After quite an amusing drive down and darkness setting in, we had a little break in the tiniest of tiny towns. (Name unknown..) “Tiny” referring to a deserted 400m long street in the middle of the bush, consisting of a local pub, bakery and a worn-out looking police station. I always wonder what people do here for a living, or just do at all in general. Getting out for a leg stretch and a sandwich, the guys took turns in using the beautiful outdoors as a toilet. There are times I truly wish I had a penis. Refusing to squat down in between two cars in a public area, I walked over to the pub across the street to use some real world facilities. The quiet and empty streets had an eerie feel to them and soon I found out why. Everyone had gathered in the pub to watch the game. As I swung open the door, about 20 heads turned my way. 20 shabby and dodgy-looking figures, staring at me without a greeting or a smile. I stood there for a few seconds muttering a friendly hello, which wasn’t returned. They just continued to stare in silence. Not wanting to show any signs of discomfort, I almost ran over to the toilets in the far corner, pushing the door shut with my feet as an extra lock while I peed. Nothing really happened but it just felt very creepy and I didn’t feel safe at all. After that I walked out as fast as I could leaving 20 heads still staring behind me. Wow that was weird. Apparently it wasn’t just me who had noticed the Deliverance like set in this town. When I got back, the guys were sitting in the car ready to go, saying something about strange figures walking past. We drove off before I had even closed the door.
The next day the guys were determined to get a surf in somehow. We drove to the Albany I-centre (information centre) for a map on the area and some advice on good surf-spots. The lady behind the desk laughed out loud. “Anyone who goes out today has a death-wish!” she said. “You’d be a right nutter to go surfing today”. Well, that was enough to get Mark and Ben down there straight away. The beach was just down from this massive cliff. From the top we could see what the lady meant. Really heavy waves. But instead of getting worried they all got even more excited. When we got down on the beach it became clear what the conditions were really like. At least 6 meter high waves, crushing everything in their path. I’ve never seen anything like it. We all just stood there for a while in awe before Mark and Ben got their gear ready and took on this monstrosity of waves. The photo doesn’t capture the reality, but just to give you an idea.
For two hours, Dick and I just watched from the beach ready for the shit to hit the fan. Already discussing first-aid basics because if something should go wrong we would be in deep shit. There was no-one else on the beach and the way back was at least 200 steps up a cliff. Finally Ben came out. Utterly exhausted from the extensive paddling, he started to signal to Mark to get out. He swore he had seen a shark. The sea had also been too strong to make it out to the waves, so all together it was enough for today! Secretly I was a bit relieved. I like a risk every now and then, but this was indeed pretty mental. Or maybe I’m just too much of a pussy for this kind of stuff
I turned out not to be the only person lacking testosterone that day. The guys had a highly amusing afternoon on the beach with and without wetsuits. Travelling with 3 guys does have its perks.
Sometimes it almost felt like it was their mission to do something reckless and stupid every day. I loved it though. We had found a Laundromat in the centre and wet clothes were now hanging out to dry in the back of the van on our home-made rope drying rack. Having fresh, clean clothes is one thing, but our body odour was another. We hadn’t showered in almost a week. Of course I managed the occasional freshening up in public toilet sinks. Using a wet towel as a wash cloth and the sink as a footrest while I shaved my legs. Very useful skills ladies :). But when it comes down to it, sharing enclosed spaces with 3 smelly guys is too much sometimes. The I-centre had closed for the day but the toilet block next to it had been left open. The idea was to pay $2 at the desk and receive a key to unlock the shower door. Or…the alternative of jumping over the door and unlocking it from the inside seemed more appealing. Woohoo free showers!!:) The perfect ending to our day, washed down with some burgers and goon by a camp-fire.
Tomorrow: cliff jumping anyone?!