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Western Australia !!!

a travel blog by tomrendell


My trip To Australia starting in Perth on the west coast and heading North !
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Visiting Jules & Pascal

Perth, Australia


Monday

So I arrive in Perth after flying over from Hong Kong on the Sunday night, a 8 hour flight this time, and I got some extra leg room as I was sat in the emergancy exit area so that was pretty cool, the girl at the desk said I could sit there if I helped out in an emergancy, I thought I’ll probably be asleep the whole way so who cares!

The only problem was it was an old plane so no interatve movie choice this time!

Anyway I get to Perth, and Julie comes to pick me up at the airport and head back to their place, I didn’t sleep much on the plane nor on my last night in HK so Im very tired, but Battle through the day to go to bed at a normal time…

That first day is spent with a whirl wind tour of Perth, which is a really nice city, really clean and looks great!

Then I attend the wedding rehersal with them out in Swan Vally where they are getting married, Its so hot and im so tired, Im beginging to think Its all gone a bit pear shaped,

But in no time we are in a brewery called Mash which is great beer brewed on site which is fantastic, and some great food…Im realy falling asleep now though.

That night I sleep for 13 hours…about time too !

Tuesday

Today we shoot off to one of their local beaches they seem to live between Perth centre

and Freemantle or Freo as they call it.

This is a really chilled out bohemian quarter…. imagine Princess Ave with all the new bars but scrap the other side of the road and stick an amazing beach there instead…ideal !

So first swim in the sea, at Cottosloe beach really warm with fine golden sand, and clear warm water, Great!

We finish the day with a traditional Aussie Barbie…but not a shirp in sight, just steak & beer…by this time im beginging to think their beers kick ours into touch!

Wednesday

Do nothing as I feel like crap, didn’t sleep to well the night before, and did a work out leaving me feeling awful all day, so im in the lounge with the air con, and a few dvd’s 

Thursday

The others arrive from England mainly from Hull…so spend the day chatting to them and having a few drinks.
The wedding pace is picking up so its fever pitch with Best men and Bridesmaides flying about the place!

The bride to be and all her entourage disapeer leaving the boys to have a mini bucks night with menay beers and another Barbie.

Friday

The Wedding….all get up about mid day and get ready…


It all kicks off at about 4, so it’s started to cool off a touch; the wedding is pretty good, with the service on the lawn at a big country house next to the river…nice spot!


Then we board this huge boat for the reception wich is realy cool…free beer too!!

So it’s a great party and we al have a really cool time, and Im chatting away to everyone, having quite a lot of beers.
Even met a really cool girl there who I was having a laugh with pretty much all of the night!


Saturday


Head off to the beach with the girl I met at the party, she drives us up to Scarbrough beach, a far cry from Scarbrough on the East Cost of England, this one is is like fistral beach in Newquay and is hot..damn hot!…Fish and chips arnt bad too !





Anyway later that evening we drive out away from the coast and go to a Rodeo night, like a litte bit of the Wild west in Australia! didn’t think they had that stuff over here
Anyway tomorrow we are off to Kalbarri I’ll update you on that soon enough!

permalink written by  tomrendell on November 13, 2006 from Perth, Australia
from the travel blog: Western Australia !!!
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Up the west Coast !!

Kalbarri, Australia


As we head up the coast towards Kalbarri, looking at it on the map..looks like you'd be there in a couple of hours but its over 6 hours later that the convoy rolls into town after one burst tyre and several service stations later !

We set up camp at a beach front campsite, really nice place, in this sleepy beach front town on the edge of the outback,





Its very green for such a dry place, really nice and warm too ! approx 28C

That evening is spent with a few beers round the camp with fish and chips,
the next day we shoot off in the cars down a 30 km dirt track to the gorges,





This however is hot ! I reckon its 40 over in the gorge, away from the coast...Im almost passing out !





After an hour of checking this place out we drive back up to the coast to find a great beach where we play beach football and go for a swim...nice to think I'm doing this while your all shuffling about in the rain !

That evening we all go out for a spot on meal, and have all sorts...crock....kangaroo etc !!

First thing in the morning, we pack up our campsite, and they all get ready to head back to Perth, they drop me off at the sea front, and as they drive off leaving me looking out over the sea, for a moment I just stood there thinking..sh1t I'm completely on my own in the middle of nowhere !

But I find the hostel in no time, and waste no time checking in, and getting my bunk sorted.

Within an hour I was chatting to some guys in my dorm, a couple of Sweedish guys and a German, after chatting for a while discovered we were all making a similar journey up the west coast, they told me they were going snorkeling, so I tagged along..bought a snorkel along the way and headed out to the Blue Pools, some large rock pools just a short walk down the coast, an amazing deserted beach where we dived into the pools and started checking out the marine life trapped in these large rock pools.





...anyway so after a bit of that, we walked back down the beach back to the hostel.
where I chilled out most of the afternoon chatting some other travelers...Julia a Liverpool Fan informed me Liverpool won and Chelsea lost so that put a smile on my face...shame I wasn't in the office to rub Kev's nose in that one !!

That eveing I had a couple of beers with Torston the German guy on the beach... really feel like im traveling now,

The next day I pretty much stayed out of the sun and just read my book, the heat was pretty unbearable today, I packed my bag as I was heading up the coast to Denham later,

With that the bus was here, and I was leaving Kalbarri !



permalink written by  tomrendell on November 19, 2006 from Kalbarri, Australia
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Dolphin-tastic

Denham, Australia


So I arrive in Denham quite late on Wednesday night, So I hit the sack as its an early start to Monkey Mia in the morning !

7.45 the next moring we are on the local bus with the Sweedish guys to the place known as Monkey Mia, where they feed and research the Dolphin from this beach front national park,

I got the chance to take a fish out into the bay and feed one of the dolphins, this was really amazing !!

There is sorts of wildlife in this place I saw Pelicans on the beach and saw a stingray in the sea while I was snorkaling...



...Anyway seems like a long day as you have to wait unitl 4pm for the return bus, but get back to the hostel, and meet up with a bunch of people from another coach tour that I met the previous night in Kalbarri, Its about this time, I notice the Sweedish guys have no sense of humor so I kind of give them the slip and have a few games of pool and a few beers with a few guys and girls staying in the hostel!

they show a film each evening in this open air cinema, at the hostel, everyone was pretty shocked to see them put on Wolf Creek, a pretty gory horror film about backpackers..not the best chioce !

the next day I do some serious chilling out ! just lounging around watching England getting a schooling in the Ashes, and go for a quick snorkel, before the bus comes to take me up to Coral Bay at sunset!




permalink written by  tomrendell on November 22, 2006 from Denham, Australia
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Coral Bay !

Coral Bay, Austria


About high time I updated you on Coral Bay…pretty much the last leg on this trip and the furthest point north I will travel for quite a while

Leaving Denham to come to Coral Bay was ment to take about 7 hours, however due to Greyhound buses being driven by complete monkeys, we arrive 11.5 hours later…(that’s longer than Manchester to Hong Kong)

This includes a stop at a Road House (service station) for over 2.5 hours at 2am…& as this place is away from the Coast…its damn hot, even at 2am its almost 30C

Anyway finally get moving, and arrive in Coral Bay at 5.30 am…
At this point I just need to sleep, so I find my room…a 4 bed dorm with 3 girls in it asleep….I have to make the top bunk while a girl is asleep below…I’m thinking

“if she wakes up and I’m stood at the foot of her bed this is really gonna freak her out”

So I basically don’t make the bed very well, and clamber all over her as there is no ladder…clearly waking them all up in the process…but who cares…I’m finally in bed

So Next day up about 11, go for a little explore, check out the beach, the pub, etc, all looks nice, Beach looks like the best so far…

Spend most of the day just reading and chilling out, and rustle up a spag bol.

Later on the People I met in the previous Hostel arrive on their bus, so we have a few beers in the evening, and then later head on down to the beach about 11pm armed with a box of beer and spend the next couple of hours sat by the waters edge drinking many beers and having a good laugh!

The next day I’m pretty hung over so miss the morning at the beach with the rest of the gang, I prefer to stick on the air con, draw the curtain and roll over!

I finally get my self up and about in the afternoon, Meet up with them down on the beach, we walk down the coast to a shark nursery where the young sharks seem to “hang out” there’s probably about 50 of them in a small concentrated bay, as they are all reef sharks and fairly harmless we wade into the water scaring most of them away, but as we stand still, in time they swim back around us…being surrounded by sharks is pretty freaky even if they are reef sharks…. later we find out threes the occasional Tiger shark in there with them…Doh!!
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That evening we head back down to the beach at sunset to check that out before we walk back to the Hostel and prepare out massive BBQ…


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A few beers, burgers and hotdogs later…. We are down on the moonlit beach again…you’ve guess it…. having some more beers…
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The next day we had decided to do a Manta Ray tour, we are taken out in a boat a mile or so of shore, while a spotter plane locates a Huge Manta Ray, when spotted we dive in with our guide and snorkel over to them, unbelievable creatures, never seen anything like it…the huge Manta is jet black and over 4 feet wide…(No Owstie that’s not your friend Zit)

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Swimming just above them was awesome, the most amazing thing ive ever done, even surpassing the off shore swimming we did in Greece a couple of years ago

After swimming with them twice, we sailed over to a turtle sanctuary, and then out deeper to a dense coral reef where they let us snorkel for another hour or so…saw some amazing colours in both the coral and a thousand type of fish, even saw a reef shark vanishing into the abis…and clown fish like Nemo…think its safe to say everyone was in awe of the ocean that day! !


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The next couple of days was spent chilling out, with a bit of a swim and run down the beach late on around 5pm after it cooled down…

The day after that I was off back to Perth…only 2 of us on the bus, my self and Bonnie, A long 1 and a half-day journey ahead. at least we had a laugh though.

We spent the night in Spooky Geralton, not the best place in Australia, very creepy town, even the people in the hostel were o

permalink written by  tomrendell on December 5, 2006 from Coral Bay, Austria
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Back in the Big City !

Perth, Australia


Riffled back down to Perth…to spend a few more days checking out the big city.
The trip back was the equivalent of Lands end to John O Groats

It really is a fantastic city, not too big, very compact, but has the High Rise look of Docklands in London, but right in the heart of the city centre…its unbelievably clean, has a enormous & impressive river called the Swan, which they make the most of, unlike the rather grim looking River Hull

Friday evening. Just back in Perth, and head up to Kings Park with J&P went up there with some KFC and a couple of beers, to watch the sun set… makes for a great picture.


Had some drinks out in the garden with some of their neighbours...Ironically one of them looks just like Toadie!

On Sunday I spent some more time with Kannara, we went over to the movies, and saw Borrat. Matt – Great recommendation, I’ve never laughed so much in my life…. that’s probably to do with watching virtually no TV for a month though!

Couple of days later…

I’m up in Perth. And I catch a sightseeing tram begin to regret it immediately, as it seems to be full of 70yr old pensioners…and to make matters worse…the bus driver thinks he’s funny, the only thing worse than that was the pensioners were lapping up his crappy jokes…I got off the tram pretty sharpish… (I can Imagine Helen laughing at that one)
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Spent the next day up in Perth centre again…just get back in time to turn the TV on see Hussy riffle off a shot to claim the winning run in the 2nd Test!

Spent Friday day in Fremantle, went to the harbour and went on a submarine! And to check out a Shipwreck exhibition at the near the beach…later I shoot off to the beach with Pascal and go body boarding …Surfs up…I catch a few decent waves, but also get wiped out by an absolute massive ‘un

Julie comes to meet us after we’ve finished, and we grab fish and chips on the seafront,
Back to house...Pascal as per usual cracks opens the beers…happy days!

Saturday we go out for some drinks in the evening, have a good laugh; even meet some English people…always good to chat about the football!!

Sunday morning…more Bodyboarding at 8am..most of you lot are still in V Bar…I’m hitting the waves…some excellent conditions make for the best Bodyboarding yet…at a place called Secret Harbour!

Yesterday, head up to Kings Park again, this time with Kannara we took some food up there for lunch, and just chilled out all afternoon in the shade. Later on we wandered down to Matilda Bay, a cheeky little bay where you can hang out on the bank of the river…ideal with a cold one!


That brings me up to date…

Tomorrow, I leave on another leg of the trip from Perth round Via Dunsborough, Margaret River, Denmark, Albany, Esperance and everywhere in between, and yes that’s the same Esperance where some fifteen year old kid had his leg bitten off by a great white last week..
Adios.

permalink written by  tomrendell on December 12, 2006 from Perth, Australia
from the travel blog: Western Australia !!!
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Bunbury and Bussleton

Bunbury, Australia


Bunbury & Bussleton

I arrive in Bunbury mid morning and grab the last dorm in the hostel...bit of luck as I hadn't booked !!

after checking in I have a chat with some of the people in the hostel, bit of a mixed bunch, bit of an older crowd than the 20somethings in the previous hostels up the coast, this is pretty much a working hostel so most of the people are there long term as they have jobs in the town, which makes for a good atmosphere in the place as they all have a good laugh with a few beers in the evening. all sorts in this hostel, French, Spanish, Korean, American, Australian..etc...I feel I'm the only English person there baring Jenny from Newcastle.

After a movie night in the Hostel everyone gears up for the weekly karioke sesh down the local, I sail on down the pub with them, and roll out my crowd pleaser Johnny B Good...a classic from the uni days....Remember those quality Karioke nights at Uni Rich ;-)

the next day went to the beach with my French room mate Xavier, went for a snorkel, but didn't see much, so just ended up swimming !

Pool competion in the evening crashed out in the 2nd round though...no suprise there !

Next day up early doors, went down to the beach with Jenny to see the Dolphins, as they came in early each morning, bit like at Monkey-Mia up the coast.

chilled on the beach after that, and cooled down with a swim !

Got pretty wasted in the evening a cheap bottle of wine, then a few beers playing pool in the pub finished me off, cant remember getting home !!

Next morning jumped on the bus...adios Bunbury !

Busstleton..

The shocker...checking into to this hole is not exactly what I had in mind, what are Lonely planet thinking, they make this place sound tip top, using words such as "comfy", "cozy", "welcoming"...yeah for the Mice maybe !!

but as the old chestnut goes..."Its not where you are its who your with" and I was with about 10 Japanese people in this place......a bit overwhelming at first, but basically I've never met a group of people who made me feel part of their well established group so quickly.


within half an hour I was rocking up to the beach with them and was swimming about in the amzing sea down there, we swam out to the jetty and dived off, having a great time, wanted some pictures of that, so went back, walked back down the pier with my camera, and got these...I had such a good time this afternoon !

later that evening again went back down to the pier with the Japanese kids and went fishing we caught heaps of fish, and the next day they cooked it all, the best fish I've ever tasted, they sure knew what they were doing.


Its not the easiest thing in the world having a conversation with someone if there is a big language barrier, a lot of people will give up to soon, but these guys have taught me that its worth the effort. Special mention to Shizuka thanks for the origami crane fly :-) hi to all the others Yoichi, Mio, Vanessa...and Tomo thanks for the fishing lesson :-)

All this plus the good weather and scenery made up for the grim hostel !! as Shizuka called it...Bed bug backpackers ha-ha

Anyways...just like some sort of mysterious helpful dog...I disappear into the distance almost as soon as ive arrived...



permalink written by  tomrendell on December 13, 2006 from Bunbury, Australia
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Surfs up

Dunsborough, Australia


I Arrive in Dunsbourgh, hoping the hostel is a better bet than before...but if the Hostels were Football teams this would be Liverpool, making the previous hostel Macclesfield...

What a choice for Christmas, this place is the business, I could actually live here !! its big, clean, full of cool people who are also staying till Xmas, has Skysports, free bodyboards, and the back garden meets the beach...Ideal...

...

Spent 9 days here, have just left Dunsbourgh, and had the best time possible, I was gutted to leave the place, everyone was so friendly & chilled....well and truly had the time of my life !!

Spent Most of my time with Adam, Heather, Bobby, Will, Debs, and Mikeo..

Anyway...Most days we would jump into the car and roll down to the surf beachs either Smiths or Yells early doors around 8, as Adam had to be at work for 12, so we'd get chance to catch some decent waves before lunch....

That left the afternoon free to chill out, in the hamock or watch a DVD...or in Wills case..sleep all afternoon !

One afternoon we pilled down the beach and went to Yallinup for the first time, the surf was of this world...never seen anything like it....didnt stop Me, Adam and Bobby from getting wiped out big time on some killer waves. Miko and Heather got no further than getting their feet wet ! dont balme them really !!

The next day Dave took us on a tour of the cape, where we got to see the dolphins again, Heather just saw them diving through the waves as we were driving away, an amazing sight, almost better than seeing them up close they were better at catching the waves than us !!

Surf master Dave then took us back down to Smiths beach where we tried to learn to surf, Bobby, Heather and Myself had a go out on a long board...didnt really get it though, Heather was trying to show us how to stand up on the board, but kept falling off herself ! some teacher :-) we just got back on the bodybords for some user friendly action !!

Ruth and Lauren gave it a miss...I think they thought it was too cold..ha..ha

That day evening we had the BBQ at the hostel, and discovered our cheapo way of drinking, value box's of wine...5 littles for $10 thats about 4 quid !! ha-ha we got lashed !!

Christmas kind of crept up on us, as there is not much of a build up here, like back home..so before we knew it it was Xmas Eve, but it was just another day down the beach...pretty cool xmas eve though !!

We had a massive Chritmas eve meal that evening in the garden with everyone !


Then the following morning, we were all up and on the beach which is just 5 secconds from the hostel garden...to have our Christmas brunch on the sand...the classic Aussie Xmas !

Pretty warm xmas day...think it was 32 in the shade at about 11am...

After the food I went back in side to cool off...and as the premiership highlights were on foxtel !!

Happy Days !

Anyways...Spent the rest of the day with the gang, ended the day playing cards...with a very pi$$ed Bobby and Miko..

Boxing day we spent...yep youve guesed it at the beach, with Adam, Debs, Heather and Dave came over to join us too ! Shame though as there were no waves even at Yells..the place where the monster waves were only a few days before...

And as it was my last night in the beach house hostel, we had a bit of a massive night out !

Debs took one for the team and took the car so we didnt faff about with cabs...(what a trooper)

We all had a great time, even though Dan the cave man was there !! #@#% YEAH
I can just see Adams face when we saw Dan on the dance floor !! haha !! what a muppet !!

Back at the hostel after the pub, finished off the last of the wine, not a good move when I had to be up and ready in the morning,

anyway, Big thanks to the beach house for being the best hostel in WA, everyone who does this coast should stop over here,

Ill miss all the beach house kids heaps...Adam, Bobby, Heather, Miko, Will, Dave, and all the others that were there for xmas, Even Dan (haha

permalink written by  tomrendell on December 21, 2006 from Dunsborough, Australia
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Wine Region !!

Margaret River, Australia


27-29 Dec

Moving on anywhere after Dunsbough was going to be a hard act to follow, & Margaret River with all its hype was no exception.

Didn’t think to much of the place at first, your based in the town and its simply one long street of tourist style shops and pubs, your 10k from the beach, and the “Margaret River” is nothing more than a small stream!


So its not going to blow you away like some of the other places on the coast or in the forest.

They were pushing wine tours at the hostel as the place is Australia’s famous wine region, but as that’s no fun on your own, I didn’t bother.

Spent the day wandering around didn’t get up to anything interesting...and didn’t meet any interesting people in the hostel, apart from one English guy, who I watched some of the cricket with until his nagging wife dragged him away !! : Note to self!

Saw the beach on the way into the area though as the bus stops their briefly and we had chance to check it out, and its the West Coasts No.1 surfing location, you could tell that back up the road in Dunsbourgh/Yallingup but down here the waves are even bigger.




Didn’t get chance to sample the waves personally just shot them from the shore this time!

The next day got ready and moved on to Augusta where I was to meet up with Kannara again for a few days, So I waddled out of the hostel with my ever increasing luggage…I need to ditch some stuff.



permalink written by  tomrendell on December 27, 2006 from Margaret River, Australia
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Happy New Year !

Augusta, Australia


29 Dec -2 Jan

Arrived in Augusta to find the Baywatch YHA…expected to see the Hoff running the place, but no such luck!!

I get here before Kannara, So check in, Check it out, grab some food, the Youth Hostel has won best Hostel in Australia every year since 1997 so you know its going to be good!
It’s more like a hotel compared to some places.

I cooked us steak which she rated at only 6/10!! The cheek!!

The next day checked out these famous wineries as Augusta is so close to Margaret River, We went to a few, and a few wines, they taste so much better than some of the rats pi$$ we’d been drinking the week before in Dunsbourgh. Checked out a few of them and a brewery in the area, The Bootleg Brewery…which did some great beers! But all this alcohol was a bit much in the afternoon! Spent some of the late afternoon at Hamlin Bay!!

Took a forest drive felt like the absolute middle of nowhere they could have filled Return of the Jedi here, Kept thinking the Ewoks were going to come crashing threw the trees !

Even more wine first thing! Bought my first bottle of decent wine at Hamlin’s! Superb!….Mum; Ones in the post!

Then a afternoon on the beach, we found one called “cozy corner” its not so cozy on the 6km unsealed road to find it !

Worth it when we got there, hardy anyone else there, was really nice with loads of mini islands a few hundred of meter into the sea, made for good snorkeling, although my mask is pretty crap think I need a new one!

Spent New Years Eve in the hostel with some of our wine, can’t believe how quiet this hostel was, It was more of an old peoples home, compared to the Holiday style resort of Dunsbourgh over xmas.

But that didn’t matter as we had a great time anyway, Had a really cool time here and a really good laugh, but it was a good job we had the car here, as you need to drive a bit to see the bits and pieces!

Anyway the next day, checked out the lighthouse, and the point at which the two oceans meet, you can see the waves crashing against the rock in different directions so you can see the exact location, was hoping t would have been a calm bay so I could have swam across two oceans…but far too choppy !

After Lunch Kannara had to shoot back up to Perth, So I was home alone, Literally, felt like I was the only one there after that, but was moving on first thing in the morning so hit the sack early doors as I needed a good nights sleep!



permalink written by  tomrendell on December 29, 2006 from Augusta, Australia
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in the Forest

Nannup, Australia


So Nannup… 2nd-4th Jan

Its basically the furthest inland ive stayed so far, its based in the middle of the Blackwood forest, a little town about pop 400.

The place I stayed was called the Black Cockatoo and is an “Eco Retreat” with no internet or TV it’s a hippy’s paradise, there is a huge organic garden, and its very green !

It wasn’t like the other hostels I’d stayed in, I was pretty much the only backpacker, there was a hypnotist with his 5 yr old daughter, a weird bloke who looked like Bad guy from Ghostbusters 2 and he had this spaced out hippy in tow, couldn’t figure them out, He said they were friends, but they seemed very odd, but harmless…

An enormous old English guy, who was an ex chef and basically lived there, he insisted on cooking everyone’s meals…fine by me !

And then a couple of friends from Sydney, who drove over during their Uni summer break…
Lucy and Duncan, they were sound, I went out on the Blackwood River with them in some Canadian kayaks which was great, even though it was a fairly cool day.




We also found a massive spring water pool that had eucalyptus trees all around it so the water was mixed with that…the area surrounding it smelt amazing!

We dived into the pool, which we were later told is bottomless, I kept diving in to try and reach the bottom, but to no avail !

It was really friendly and everyone sat around the fire in the evening having a drink together playing a few games, really different from some of the previous hostels.

This place is very cool, very chilled, it was really relaxing, when I was just hanging about it felt ok to jut laze around, If you get the chance spend the night there…very unique place



permalink written by  tomrendell on January 2, 2007 from Nannup, Australia
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