When last I wrote, I was just getting off the Indian Pacific train in Perth, preparing to head up the west coast with Grant and Bec, a couple from Victoria, Australia. This was something of a change to my plans.
Western Australia is big. Really big. At 2.5 million square kilometres, its bigger than Canada’s largest province (Quebec) by over 65%. The vast majority of this bigness lies to the north of the capital of Perth. Not only is the northern part of the state big, it’s also empty, with 1.3 million of the state’s 1.8 million inhabitants living in Perth and most of the rest of them to the south of it.
Because of this, I’d decided that I’d have to limit my travel in WA to the southern part of the state. Some of the most interesting parts lie north of Perth, but the distances are just so vast and the points of interest so far apart (and often off of the main roads) that there’s no easy way to visit them as an independent traveller. Tours are expensive, as are rental cars (and my experience in SA made me wary of them anyway.) Buses are a possibility, but schedules, and the remote nature of many attractions make using them problematic.
With all of this in mind, Grant and Bec’s offer of a spot in their car while they spent a week driving up the coast as they moved to the mining town of Port Hedland was nothing short of miraculous. Not only were they offering me a “free tour” of the west coast, they were inviting a guest along on the first real holiday they’d ever had together. Hooray once again for the kindness of strangers!
With just a bit of rearranging the contents of their car, we soon had my pack and walking stick stowed and were ready to hit the road.