In december 2010 I gave the european winter the cold shoulder and flew away. FAR AWAY! On 10th of december I landed in the middle of the night in Melbourne International Airport and before my actual adventure could start I was kinda stuck. Due to a little miscommunication my friend with who I planned to meet was in Alice Springs.
The next day we finally met and a day later we were on our flight to Perth. During the last months we planned a road trip which would take exactly two week from Perth to Broome. Over the internet we found a Canadian Air Force Pilot who wanted to do the same trip. Strike! That not only meant saving money on Greyhound buses furthermore this meant being faster and more flexible. We later figured out that we would be much faster than we actually wanted to be!
We arrived at Perth Airport and the super friendly lady of the Shuttle drove us to a Hostel which she said would be good for backpackers. We trusted her and didn’t regret it! The Hostel was good and we had lots of fun during our stay!
After seeing Perth and the surroundings like Fremantle and Rottnest Island we met with our pilot who would be our driver for the next two weeks.
After the first 10 kms I knew this wouldn’t go very well. Our new friend, I will call him Jack, was speeding way too much. Australia has a speed limit of 130 km/h and Jack was on average driving 160-170. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when he drove with 200 km/h into a turn on a dirt road. Don’t get me wrong. I’m half german and already drove with 275 km/h but that was on a paved and empty autobahn in Germany and not in the middle of the outback at sunset when most of the animals are jumping over the street!
Saying something wasn’t helping so we decided to ignore this. We didn’t wanted to look for another way of transportation. Three days after we started our road trip with final destination Broome we were already back in Perth! It rained so much during the last days that the road was closed and they couldn’t tell us how long it would take until they would be able to clear and open the roads again. During these days I had birthday and we were stuck in Kalbarri a little town with 300 habitants. We tried to do the best and had a barbie in the rain with enough beer to make us happy again!
A friend I went to university with and finished his bachelor last summer called to congratulate me for my birthday. After a little talk we found out that we both are in Australia and that he was working on a farm 2 hours south of Perth. He quickly double checked with his boss and then invited us. As we were stuck in the middle of nowhere, we spontaneously accepted the invitation. We took a couple of beers with us and drove 8 hours to Perth and the next day another 2 1/2 hours to Bunburry.
As a thank you for letting us stay at their premisses we brought a crate of beer for the owner of the farm. Mario, one of the coolest guys I met, said something like: “just give me a beer I’m thirsty and keep the rest and have a great evening!” I loved him…
We had good talks that night, and the next one, and the next one and even more booze together. We were all sitting around the bond fire at night had BBQ for dinner and during the day we relaxed at the pool, went horse riding with the kids of mario or drove with the quad around the land.
After couple of days we left again because we wanted to see a little bit of the country while being in WA. Once we left Bunbury it started raining again. We promised to stop for one night before we drive back to Perth that is why two nights later we we were back at the Farm. This time Mario took us to the beach, he loaded two eskys full of beers on the ute and off we went! On the beach we saw some dolphins and a great sunset. At one side there was the sunset at the other side a storm was coming in. Great scenery! Mario seemed to like us, he asked what we planned for christmas and when we said that we hadn’t planned anything and that we are going to spend it somewhere in Perth he invited us to celebrate with his family at the river in Bunbury. We first didn’t wanted to accept because for us germans christmas is sacred and a family holiday but Mario insisted that we stay if we have nothing better planed and so we did!
Next evening we went to the church service, which was open air. I think it was my first service at 40 degrees 🙂
On the morning of the 25th, Santa brought us a mini photo album of Australia and a keychain with the australian flag. That’s so cool of them, I was so happy about that, one of the best presents I got. Not because of the value of the stuff just because they showed us that they cared about us. They cared about people they only knew for 3-4 days!
At about 10 AM we drove to Bunbury to the brother of Janice, Marios wife. They have a massive house next to the river and the whole family was there. I wasn’t even able to say hello to everybody until I had the first beer given to me by somebody! I loved it and it just couldn’t get better!
It did get better. After an hour of introduction, memorizing all these new names and already couple of beers the lunch was served. I never had such a good sea food bbq I simply loved it. Tons of scallops, oysters, crayfish, lobster, squid, mussels and plenty of other stuff it was delicious!
After lunch we played secret santa and had a lot of fun. The rest of the day consisted of eating, talking with everybody about everything and drinking, that was actually the main activity.
One of the family members, Pedro aka Looseman, was a country singer and gave us signed CD of his latest album.
Later that night when everybody was already drunk and the kids went to bed, Esther and I, were sitting with pedro on the terrace and talking. I can’t remember the context of the conversation but I remember him saying “Tomorrow would be a good day to go out with the boat and swim with the dolphins”. Esther and I immediately gave sounds like “Aaaaah!”, “Uuuuuh” and asked questions like “Can you really swim with the dolphins here?” or “Do you have a boat here?” and then said thinks like “I would die for swimming with wild dolphins” or “I always wanted to swim with dolphins”… Pedro laughed called Steve and said that we would go out tomorrow and swim with the dolphins. Esther and I were super happy until we realized that we have a flight to catch the next morning at 7 AM… and it was already about 10 pm. Jack was still on the piss and had to drive us.
Pedro came up with a plan. He said to call Quantas, change the flight and stay another night. Easy said but we couldn’t afford to change another flight. We already paid $600 for the flight itself and $150 for changing it from Broome (Do you remember? We wanted to do a road trip to Broome). We said we couldn’t do that and the topic was kinda gone. Minutes later Pedro came to me with $300 cash and said ” Mate, change the flight, the two of you go nowhere tomorrow except on that bloody boat and swim with the dolphins” I was so surprised and shocked that after a quick look in the eyes of my friend Esther accepted the money, called Quantas and changed the flights. The party now really started, Jack (Yes, he was with us the whole time but you rarely saw him) didn’t had to bother of driving the next day and we partied until late.
The next morning we woke up with the biggest hangover since a long time and the first thought was “shit, we lost the flight” followed by “oh, no wait, ahhhhhhhhh, NICE!!!!”. After a nice breakfast we were ready to go out to the sea. Not everyone was fit as I was, Rob forgot to put the plug into the boat and that means that the boat sunk in the river. Fortunately on shallow water. We had to put the plug back into the boat and then empty it with buckets. Once that was done we were ready to go!
After 5 minutes a school of about 6-7 dolphins swam around our boat at the mouth of the river. We drove out a little and jumped into the water. After 10 minutes the first dolphins came and swam around us and about 30 minutes later we could even touch them if we were quick enough.
The next day a very happy Esther and Sebastian flew to Sydney and we both agreed on that we met the best and most friendly family in whole Australia!