Meelup and Margaret River, Western Australia

We headed south from Perth and our first stop was Meelup Beach. It was dusk when we arrived and this is where I saw my first wild kangaroo. There was first just one then 3 hopped across the road. I got super excited and unfortunately I wasn’t fast enough to get them on camera.

This place was so beautiful. We realized we couldn’t camp here and the nearest campsite was about 30 minutes away and cost was $15 per person, which was not in our budget! We decided to stay at the end of a secluded road in the bush away from the tourist attractions. We made garlic onion  chicken and steamed potatoes and carrots. It was pretty good! The next morning we went to the beach to have breakfast.

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The morning after

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Australian Magpie

I think Dr. Seuss’s illustrations were inspired by Australia flora. Check out this weird pine cone:

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The next morning we woke early and headed south to Margarete River. On the way we made several stops. First we stopped at the Ngilgi Caves and walked around the hiking trails. There were beautiful wild spring flowers. I really loved the Calla Lilies

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Ant hill

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Wild Calla Lilies

Next stop: Yallingup. There are several beautiful beaches here. It was super windy and cold.

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Then we went to the Cullen winery and had a free wine tasting. there are several beautiful wineries on the way to Margarette River. We saw tons of fields with lambs, sheep’s and cows. I even saw a huge field of about 50 kangaroos.

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Our last stop was in Cowaramup Bay, which was super windy and it started pouring rain. Artur was checking out the waves at North and South Point. The waves were closing out and it was super choppy, so he decided not to go in.

Grace town was a quick stop. There’s a memorial to a surfer who died while surfing at this beach. People put shells here to commemorate him. Artur took the biggest shell, but I put it back once we realized it was a memorial. Our conscience was better after I did that.

We stayed at a Top Tourist Parks camp ground for $27. They have good amenities. At night we walked around a little bit and it was completely dead. Artur plans to live here because the surf is good. Lol. I would never be able to live in such a small quite town, but there are really beautiful beaches. There were tons of ring necks (also called 28s because some say their chirp sounds like they say 28, I don’t hear it) that looked kinda like parrots, that have a long green tail and a yellow ring around its neck.

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Ring Neck note-I got this pic from google

Next we stayed at Peverly Park in Peverly Beach. I had to take advantage of the sunny weather, so I went for a run on the Beach there all the way to the river and back. I went into the sand dunes as well. 

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River that goes into the ocean


Rain started up again. Man does it make the beach look so dramatic!

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Perth, Australia

Perth is where my endless summer came to a halt. When I arrived it was raining. I actually miss a little cold weather with some rain. My preparedness wasn’t as extensive as I’d like, but at least I took a beanie, two pairs of long warm socks and leggings from the Cairns Waterfront hostel’s “One man’s trash is another’s treasure” pile.

I came all the way from Cairns because I wanted to do a road trip with my Brazilian friend, Artur. I stayed with him and his cousins (Paula and Vinni) in Perth for 3 days. They were so sweet and made me a delicious Brazilian BBQ when I arrived. The rump streak, lamb and chorizo were excellent. We had a delicious potato salad and a Spinage cranberry almond salad. They were super hospitable and made it a point to make me included on all conversations by speaking English as much as possible. I wouldn’t mind listening to Portuguese conversations, but it was nice the effort they were making 😉

They drove me around to show me Perth. The ocean was very choppy due to the storm. The green water was accentuated by the grey sky. It was very pretty. We drove through a huge park in Perth.

Even though rain was in the forecast we decided to embark on our road trip with our hippie camper. $97/ day to rent this camper was the best price we could find for a good vehicle. It has a sink, fridge, microwave and gas stove.

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Artur

For the next 10 days, we’ll be traveling about 1000 miles from Perth south to Pemberton.

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Goodbye Perth!

Cairns, Australia

Hello culture shock! Compared to Southeast Asia everything is clean and orderly, there are street names with signs, people follow traffic signals and stop for pedestrians and prices are 10 times higher. Backpackers here take a little longer to warm up to conversations.  I miss the perfect balance of craziness and tranquility of Southeast Asia.

I arrived and caught a free shuttle to my hostel, Cairns Waterfront Backpackers, which is located right in front of the lagoon. The location is awesome and it costs $18 Australian dollars for a room of 4, free WiFi (which is hard to find), free dinner. It is a pretty good price!

I didn’t want to lay on the sand of the lagoon because there have been crocodile sightings. I’m not about to mess with a prehistoric animal.

You can swim in the lagoon, but you may encounter a crocodile in transit to the mangroves south of the lagoon. They likely won’t kill you because they’d have to drag you all the way back to the mangrove’s and they just don’t have energy because they are low metabolism animals. “ain’t no body’s got time fo that!” Sorry, that never gets old.

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I went for a run along the waterfront and it was nice. I did some lunges in a park. I wanted to explore more, but didn’t have time.

I booked diving that night with sea quest. We went out to Norman reef I saw a huge sting ray and tons of colorful coral. There are tons of little caves. I also got to play with a curious Napoleon fish. I put up my arm up and wiggled my fingers and he came straight to me and I rubbed him from his lips to the belly. He was super squishy.  I wonder what he would taste like.

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This was the first time I jumped out of a big boat, it is so much easier! It was also the first time I didn’t have problems with equalizing my ears. 

I got a little sea sick and I was freezing, so I skipped the last dive and laid out in the sun.

That night I sat on a bench and watched the huge fruit bats fly around. They are the highest fruit bats I’ve ever seen. I’m glad they eat fruit and not human blood

A drunk aboriginal sat by me and was hitting on me. Lol. He wanted to go get drinks together. When I said no he asked me for 2 dollars. I was getting annoyed so I got up and sat with some British girls.

There were 2 adorable sweet British girls that were staying in my dorm. We went to the Whoolshed for our free dinner. I wasn’t going to drink, but then I decided to since it was only 10 dollars for 5 drinks. We ended up staying there late. I won 150 dollars and a snorkel cruise in a contest I’ll have to come back to use it. Lol.
The next morning I made breakfast in the communal kitchen. I made breakfast and lunch the day before and it was the first time I have cooked in 4 months. I actually miss cooking. Especially with Happy, my old roommate! After that I packed up and met up with Casey, one of my guides from diving. We got gelato and he was nice enough to take me to the airport.

I was sad to leave because I didn’t have enough time to explore. Yet, I’m really excited for a mini road trip from Perth south to Pembertom with Artur.

Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

From Gili, I went back to Uluwatu 🙂 because it was Sunday and I wanted to go back to Singlefin and my land transport was included in the ticket price, so why not?

The next day I went back to the island hotel to stay in the hostel. I met 3 Americans, Sanda, a South African, and German and a Brit.  The group was rad. We all went to Canggu and most of us stayed with Sanda’s American friends who rented a villa with a really nice pool. We all went to Deus for dinner. This is a cool place where they have motorbikes, clothing and surfboards, oh and a half pipe for skating. My brother would love it here.

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Asanda had Two American friends, Daphne and Marcus, that were meeting her in Canggu which is in North Kuta and it is the fastest growing city with black sand beaches. A bunch of us went to stay with them in the Naree Villas. These Villas were awesome! There was a long pool right off the bottom porch. The girls and I went for a spa day then we all went out in Kuta to Eikon.

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Why not go back to Uluwatu for about a week? The waves were huge and my Brazilian friends were there. Artur went surfing while I laid out and we stayed for the sunset.

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Of course I went back to the Island in Legian. I can’t get enough of that place. The next day I stayed with Chase, Henry and Ali at their Villa in Canggu. I got the maid’s quarters which were not too shabby!

We did a 300 km scooter ride from Canggu to the Gitgit waterfall, which is north and almost on the other side of Bali. It was a beautiful ride with views of lush green rice fields.

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On the way there we stopped at a strawberry patch where a man had the cutest pet monkey I named Mufasa.

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We had a guide take us to the three waterfalls. Check out the huge web spider we saw on the way to the first waterfall it is way larger than the one I saw in Phong Na Ke, Vietnam.

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We all jumped into the twin waterfall. It was so refreshing. Then we all swung on a Tarzan rope.

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On the journey back we stopped off at the lake to mess around with the monkeys that were on the side of the road. These monkeys were definitely a lot different from the ones in Ubud and Uluwatu. They behaved themselves by keeping their distance and I didn’t see one try to steal any flip flops. (Haha Megs)

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Rain was whipping us in the face on the way home.

We went to Echo Beach and watched the dogs (stray and owned) run and play. Next thing I know, Chase is talking to a lady about a stray dog she needs to find a home. Boom. Chase adopted Gypsy,
cutest little pup.

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From Canggu, I headed to Kuta to get some warmer clothes for Australia. Then headed back to the Island Hotel to return my scooter and shower.

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My next move is to catch a flight to Cairns for some more sunshine and possibly some diving.