Monday, August 8, 2011

Shark Bay Squee!! (part 2: Cruisin' and The Crevice 2: The Sequel)

Driving up the North West Coast Highway in this huge, clanky, unwieldy, sensitive (the slightest push on the wheel sent it veering, until you tried to actually turn corners), no-power-steering, wind-is-our-enemy van was strangely cathartic for me. K of course drove most all the way (since he's a boss like that), and I was absurdly grateful he drove through the city, but the two or so hours I did drive were wonderfully freeing. Here I was, young and crazy, careening down a highway in rural Australia, the sun shining on rolling green fields, glistening from rain. It was like I was actually some kind of adult, in charge of my own life and actually out there living it! Weird.

K forgot there was a horizon. Or something.
Beyond those hills is the ocean! I love Australia.
I never did figure out what the yellow fields were, but they were everywhere, great big rolling hills covered in blankets of yellow, like something out of Wizard of Oz.
It was especially exciting to encounter a particularly Australian feature of the highways: road trains!!
Picture a semi only with THREE trailers on the back. And you have to pass that enormous hurtling metal mountain of death on a two lane road. When one of these monsters passes you going the other way, it feels like the air-vacuum it creates will knock over a top-heavy vehicle like our wobbly van.
The back end of the train, which on curvy stretches of road you might have to stare at for what feels like eons.
Oh gosh we're passing!
It takes an agonizingly long time to pass....

Our destination that first day was Kalbarri, but since we didn't manage to get out of Perth until almost 11:30am (not being able to pick up the van until 10am, then filling it with petrol, driving back to my apartment, loading our stuff, AND trying to figure out why K's credit card had stopped working was a tad bit time consuming), so we ended up doing that one thing you're not supposed to do in Australia: drive after dusk. Because once the sun sets the kangaroos come out and play chicken with your speeding car. >.>
But K has driven in Wisconsin, where deer play the same game (only you're usually in a huge pick-up truck that's practically taller than the deer) and he learned to drive in the middle of the road. The vigilance paid off, considering we saw not one, but TWO kangaroos startle in our headlights, and we made it to our caravan park safe.

The next morning I took K to Eagle Gorge, the place I found last time with the Crevice of Awesome! K was duly impressed, as the Crevice was even more violent than the last time I'd seen it.
The Crevice was filled with foam......
....because of huge waves like this! Yay for oxygenation!
K likes the ocean.
The ocean likes K!

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