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Roadtrip Australia: Van-Tastic Western Australia - PATRICK & ALEX

WEEK ONE AND THE CANOE SAFARI

AUSTRALIA | Thursday, 13 May 2010 | Views [1001]

G'Day from WA,

So here we are, in Western Australia, our home for the next few weeks. We couldn't have gotten off to a better start on Saturday with a three day canoe safari with Big Waters in Kununurra. Kenton at Big Waters (who was set us up with everything) launched us on our way for the start of our 53 km journey.

The trip starts really relaxed and we didn't have to paddle very hard at all as the current was taking us all the way. We stopped at a beach at the halfway point of the first day and had lunch and hung out for a bit before continuing on. The one thing we hadn't taken into account was how strong the sun is up in the north of Australia (well we knew, but we were so excited to get on the river) that all of us forgot to put sunscreen on. Let me tell you, as three Canadians who just spent our winter months huddled indoors we are probably as white and untanned as you could get so by mid day all three of us were burnt to a crisp.

So by late afternoon any part along the river that was shaded we'd all paddle as fast as we could to get into it. So the three (our friend Andy who came along with us had to paddle by himself in his own canoe) of us stopped and drifted for a while. What could be better than floating down a lazy river on a beautiful day in Australia for three Canucks?

We found our camp all right and set up for the night, made some tucker (we're picking up the Aussie terms already) and then we all went to bed at 7:30! Yes yes I know, we are old men. The next morning Alex and I got up and were about to make some brekie when we heard a crash in the woods. We had no clue what kind of animal was going to pop out but to our delight a huge kangaroo hopped out of the bush and along the cliff face about 20 feet from us. He stopped on an outcrop, silhouetted by the dawn sky, and I scrambled to get my camera but just as I dashed back with it and turned it on he merrily hopped off again. It was one of those moments that was so spontaneous and amazing that it made us stop and realize where we were.

So we paddled a little ways down the river and stopped at a place called Herbie's Hideway, which was a 20 minute hike from the shore to a little pool with a waterfall. It would've been a 20 minute hike, but we landed our canoes of the wrong side of the inlet creek and we spent half an hour wandering through thorn bushes and heavy brush to try to find the trail.

We finally crossed over to the proper landing spot and found the pool. It was really beatuiful and peaceful and we went for a quick swim before he headed out again. We paddled along until we reached the second camp. It was just a little clearing in the marsh and we navigated our way in perfectly until Alex, who was at the front of the canoe, looked up from paddling to see his face was right into a web with a gigantic spider in it. He panicked and tried to duck out of the way but leaned too far to the side and capsized the canoe in the marsh. We spent a while bailing the water out but it was all in good fun.

After we left Kununurra we drove all the way to Broome, where we jumped out of our van and headed down to Cable Beach for a camel ride with Ships of the Desert at sunset. Truly an experience like nothing else we've done. Honestly is there anything better than a hump on the beach?

We would also like to give a big thanks to Galactica DMZ Internet Cafe located here in Broome for hooking us up with free internet while in dire need. They are located right next to the McDonalds on Hamersley, and if you are ever in Broome I would suggest you stop by as they are very hospitable.

So we're on the road again today, off to Port Hedland and more adventures.

Until next time…

Tags: backpacking, campervan, canoe, oz, rivers, roadtrip, travel, trips, van-tastic adventures, western australia

 

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