.

Also, it turns out that my blurry photos aren't from anything I'm doing wrong. My camera keeps giving me a lens error, which may be from grit finding its way into the mechanics. It's likely the cause of the bad shots, and it's not really fixable. For snapshots, it's still okay, but for keepsake photos, it's poo.

The beaches here are not effing around.

I camped in a little wooded glen with some really oddball plants in the forests all around.

That night, a little possum (not the hideous American kind; the cute Australian kind) climbed down the tree by my tent and visited me. I awoke to MASSIVELY LOUD kookaburras hollering right above me, and then I spotted a mother and joey kangaroo browsing contentedly near my tent.

I don't know how else to say it, but all the marsupials I've met have seemed a little... senile. They never react to people as a threat, even though native Australians have been murdering them for 40,000 years. They're incredibly docile, and none of them even flinched at my blazing headlamp shining in their faces. Plus, they all seem to have prehensile tails--kangaroos use them as tripods--and prehensile tails creep me out for some reason.

But Australia's got a coastline. It's pretty nice.

1 comment:

  1. The pictures look fine to me. Are you only posting the clear ones? Are there surf warning signs on the beaches, or do Australians expect a certain level of common sense?