Monthly Archives: July 2013
I should have blogged this ages ago! I am so far behind!
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in June I was getting itchy feet, so a friend and I decided to hire a car and take it to Margaret River. It’s a small town about 3.5 hours south of Perth synonymous with good food, wonderful wine and great surf breaks. Travelling on a budget doesn’t always get you those things – but I never travel anywhere without making great memories, laughing hard, breathing deeply and taking it all in. So this is how I did it:
I hired a car from Europcar which was a bus ride, a train ride and another bus ride away from us. I managed to get the only manual car in the depot, as for some reason Australians tend to favour autos. Driving without using a gear stick is not driving in my opinion.
Then I got a friend to jump on board.
Then I found two backpackers who also wanted to go to Margies (how the locals call it) on Gumtree. Pick up the car, pick up the backpackers and all pile into the TINY car whose suspension and tiny engine are now being tested.
We hit the road and as we get closer to Margaret River the clouds get heavier and heavier and it starts to rain. Not before I spot Gracetown – which just HAS to be visited and photographed.
Then we try and check into your hostel but reception is closed for a few hours… Check in done, rain sets in and we race to the coast in hope of catching a sunset in a rain break. We get totally drenched, but we’re on holiday so it doesn’t matter right?
Going out involves THE only pub in town where I spend more than I want to on beer and the following day’s hangover inhibits me greatly.
Sunday afternoon arrives and it’s time to make my way back to Perth even though it feels like I have been here 5 minutes. So I take one of the backpackers who wants to go back, and we amble our way back up the coast stopping here and there to admire the view, do a cartwheel on the beach, shelter from the rain and drink a crap coffee to keep me awake on the drive back top Perth.
On arrival back in Perth I drop my backpacker off at his new hostel, then my friend and arrive home waking the dog as I park “my” car outside the house and go inside. Exhausted, happy and nostalgic from another weekend well spent in Australia.
Then nearly two months later I get round to blogging about it, having forgotten the details that make people laugh but hoping my photos make up for it!
Back in March, when I was working for a different family, I was “invited” to go on holiday with them. Delighted at the opportunity to go somewhere new in WA and be part of the family I jumped at it. I sooner realised that I was not really on holiday – I was just doing my job in a different location. My hosts has no intention of showing me the place they had raved about, nor were they really willing to share it with me. So on my day off, and my free moments I did what I could to explore the area and see what it had to offer.
Dunsborough is quite a sleepy town on a very calm piece of water. It appeared to me to be one of those places that people leave in the winter and flood in the summer.
Here’s a selection of my images.
Not too far away I had the opportunity to visit Busselton too. “Grace, D is driving to Bussleton this afternoon – he can drop you off there, and you can get a bus back if you want”. Never one to turn down a little adventure I went for it. And took a walk along the famous Bussleton Jetty, which is the longest in the southern hemisphere at just shy of 2km. You have to pay for the privilege of doing so, or you can pay even more to take a rickety old train up and down it. But not interested in spending money, I wanted to use my legs, so took a stroll! Here’s what I saw:
Tired of calm water, I was keen to get to Yallingup and see some surf. I paid a ridiculous $15 for a return bus journey to take me just 8km each way, giving me just less than 3 hours to get some (expensive) lunch and enjoy the scene. It was worth it though, and when I got to the beach, I was so taken with it I had to get in the sea. Not planned to do so, so for the first time since I was about 9 years old – I went in in my undies! This is what you do when you are me, and you are on your own and you want to make the most of every situation. Just do it!
I’ve had this blog post circulating in my head for some two months now. When it first came to mind I couldn’t get it onto the keyboard thanks to pain so great in my right shoulder I was unable to type or write. In fact, at the time I struggled to even brush my teeth or do a number of tasks I had previously assumed were a given.
It got me thinking about how little we thank our bodies for the good days and what we are able to do with them, yet we are so quick to admonish the parts that don’t function well when we need them.
This post isn’t because I wish to list my medical ailments and woes, nor bore you with my pain stories. Those who know me, know what I am referring to, but I do on a regular basis deal with a a considerable amount of pain and discomfort. Last year, I was given a reason to feel pain – 14 years after my initial consultation I was given a diagnosis that gave it a label finally. My doctor in Melbourne remarked upon my coping strategies and commented that he was amazed that a woman my age (then 27) could live a normal life in so much pain. My answer to him was simple, as it has been to any concerned friends or colleagues who have made similar comments. I tell them that I am grateful for my pain free days: I’ll climb mountains when I can and when the pain comes back I simply sit down for a bit and find a way to be grateful for what I had been able to do until then. Sometimes it lasts a day, sometimes weeks: it tests me, depresses me, limits me and really angers me at times. In fact only last night I was sitting on my living room floor trying to find a comfortable position whimpering in pain, feeling sorry for myself.
But gratitude is really the only thing I have. I never know when it will come back or how long it will linger for, but it’s taught me to really live in the moment and to grasp opportunities when they arise. If someone says “let’s go for a hike” – on a pain free day I will jump at it, because next time perhaps I won’t be able to.
It’s taken years and years for me to understand my body and its ever-changing needs and demands. I accept help when it’s offered, but try not to need it knowing that ultimately I am on my own and relying on others only makes you useless when they are gone.