Through many months on the road, I finally started my journey in Australia.
I woke up from my tent at Big Brooke State forest feeling refreshed with the soothing sound of the waves since I camped very close to the beach and I was all set to ride another day. (The weather was perfect and I had a good night sleep).
As I was walking to the tap to brush my teeth a gentleman walked towards me and asked if I wanted to join him and his wife for coffee. I said I would love to and would be back in a few minutes.
I went over to their trailer and saw that they had coffee and some toast waiting for me. They told me they were so happy to see a women travelling by herself and especially since I am from India. They showed me the route they took all across Australia and that they have been traveling for 11 months already. We kept on sharing stories until I realized it was half past 9 and I had a long day of riding ahead.
While talking they kept on mentioning about a place called Hamlin bay which is a must visit place. So I decided to quickly pack all my stuff and backtrack 25kms to visit this place. With no expectations I rode up the bay, it was a beautiful turquoise colored beach with white sands. What I saw next stunned me! there were so many sting rays in the water and they seemed so friendly, just like doggies looking for attention wanting me to pet them and feed them. It was a wonderful experience despite the thought of Steve Irwin dying of their sting was at the back of my mind. I was completely in the moment and enjoyed my time with them.
It was past 12.30 and I had 200 kms of riding to the next destination. The roads were spectacular, beauty at every turn as I was riding through the forests the trees kept getting bigger and bigger until I got to the Gloucester tree. The Gloucester Tree is a giant karri tree in the Gloucester National Park of Western Australia.
At 58 metres in height, it is the world’s second tallest fire-lookout tree. I got out of my jacket and began my ascend. I was trembling in every step however luckily a lady named Kim who had just arrived then help me overcome my fear and climbed with me. The view from the top was breathtaking and so worth the effort! It doesn’t look that daunting at first sight but climbing the spiral step ladder up to the tree top lookout requires a degree of fitness and definitely not for those with a fear for heights. The descend is a bit more challenging, make sure not to look down. Once you reach the top you understand why so many people bother to make the effort to climb the tree. The 360 degree view above the tree top canopy is something you don’t get to see everyday and the real treat (for me) was when the tree started swaying in a strong breeze.
I was so exhausted when I got down, I knew that I had to camp close by so I rode only a 105kms and reached my camp spot just before the sunset. It was quite a lonely place nettled in the midst of the forests. While I sat in my tent in complete darkness all I could think of was to be grateful for all these experiences and be able to wake up safe.