DSC_0451.JPG

Oceania

Western Australia

Sitting on a cramped bus, in the middle of the Western Australian desert made me re-think downing over 3L of "daily-recommended" water. Being miles from anywhere led roommates Jose, Vicky and I to the truest of Aussie landscapes; the big and barren WA. Home to white beaches, optional foot attire and the world's most isolated city.

After an exhausting 4-hour flight we hit the Sheralee Hostel in Perth. Practically an ancient ruin, the place challenged the boundaries of cleanliness. Our evening stay was accompanied by a dead cockroach, a bloody kitchen brawl of Irishman, and a Chinese man determined to catch the mouse inhabiting our room. Waking up to our neighbors alarm an hour earlier then needed, we were ready to catch our tour leaving for the far north. Leaving the dust mites and grime behind us we boarded the 20 person bus jammed pack with tourists mostly from Europe. Led by "Bachelor Bob" (coined due to the lack of wedding ring), Bob both guided and drove the diverse crew up the coast. Stopping at places like the Pinnacle Desert, white sandy beaches and the Wildlife Park where Jose taught a multicoloured finch how to dance. Apparently Spaniards have a way with the wildlife. Kilometre after another, we continued on towards Kalgone National Park. When entering I obeyed the instructions by keeping hydrated for the remainder of time hiking. The views of the rocky red terrain were one of a kind and my camera couldn't get enough. By the end of the day we made it to Monkey Mia, but before our glorious arrival we made a much need "pee-pee" break at the Billabong Roadhouse. Word of the wise: keep water consumption to a minimum when stopping at 3-hour increments. We capped the day with a sunset over the Indian Ocean, and a bobbing turtle wishing us goodnight. Getting an early start to the day we watched bottlenose dolphins swim up to shallow beach, followed by a morning of sailing at Shark Bay. Growing closer with our fellow travelers we headed to lookouts at Shell Beach, Hamelin pools and Eagles Bluff. Our final overnight stay was a farm reserve, miles from civilization and cell phone reception. Luckily the stench of our barn accommodation didn't bother us too much. With only a day ahead of us we concluded the tour with sandboarding, peeing in the outback and bowing down to HRH Prince Leonard of Hutt River Principality. Hutt River is an independent state succeeding Australian rules and laws. It's hard to imagine, but getting a stamp in our Passports was definitely the biggest highlight! The drive back to Perth was long and tiring, but left lingering views of open paddocks, grazing kangaroos and running emus. After this trip, I can confidently wash my pee down the toilet, tolerate the extent of greasiness, speak beginner Spanish, and answer all of life's questions with She's the Man quotes. Western Australia is forgotten and desolate, but full of hidden gems. The 4-day tour was a blur, but I've got a lifetime of knowledge.

Waking up to a decent night rest, the 3 musketeers rolled out of bed, embarking on the newest adventure: Western Australia's Rottnest Island. The Island, off the coast of Perth, is a full two hour boatride across the Indian Ocean. The day was cloudless as we made our way around the island wishing the day would never end. I've never seen beaches so white, where the famous Quokka a.k.a. (a massively large looking rodent) freely scatter the Island, pining for food from your hand. Our day was a relaxing break from foul-mouthed Irishmen and smooth-talking frenchies present on our non-stop touring the past 4 days. Jose was convinced a full 24-hour sleepathon was required to full recover. We spent the day enjoying the view and having a friendly chat with a Rottnest local. She guided us to the island's circle bus, as she told us of her special love for Canadians. The photo oppourtunities were endless, but the picture perfect day ended with the best portrait of all: Prince William. Boarding the ferry home, Vicky and I were determined to watch full coverage of the Royal Wedding. Annoying Jose to the nines about dresses, the royals and rants about our perfect wedding, we sat in the depths of the Rottnest ferry on a Friday evening in order to absorb every moment! The problem occured once the ferry docked in Perth. Meaning all passengers ashore. Kate hadn't even walked down the aisle yet! Rushing from port to the nearest possible antenna, Vicky and I saw a light emerging from a local bar. Shoving passengers out of the way, we followed our hearts to the closest form of television in Perth. The local bar on the wharf had to do. Excitement for the day had been fullfilled. Jose was left in the dust but he managed to subside his annoyance with a plate of chicken parmy. Once in a lifetime, Rottnest was everything and more, but no one can take me away from a royal wedding. There is just so much beauty to admire! 

On and off the screen.

Brittany Hayward