Exactly 8 months ago I had my feet on Dutch soil for the last time. I have been to quite a few places since: 3,5 weeks in South-East Asia, 6,5 weeks in New Zealand, and 5,5 months in Australia. But of those 5,5 months, I spent only 2 months really travelling. And looking on the map of Australia, it seems I have only covered a very small part of it:
– Sydney & Blue Mountains;
– Melbourne, Great Ocean Road & Grampians;
– Perth, South-West WA, along the coast to Exmouth & Port Hedland.
There is still a lot of Australia to travel to, and since my ticket validity is a maximum of 1 year, it means I have already spent 2/3 of the available time. But at least I feel like I am really travelling now.
Yesterday I went with three Australians to Oyster Stacks and Turkuoise Bay, where we went snorkelling on Ningaloo Reef. Oyster Stacks was the better snorkelling spot, but Turkuoise Bay had an absolutely gorgeous beach, which was fairly crowded due to the winter school holidays (about 1 person every metre of beach, not 1 person every _square_ metre of beach, like on Dutch beaches in good weather, after all this is Western Australia). Even though it was a beautiful sunny day with clear blue skies, the wind was still a bit chilly, so it got cold in the water after a while. Afterwards we made a short stop at the Vlamingh Head lighthouse (yep, named by the 17th century Dutch explorers), before getting back to the campsite.
This morning we were supposed to have our last three dives on the reef, so we got our wetsuits on, went in the small boat, got out into the water, got splashed by 1,5m high waves, and turned around after getting all soaked and seasick. Obviously, the weather was too bad to go diving today. The wind was the main problem, since it was a sunny day again. At least the weather here is a lot better than in Western Europe right now, where rain and storms seem to be ruining the summer. I feel really sorry for the folks back home (but not really…).
So on the downside my diving course is taking at least another day (hopefully the wind drops tomorrow, but we will have a bigger boat to make things easier). On the upside I have more time to read my diving theory book and update this website a bit more. I also found some people to travel to Broome with, so it will not cost me a fortune in fuel.