Long road north

We are into day two of our road trip north – commencing the day in Cervantes and finishing in Kalbarri. Over 400km of driving, and the book count stands at two completed and a third one commenced. That Goodreads goal doesn’t know what’s hitting it. 

The day started with a simple breakfast before hitting the road to Greenough Wildlife Park. After a pit stop for fuel and coffee, we were enveloped into the heat of the day. We fed camels and kangaroos, and were teased by talking cockatoos. Refuge was taken under a big stone enclosure while we had the opportunity to hold a baby joey who was being reared before release into the wild after he’d lost his mother. The owners of the sanctuary have been caring for rescued animals for over 20 years and had an exceptionally beautiful passion for the work they do and the animals they care for. 

As we were leaving the sanctuary we were also able to hold one of the pet reptiles – while I don’t remember the exact breed, I do remember it was a dragon of some kind, which is pretty darn cool. 

Another 45 minute drive got us into Geraldton for a quick pit stop to pick up groceries and forgotten items before arriving at Bluffs Point to drink in the ocean view while eating lunch. 

We ‘left Australia’ to enter the micro nation of Hutt River Province. The land was founded in 1970 by the self-titled Prince Leonard, whose investigations into the ownership of land and title were triggered by the government / farmer wheat battles in the 60s, and culminated in him successfully petitioning to claim the land as his sovereign nation and secede from Australia. The province is simple, made up of a non-denominational chapel, plenty of miscellaneous merchandise and vast collections, and a point to stamp your entry and exit visas. Howrver, as they are proud to tell you, it is bigger than Hong Kong.I even met the Prince himself.

I finished The Glass Castle, my new all-time favourite book, on our next jaunt up to Kalbarri, where we were stopping for the night, and commenced American Gods. The Kalbarri cliff-faces were stunning in the afternoon sun, and I had some time to stuff around with DSLR settings I had no idea how to use, before we detoured to the bottle-o and on to our next backpacker accommodation. 

After settling into our next set of bunk beds (I highly recommend making a beeline for the beds near the window when you’re in the northern parts of WA), we sunscreened and made our way to the Murchison River for a swim and the sunset – which I captured poorly. 

Our new German friends joined us and we chatted about cameras and books, languages and life, while drinking beer and feeling the wind die down around us. 

I never would have imagined calling a bus tour with hours of driving relaxing, but it has been magical. Neither of us are driving and both of us are able to nap and read and follow the leader rather than quibble over who is next to drive and where to stop and the next activity. 

Amongst all the bus tripping and minimal reception, I even progressed some wedding planning, corresponding with some great venues about our ceremony while we passed through Geraldton. I am itching to get my hands on my wedding planner so I can really keep track of everything in one place – until then, its electronic for me. 

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