Western Australia here we come! We left Perth airport and headed straight for Freo (Fremantle). It was here where we had a few really chilled days and treated ourselves to a pamper session (every girl needs one at some point to feel feminine again – especially after camping and roughing it).
Our seven-day tour to Exmouth was soon approaching and we bid the quaint town of Freo farewell whilst we made our way to Perth city where we were due to get picked up the next day.
I over indulged in a few vinos that night so was fairly tired when my alarm started going off at 6:45am. However the antics from the night before kept me amused.
I had hit up the gym and as my reward I decided to put everything I had worked off and more, back on, by having 4 glasses of red wine.
The landlord was nice enough – a very talkative stocky Londoner who loved his dog Pepper.
However, he was also quite a Charlie big bananas as well – the type of person who justifies their existence by letting you know they know celebrities and they are this or that or did this and that. Yep right turnoff!
Anyway before I digress, after the landlord went, I was talking with a couple of the other reprobates.
One of them was starting to get rather annoying and didn’t make much sense. Then the elderly heavily inebriated man in the corner started hissing and spitting words of insults to this other guy – basically telling him to shut the hell up (but not as polite as that).
It all got a bit heated and before I knew it this skinny, long silver bearded man was pummelling the younger one as if he had a deep vengeance towards him. His eyes were bloodshed but dark and he looked at Mr Annoying with pure hatred as if he was his former enemy in the war.
Euan, the French guy I was also talking to tried to break it up. The elderly man was as strong as an Ox because he was so determined to get Mr Annoying and he kept Euan struggling to hold him back.
He was kicking Mr Annoying from the floor and doing anything to try and get a hit in.
Eventually it stopped and we sat back down, eager to finish our drinks and call it a night. Before I knew it, the 70-year-old and the 40-year-old were back at it. I couldn’t believe my eyes! This was ridiculous – you had two mature men acting like kids rolling around. Euan and I left them to it this time but every time we looked at each other we burst out laughing. It was the laughter of complete astonishment and bewilderment.
Eventually they stopped and I said goodbye to Mr Annoying advising him that he should probably leave so as not to provoke the elderly guy even further.
Being my first night in Perth. I couldn’t believe that I was welcomed in this way, hence why I was slightly amused the morning after.
With a little chuckle to myself. I quickly got ready and soon we were boarding the bus for our seven-day trip to Exmouth.
Our first stop was to visit the Pinnacles in Cervantes which are strange limestone formations in the desert ranging from a few centimetres to several metres.
After the Pinnacles we had lunch on Jurian Bay with its white sand and sea green waters.
We then had a drive of about four hours to camp and the sun was setting as we drove. On one side of the road there were oranges and yellows breaking through the clouds and then heavenly purples and pinks layering the sky on the other. It was unbelievably majestic.
It was an early start today but it was worth it just to see the sun rise. Again I was transfixed by the beautiful colours layering the sky – oranges, reds, yellows and pinks. This country has the best sunrises and sunsets I’ve ever seen.
After sunrise, we abseiled down the Z Bend Gorge in Kalbarri which was scary but exhilarating at the same time.
It was 25 metres high and once you got the hardest point over with (making the fist few steps down) the rest was a piece of cake and a real hoot.
We then went to look at the gorge and lookout and I was dying for the loo and so I told one of our guides (Flic) that I was heading to the ladies. I saw a sign for the toilets and thought I’d just continue going but I didn’t recognise anything so turned back and started following another path with footprints and car tracks. I pretended I was a ranger looking at markings to hunt someone down. Well my game had to end shortly as I didn’t have a clue where I was going which isn’t hard as I can get lost in a supermarket. Therefore I gave up playing.
Realising that I would not find the loos and not wanting to go further into the bush (it was a national park after all) I did what the locals did and had a wee in the bush.
What is happening to me? Am I becoming at one with nature?
Either way it was a lot better than the hole in the ground loos in the national park. However, I haven’t quite mastered how to wee without peeing all down my leg in the process. Is there an art to it? Maybe I’ll find out soon.
We drove on to another gorge and took in the views of the rugged rocks below which lined the valley. It was another beautiful spot.
After lunch we stopped off in Shark Bay – a world heritage site covering more than 2.2 million hectares. It’s one of the world’s greatest wilderness treasures.
We visited Hamelin Pool, which is home to the most diverse living stromatolites in the world. These rock-like ‘living fossils’ are monuments to life on Earth over 3500 million years ago. In fact they were the first life forms to appear on Earth!
I sat down and gazed into the sea looking at these fragments of history that made life. It was really peaceful and I wished I could have stayed a bit longer not speaking just staring and relaxing.
Next stop was Monkey Mia where we chilled for the night. Monkey Mia is famous for its dolphin interaction experience. Every day a small group of bottlenose dolphins come ashore to be fed a small amount of fish (not enough to interfere with their daily hunting ritual). Its one of the few places on earth where dolphins are 99% guaranteed to show up each day and I was psyched just thinking about it.
Once I dumped my stuff I walked along the beach to catch the sunset which was out of this world. Absolutely incredible. Again the sky with its cotton wool clouds teased my eyes. I didn’t want to blink in case I missed anything. The sunset was indescribable. It just keeps getting better and better.
The evening was lots of fun, we had a BBQ, we drank, sat on the jetty and kept a lookout for Dolphins. I even learnt how to pee without getting it down my leg.
Apparently you have to stretch one leg out, almost as if you are doing a side lunge. I practiced my new skill that night in the beach bushes and I can honestly say it works! Thanks Flic!
At about 1am everyone who was left started to head back and I had dropped my baccy on the floor and had to find it as I didn’t want the plastic wrapper being washed up back into sea. At first I couldn’t find it and so I headed back dipping my feet in the sea.
I saw two shadows in the water and not before too long I realised that these belonged to the majestic dolphins.
Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. I can’t believe I saw the dolphins in their natural habitat.
One of them came right up to me and nudged me a few times looking for food. I was in complete awe as I watched her swim around my feet. It was one magical moment.
I have wanted to see dolphins in the wild and be close to them for years and there I was having an intimate encounter with one. I was definitely one lucky girl.
My favourite animal and I was able to touch it! For years I’ve loved Dolphins – such intelligent creatures. I even have a dolphin ring. I just love them. It was one memory I’ll never forget.
I shouted to Ashwin who was further up the beach to come and look at these beautiful and magical creatures.
We decided to sleep on the beach that night to keep watch out and get first glimpse of the sun rise at 6:44am. We saw a few more sightings and then we hit the sand sack. Ashwin brought out two pillows and two blankets as it was fairly cold. I wrapped my blanket around me several times and laid down on my pillow falling asleep to the gentle sea waves.
I could hear Ashwin’s alarm go off but I didn’t check for movement as I was wrapped up in my blanket and didn’t want to emerge just yet.
Five more minutes I thought. Then I was woken up by Ashwin screaming “we’ve missed the sunset”.
I quickly popped my head out from hibernation and saw the glorious sun in the sky. How can we sleep on the beach and miss the sunrise? Another Nadia moment!
A few hours later after getting freshened up, I made my way down to the beach where they were feeding the Dolphins. Again I got a glimpse of these magnificent creatures. What a beautiful start to the day. I would definitely love to come back on a holiday here. It’s just absolutely amazing.
We did a couple of stops along the way including Eagles Bluff where we saw manta rays, turtles and sharks in the distance.
Then we visited Shell Beach – a beautiful white beach made up of millions of tiny shells up to 10 metres deep and stretching over 120km.
I think I was in need of a good nights sleep that night as I was absolutely shattered! Traveling takes its toll. Late nights, early mornings, constantly on the go – it all adds up. Therefore I was straight to bed as soon as I could and when my head hit the pillow at 10:30pm I was out like a like.
Despite going to bed early, I was still tired today but extra psyched for the day ahead. I was swimming with the whale sharks and couldn’t wait.
We set off in the boat around 8am and went through the briefing and grabbed our equipment before we set sail. Our first snorkel was a mandatory one to see how we go but we saw a tiger fish and turtle which was great.
The next couple of snorkels were the real big thing! We got to swim with the whale sharks – I was super excited. I looked down and there she was – this big creature around 7 metres long – the largest fish in the world and there I was swimming with her. I couldn’t believe it – it felt so surreal swimming next to this grey speckled and gracious fish. Have you ever been lost in the moment and it doesn’t seem real? It’s almost dreamlike and you feel that any time soon, you will wake up and be disappointed. Only it wasn’t a dream, it was reality and I was over the moon that I was able to do it.
That day we also saw reef sharks, turtles and dolphins from the boat as well as beautiful coral and all sorts of colourful fish. It was another magical day, another memory banked, another exciting experience.
The preceding days were spent watching beautiful sunsets, snorkelling, sun bathing and hiking.
It has been a fun packed, tiring but awesome trip overall where wishes have been granted, bucket lists ticked and tons of memories stored on film and also up there!
Australia is definitely the land of the giving as its nature, landscapes, views, experiences, wildlife and marine life are out of this world.
I’ve experienced so much in such a short space of time but I am soon approaching the end. Which means I’ll be saying a sad goodbye. However I’m a very lucky girl to have experienced what I have so far and for that I’m truly grateful.