HELLO + WELCOME to the regular Wrap Up of how the expedition is progressing as we roll from Sydney to London via Africa.
It’s Kirsty here today. Let’s get into it!
20 000 KMS
Last week we hit 20, 000 kilometres on the road. I would like to write that once again, for impact, twenty-thousand-kilometres.
We’ve been rolling since 23rd March this year. Today marks the 149th day of the expedition (on the 142nd day was when we put the above image up on Facebook).
There is plenty more to come as we finish up in Australia, drive up through the guts of Africa and hit Europe. However for us it marks a moment in time as we know our Australian leg is coming to an end.
DRIVING ACROSS AUSTRALIA
Since the last Wrap Up we have been driving South, tackling a fair bit of dirt and plenty of tarmac. We drove out of Exmouth and within an hour we were plunging ourselves into Turquoise Bay in Cape Range National Park. The waters very much live up to their name and it was with a heavy heart that we crawled back into the car and started the drive South towards winter.
Kirsty snorkelling in Cape Range National Park
G snorkelling in Cape Range National Park
Turquoise Bay, Cape Range National Park, with Ningaloo reef just off shore.
We took the dirt 4WD track from Exmouth down to Coral Bay. It was a little corrugated and bumpy however it was so nice to be back in the ‘bush’ and out amongst it all.
As we drove South we were rewarded with some awesome camping. Sites with no-one in sight (our preferred kind!) and incredible views. It has made the dropping temperatures far more bearable.
Eventually as we visited Cervantes and the Pinnacles, Perth became within sneezing distance. We entered the city, took in the sights, caught up with a friend. Drank at the Little Creatures brewery and had the overwhelming desire to get moving. So, after our fleeting visit to Perth we are now heading South.
Driving South through Ningaloo Station
The road to Red Bluff in Quobba Station hugged the coastline and here we pulled over to watch whales just off shore
Yanchep National Park
The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park
Our morning view from our camp at Herron Point; had this all to ourselves just an hour or so South of Perth. Finally escaping people!
After a fair bit of bumping along a dirt track we reached remote Ningaloo Station. Soon enough we were nudey dipping in the ocean and washing the days dust off us. Gareth made his trip record this night – in bed before dark! Weary and both of us adjusting to being back in the Troopy.
RED BLUFF, QUOBBA STATION
Home (for a few nights)
Our site had a little perch to to take it all in
Cooking up some freshly caught fish on our Snow Peak fire pit
Whales, whales, everywhere
Time seems to have stood still at Red Bluff.
Upon checking in, rather than be allocated a spot, I was told ‘Cool. Well park anywhere there’s no vegetation. You see those palm frond humpies? They are the loos’
Red Bluff is a special, special place. The sunrises were quite something to wake up to out the pop top window! Goats and kangaroos meandered about. Whales breaching constantly off shore. No human traffic, just a scattering of people, mainly young surfers going out to hit up the World famous Bluff Barrel.
The pace of life here made me feel it was the perfect place to check out of the rush of life for a while.
Heading towards Perth was a bit of an emotional roller coaster.
Our original route was to pass through Perth, head to Margaret River, Esperance, then back up to Freemantle (near Perth) and ship the Troopy to Africa.
However because we have now decided to change tack (as we wrote about a few Wrap Ups ago) we will now be shipping from Sydney. So, even though our Australian leg won’t be finishing up in Perth it still signalled for us the coming of the end. Exciting. Sad. We are entering the unknown. A plethora of emotions hit. Add in the fact we haven’t been in a city of Perth’s size since April – it was a little full on to be plunging into a big city!
Walking through a city CBD felt very strange. We walked through the mall and spotted strange fashion that meant nothing to us. Everyone’s heads were down. Everyone was on a very important mission. Everyone seems deeply something-a-rather. But I suppose it’s not so bad. I suppose that was just the sharp contrast between country life and inner city life.
I thought this kind of reverse culture shock would happen after Africa, but didn’t realise it would hit so hard in Australia too.
With that said, there was also plenty of perth that we enjoyed. The drive along the coast road was lovely, booming with mega three story mansions and we can imagine it would be glorious in summer.
We finished our quick visit with a few beers at the Little Creatures brewery. It was incredibly impressive to see a brand who had everything so bang on.
A SIMPLE SERVICE TURNS WRONG
Every day we give our Troopy a big hug, kiss, or pat on the arse. It is a beast. And he just keeps on trooping without a hiccup. Anyone who has a thorough knowledge of our vintage of Toyota Troop Carrier comments it’s one of the very best they have ever seen. It has been cared for meticulously by the one owner before us who was an aircraft engineer and we have continued the proud tradition.
With this in mind, 10 000 kilometres had passed since our last service in Alice Springs and it was time for a simple service. Oil change and filters. The weather has been really rainy and windy so rather than have G tend to it we decided to direct some money towards it and have it sorted quickly by ‘experts’.
Well, less than 20 minutes after driving away from the simple service the vehicle broke down. The vehicle has never broken down prior to this. Upon closer inspection the handiwork of the service centre involved fixing the fuel change over switch on with a CABLE TIE. A disgrace. And it obviously put into question, in our minds, what the hell else they had done.
Since this it has broken down another 3 times and there has been a lot of toing and froing. It has been a testing few days.
We are currently getting the Troopy back to the condition it was in prior to the poor treatment it received with an alternate workshop. The vehicle is our main concern. Second to that we have now effectively wasted a whole lot of time and money hanging around waiting for the issue to be resolved.
Anyway, we won’t write too much yet. Let’s see how things pan out and how we are treated by everyone involved.
We hope the next time we post we can update you with some positive information.
LOVING + NOT LOVING SO MUCH
Meet Terrance the Thorny Devil we had the pleasure of meeting (and saving)
Not loving So Much: The onslaught of humans in cities + traffic + feeling a bit ‘mehh’ about our Australia leg nearing a close + everything to do with the ‘simple-service-turns-wrong’ circus
Loving: Meeting the Thorny Devil above and saving his spiky little life! + snorkelling in spectacular water + campgrounds becoming quieter (as we head towards winter) + being out amongst nature + having our body clocks so closely intertwined to the rise and fall of the sun + being freshly engaged (yeehh boi, we are still loving that!)
That’s us all wrapped up right now!
As always, thanks for being here guys, having you on the expedition with us in spirit means so much to us!
This ‘Aussie Overlanders’ thing just keeps growing and growing; we really feel like we are creating a special community. That feeling is fuelled daily by the letters we are receiving from you and the comments on Facebook. We are so grateful. There is SO much more adventure and excitement to come and we can’t wait to share it all with YOU.
There is a comments section below if you would like to chime in, we are listening, and would love to hear from you.