Long goodbyes and farewell drinks a plenty, we departed Melbourne with heavy hearts but high expectations. We planned to head west to experience life on the road as ‘backpackers’, but first a quick pit stop in Tasmania.
Travelling and sleeping in a Nissan Micra was not the most sensible or comfortable way to see this beautiful island but with such fantastic sights to see it was well worth it. Highlights of Tasmania included:
- Knocking on a Wombats bottom (this may sound bizarre if you know nothing about wombats yet as I discovered wombats have a very hard bone plate in their bottom so that if they are chased by a predator they can stick their head in a hole and use their bum to block the entrance for safety – genius!)
- Seeing a real life Tasmanian devil (Nothing like the cartoon)
- Climbing Cradle Mountain, a very cold but scenic adventure!
It wasn’t all highlights though, Tasmania was also the home of the worst cappuccino I tasted in the whole of Australia. I won’t name and shame the cafe responsible for this disastrous, over heated, frothy excuse for a coffee; I will say that it is important in life to experience and understand when something is really wrong in order to be able to recognise and create something truly brilliant. Learning to appreciate coffee is often about knowing when something isn’t quite right!
The next leg of our journey began with a cross country flight to Perth. At this point we were feeling flush from our zoo savings and convinced ourselves that buying a camper van was a great idea. We were right. Our first van viewing introduced us to a peculiar gentleman that pre-warned us not to worry about the smell inside, explaining that he had recently butchered a kangaroo in the back to feed to his dogs. He assured us that the smell would soon fade; we quickly thanked him for his time and made our excuses. After plenty of duds we were beginning to feel rather dejected, but on a sunny day in a nondescript Fremantle carpark we met ‘Seymour’.
Seymour was an ex-australian telecoms van, he had more miles on the clock than the distance from earth to the moon and had been lovingly converted to include everything that we needed. It was love at first sight. The following weeks would see my coffee brewing skills pushed to new limits – we often found ourselves stranded in the rural outback with nothing more than instant coffee and Coffeemate as a milk substitute, but storms draw something out of us that calm seas don’t.
To be continued…….