Weds 23rd March
Well as it looks as though you may have to wait ubtil the weekend for some photos, I am going to have to rely on my literary skills to describe the day's events for you. They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and I took a few pictures today but don't worry my diatribe won't be too long. Oh by the way, in case I use some big words I do believe a dictionary is available behind the bar at the Granby!!!!
Yet again it was an early start for me. I don't know why but I can't seem to sleep in at the moment and there isn't a lot to do at half six when you are stuck in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps I have a guilty conscience. Yes that's it. I feel so guilty being out here in the land of sunshine, free to go wherever I please and do whatever I want, when you are back in Blighty having to work for a living. No, I don't think thats it at all. Perhaps its my snoring that wakes me up early. Whatever it is at least I have more time to enjoy the sights. And so it was down to a different beach this morning. One that proclaimed to have a cafe. What better than drinking coffee in the early morning sun, read a book and watch the locals take their boats out to sea. Nothing except the cafe was closed as the summer season had ended. Ah well, two out of three ain't bad.
At last I decided it was time to wake the dead, well Dave on this occasion and so back to the room. Cutting a long story short, once again, we were soon checked out, and on our way further south.
It was my turn to drive and as we sped along the highway with not a soul in sight I felt like Mad Max except that I wasn't in leathers and I wasn't driving a Jensen Interceptor. But they were minor details. It's a totally different world out here where you drive along with not another car on the road. I suppose it becomes monotonous especially when you have to listen to the drivel that they profess to be a radio station. The highlight of the morning was when Oasis was played on the radio. Can life get any better?
A few hours later and we were in Pemberton. A small town, population 1000. God, even Keighley Cougars get more than that. Anyway in we went to the local Youth Hostel Association (that's YHA not YMCA) and booked our room for the night. A twin room (which turned out to be bunk beds) and a communal kitchen and bathroom. Not bad for a tenner each. We took the opportunity to book our accommodation in Albany for tomorrow night as there was a chance it could be fully booked because of the Easter weekend.
We spent the rest of the day at the local sights including the Gloucester Tree which you can, if so inclined, climb up it to a viewing station 60m up. Seeing as how the "steps" were merely iron bars stuck into the tree at regular intervals I naturally declined. Other sights included a dam and an attraction called Cascades (I use the term attraction loosely as it was just a stream running over some rocks but I suppose they have to attract the tourists somehow).
How could our day get more exciting I hear you ask! Well a visit to the launderette helped. A much needed visit on Dave's part! An "adventure" holiday it certainly isn't.
Back at the hostel we bumped into a couple that Dave knew from Perth. They were down here picking grapes to earn money to help finance their trip round Australia. Thats when they hit uswith the bombshell. Be prepared to be woken early. Nearly all the people in the hostel were fruit picking and as such started work at 6am which meant that some started rising as early as 5am, and they weren't quiet about it. Also our room faced onto the main road and opposite was the timber mill which worked through the night. Putting on a brave face I said I am sure I could sleep through it, especially with a gallon of Oz brew inside me. Easier said than done. The beer over here is more like lager, very gassy and therefore hard to drink much of, unless you are used to drinking lager like some of the girlies back home. And so the trip to the pub was a quick opne and thought it prudent to have an early night if it was going to be an early morning.
How true it was. Firstly though, I woke about 2am and could hear a radio playing really loudly from the direction of the communal kitchen. "I'm not having this" I thought, and headed off to the kitchen determined to rebuke the offenders saying that this was a hostel, not a disco! Imagine my surprise when there wasn't even anybody in the kitchen (unless they had heard me storming down the corridor). I whipped out the mains to the radio muttering a few obsecnities and clambered back into bed. About 3 hours uninterrupted peace before hell broke loose. Everybody seemed to be getting up at the same time. Doors banging, feet stomping, people shouting (well it seemed like they were shouting). Powerless all I could do was lie in bed and swear never to return to this god forsaken place, which I probably wouldn't have done anyway even if it had been the best hostel in the world.
And so onto the next part of our trip, Albany, the former capital of Western Australia.