Up the
The Pinnacles.
A new pet?
Along the Western Coast.
February 4, 2008

I am so happy I decided to do a tour. Really, it’s the only way to do the west coast of Australia. The distances are massive and I
would never want to drive it. And the fact that I’m out here alone, there would be absolutely no way. And the tour is relatively
inexpensive considering the costs of taking the Greyhound bus. It’s nice to know that for the next eight days I don’t have to
worry about any expenses. Ahhh…

We started off at a wildlife reserve to see some of Australia’s finest – kangaroos, adorable long-necked swamp turtles and (my
favorite) little koalas. (So tempting to call them koala ‘bears’ but I will do no such thing! They are marsupials, not bears. I think
the misunderstanding happened based on their scientific name which translates to some sort of pouched bear. Someone needs
to talk to the scientists about this.)

Then it was time to go canoeing on Moore River. It was fine but my favorite part of this stop was when Jessica and I decided to
stop early and go on a walk along the beach. Yup. This was a very good idea. The views from the beach and from up above were
far more enjoyable than the view from the canoe. Plus the colors of the water were amazing out there!

We arrived in Cervantes – our home for the night. We are near yet another completely unspoiled beach. This coastline is
wonderful and seems totally untouched.

After dinner, it was time for the main attraction of the day. The Pinnacles.  I’ll be honest. I was not expecting much – just the
limestone formations that I have seen on posters and postcards.

But I was wrong! This area was so vast that there was no way
not to be impressed. There were storm clouds in the sky and
lightning coming down every few minutes – talk about an eerie scene. We stayed for sunset which was stunning. I was truly,
truly impressed. And to think that most people who have never been to Western Australia don’t even know about a place like
this. This ranks up there as one of my ‘Wonders of the World’ simply for not being some over-populated tourist attraction.
Kudos to the Pinnacles!

Had a couple ciders while out there and more than ready to hit the bed right now – especially considering wake-up time is 6am.

February 5, 2008

How can people get so hungry in the day when, more or less, they are just sitting on a bus?

Don’t get me wrong. We did do a good amount of things today. But nothing required any physical energy…yet we were all so
hungry. Anyway, this was just a small point I wanted to make.

We started off at a wildlife center that was en route to the next place we were going. I think this stop was mostly to prep us for
what we may find in the next few days and to not freak out if we do happen across some slitherers.

Yes, I am referring to snakes. At the wildlife center was where we were told we were encouraged to handle them to know that
they really aren’t things to be scared of. Well, as long as they aren’t venomous.

I have to admit – I really got on-board with holding these slithery things. I even found them cute. At one point, I was holding a
mother and daughter at the same time. Family bonding going on in my arms. Made me feel kind of warm and fuzzy…in a cold-
blooded scaly kind of way. It turned out that this was even more of a highlight to me than feeding the kangaroos (though that
was awfully cute – and this was in an actual warm and fuzzy way).

Next up on our agenda was leaving Australia. Bet people didn’t know that was possible. I sure didn’t! But there is a place called
the Hutt River Province that has gotten independence from Australia (a clever guy – who is now the prince of this province –
found a clause to prove that he didn’t need Australia’s permission to grow wheat and now doesn’t have to deal with taxes, in
addition to being ‘royalty’). We met Prince Leonard and his wife Princess Shirley. They were great – a farming couple as a
prince and princess. They had all sorts of memorabilia from different countries that they had received for the Hutt River

To break up our drive, Trevor stopped our bus and had us all pick some bitter melon from the side of the road. We would now
play ‘Bushballs’. This consisted of all of us failing miserably at throwing or rolling these balls down the highway to try to knock
over a plastic bottle that Trevor set up. In the end, I won the $5 by default since I was messing around when Trevor was
walking back to the car and I threw a melon towards the bottle and he used the bottle as a bat. He told me the $5 was mine
since I was the only person who made contact. Sweet.

The last place we stopped was along the coast where instead of beach, there were stunning sandstone formations. Talk about
getting lost in thought out there. Just perfect to stare at and let your mind wander. Loved it.

Now we’re at our hostel for the night. Kind of like a little home. Just went down to the beach with some others for a bit and now
waiting for dinner.
Back to Australia.