Karjini National Park
A lot of times bad events leads to something good. As a cause and effect, the kangaroo caused us to terminate our contract with the first rental company which only allowed up to drive up to Exmouth and as a result we rented from another car company which had no restrictions on how far up we can drive, thus making it possible for us to go further north to Karijini National Park. I’m really glad we were able to make it this far. This is probably my only chance to experience the Australian outback with the red dusty sand and barren desert. To be honest, I was really nervous that our worn out rental car tires would not survive the tough roads meant for 4WDs. Our car did prevent us from seeing some of the best scenery in the park, but we were still able to explore some beautiful parts of the park.
It’s even more quiet up north and inland. We were able to clearly see the stars and the milky way! My favorite part of this visit was the hike up Mt Bruce on the last day at Karijini. It was a class 5 hike, the hardest level of hiking conditions. In the end, I was not able to reach the highest point. By choice, I decided to give up the hike even though I was extremely close to the top already because I was running low on water and I felt that my quad muscles close to shaking and that I needed enough energy to climb back down later. It would have been nice to see a 360 view of the surrounding, but I did not regret my decision. After experiencing so much bad luck, I was really worried that something might just go wrong at this last leg of the trip. I could have continued the hike, but I thought it would be safer if I just stayed behind and waited for my travelmates to come down instead. It was a very intense hike, but the stunning landscape made it worthwhile. The most annoying part of the hike was how windy it was hiking up and my hair was flying all over that I could barely see where I was going majority of the time. Note to self: Next time, bring a hair tie!
By the time we returned to Exmouth, we had to bid farewell to our 2 Dutch travelmates as they will drive the car back down to Denham and then take an overnight bus back to Perth while my other travelmate and I would fly from Exmouth to Perth to catch our flight back to Sydney. Departed from our other travelmates in the morning, we had a whole day to kill before our flight the following day. What to do with an extra day to spare and without a car? Hitchhike! I was excited by the suggestion for the first 5 seconds before I remembered all the bad luck we had along the way. What if this is that one wrong move that gets us killed? Since my travelmate was keen on going to Turquoise Beach, I was thinking, “Whatever, yolo!” It took us 3 rides before getting to Turquoise Beach which was probably a 45 minute drive from the caravan park we were staying at. Getting that third ride all the way to the beach was a little rough. The second driver dropped us off at the entrance of a national park. Despite the park rangers warning us that this is an extremely remote location and there are nothing, the second driver drove off saying he’s none of his responsibility. The park rangers told us that we cannot hitchhike right at the entrance of the park and they cannot help us find a ride. We walked a little further in the park and found an old couple to give us a lift within 15 minutes.
Hitchhiking to Turquoise Bay
Second opportunity to snorkel? Nahs. Even though the water at Turquoise Bay is a lot more calm compared to the middle of the ocean, I still don’t trust myself in the water. I tried to go in initially, but the strong current got my a little nervous. Holding onto my travelmate’s arm we walked further deep in the water. My legs started to float up and I got really nervous since the walked seemed really deep. One of those moments where you see someone panic and saying they’re drowning in a pool when the water is knee-high and all they have to do is to stand up happened to me. I was convinced the water was already too deep for me to stand so I panicked and demanded to be brought back to shore. When I finally got my feet down, I realized the water was only to my shoulders. I walked back to shore myself feeling all embarrassed.
We spent 2 hours playing with coral pieces, trying to do a stop-motion movie assembling the coral pieces to say WA 2014. We sort of lost track of them because when we finished we realized that it was already 4PM. Sundown is around 5:30PM so we must find ride before it gets dark. Getting back to our dorm was much easier than going to the beach. We got a lift from a couple from Melbourne who was leaving the beach at the time as well. Well, that’s one check off my bucket list to hitchhike. While the concept is cool, it’s still risky and I would not try it alone.