We had a pretty late flight booked which didn’t leave Sydney until around 8pm on the Wednesday. The flight itself was a whopping five hours to get from one side of the country to the other and we landed in Perth around 11pm, Perth being two hours behind Sydney.
It was about midnight by the time we were reacquainted with our luggage and finally managed to locate a rather drunk Tom, his friend Skippy (who was kind enough not to be drunk and pick us up from the airport) and his friend Zee. They were all high in spirits, despite the late hour, and took us on a little tour of the coast around Fremantle before heading back to Skippy’s house and a nice warm bed which had previously been made up for us by Skippy’s mum.
Next morning Skippy headed off to work (he was not to be joining us on our road trip) whilst Mat, Tom and I headed off on public transport to pick up our camper van. We used Around Australia Motorhomes who charged us $728 for a week. This was their minimum charge and although we were only going to be using it for six days it was still the cheapest and best value we could find. Although I’ve never experienced a camper van before I was very impressed I must say. It had all the basic equipment we would need, two gas rings, a 55 litre water capacity and a really cool extendable platform in the roof of the van for Tom to sleep on. All pretty standard, I guess, if you used to these things.
We drove back to Skippy’s house where we loaded up our kit and said a farewell to Dave, Skippy’s Dad, before starting our long journey, straight down the Albany highway, to Albany. This was to be our first port of call before heading our way back up the coast, visiting various sites of interest on the way.
With one stop for fuel and a bacon butty for sustenance we arrived in Albany somewhere between 5 and 6pm. This was pretty good considering we hadn’t left Skippy’s until around 1pm. First off we drove around trying to locate a Woolworths or Coles (Australian equivalent to Tescos) to stock up on food supplies. After no success we settled on an IGA (Australian equivalent of a Co-Op) and decided on stew for our first meal. We then went back to Target (Australian equivalent of Wilkinsons) we had noticed was still open previously and purchased a big cheap stew pot as the largest cooking utensil in the camper van was a medium saucepan; not suitable for cooking up a stew for three hungry people.
Once sorted we went about finding a place to camp for the night. As this was supposed to be a budget holiday we decided against a formal campsite for the first night and drove along the east coast until we found a track off the main road that looked secluded enough to park up for the night without getting caught.
Once settled, Tom and Mat declared Beer O’clock well overdue and then we went about getting the stew on the go.
It was surprisingly warm inside the camper and once we’d made our beds up it was easy to get straight to sleep. Mat and I had bought our double sleeping bag and woolly throw off our bed at home (even though duvets and blankets were supplied) and were very cosy indeed on the converted seating area. Tom was also happy in his little compartment above us.
We all went to sleep looking forward to seeing some big trees the following day.