For me adventure came in the shape of a van, a Toyota pop-top camper van, that we called Matilda. She became part of our family in November 2009 and in March 2010 she took us on an epic 37000 kilometre, one year adventure around Australia.
She was our transport, accommodation and trusty companion. Jack called her “the sardine can”. Can you imagine 2 of us living in this small space for so long? It was a test of our relationship, but we are still together and talking to each other…
It was an amazing year. Heading north along the east coast waking to misty mornings all alone in free camping spots
Into the tropics. Where the lush green foliage drips with vines and ferns carpet the ground and the humidity enfolds you like a wet blanket
then west across the outback to the west coast were the scenery is spectacular. Rust red gorges hiding pristine water holes. Gum trees flashing their ghost white trunks. Beauty at every turn.
Many people ask me what was the most memorable part of our adventure around Australia and that is a very difficult question to answer. The scenery is so diverse, the people and experiences, the many campgrounds. The sheer joy of watching this country unfold before you, never knowing where you will be at the end of the day. All these things make the journey memorable. But two things do stand out.
One is the flight into the Bungle Bungles and the walk through these incredible rock formations.
And two is the spectacular display of the wild flowers along the west coast. It was the thought of these wild flowers and a desire to see them that I built the whole journey around. My timing was perfect and we drove slowly south along the coast from Broome to Perth. A never-ending display of glorious colour spread all around us. We constantly stopped to walk among the flowers and gaze in wonder at the diversity, shape, size and colour of this magnificent show of nature flaunting its beauty. My gardening heart was overflowing.
The adventure continued along the southern coast of Western Australia. Up into the goldfields of Kalgoorlie and across the Nullabor plain the road stretching 1675 kilometres seemingly an endless strip ahead of us
So many experiences, enough to fill a book. There was WWOOFing, couch surfing in the big cities, boat trips down rivers, walking in the magnificent National Parks, swimming in deserted water holes and sitting with a glass of wine watching countless sunsets
I can hardly believe it is almost 8 years since that memorable year. But the adventure is still so fresh in my memory.
I’m dedicating this post to Ailsa “Where’s my backpack” For years she has hosted a very popular travel theme challenge and I have looked forward each week to the new challenge and loved being part of her community. But this will be the final theme as Ailsa is taking her backpack off into the wide blue yonder on new adventures of her own. Best wishes Ailsa and safe travels. I’ll look forward to hearing about your adventures when you have time to share them with us.