During my first time in Australia, I really wanted to travel the West Coast. It’s far less touristy than the East Coast, I learnt. But that’s what I was after: avoiding masses and exploring something different. I’d been halfway up the coast and spent time in Kalbarri, Coral Bay and Exmouth, before heading back down to Perth. I could have taken a Greyhound back down the coast, but a lovely person working at STA travel gave me the tip to join in on a tour. You see there were many tours going up the coast and plenty of them offered a ‘return to Perth’ option. Not everybody took this option though, since most people would travel further up the coast to Broome and Darwin, leaving open spaces on the bus that tour operators would love to see filled. Ultimately, it was cheaper and more relaxed to take this option, as it included food and accommodation, and it meant travelling only during the day. The downside was joining a group of travellers that already knew eachother because they’d been on this tour together.
We hit the road and travelled down from Exmouth. Lunch break here, rest stop there and ultimately heading for the night stop in the Geraldton area. We stopped at a farm, put our bags in a huge barn type thing and freshened up. There were many beds to choose from. There were so many beds it was kind of a mish mash. I wish I had taken a photo of it. The farmer also had many swags and offered the option to use them for the night. As it was one of my bucket list items to sleep under the stars, it didn’t take long for me to decide I was going to sleep in a swag that night! For dinner we had a lovely and very yummy kangaroo stew. It was the first time I ate kangaroo and it tasted so good.
I never got used to how early it gets dark in Australia. Because the country is closer to the equator, it gets dark around 19.30 in the middle of Summer! As it was getting darker and later in the evening, it was time to hit our swags and settle in for the night. The sky was amazing. Stars scattered everywhere, the milky way running right through it. Spotting constellations, marvelling at this amazing beauty, I didn’t want to close my eyes. It was tough to get some sleep anyway, as another traveller snored so very loudly (this prompted me to buy earplugs soon after!) and most people kept chatting until the early hours. Still, it was a wonderful experience sleeping under the stars and waking up with the most amazing natural light in a beautiful rural location. I would happily sleep under the stars again, as it was just so mesmerizing to experience!