Return to Albany

After our South-West tour (see previous entry) we returned our hire car to Perth and wandered into the CBD looking for inspiration. We still had about 2 weeks before Lucy’s work in Perth (and thus our accomodation) was due to start, so the rough plan had been to come back to Perth and hang out or something. We set up camp at the Carillon City food court and began to scour the internet for hostels in Perth that didn’t suck. Unfortunately as we were looking for that same night, the choice was limited and patchy. Either it was full, grossly expensive or rubbish. It was a saturday, so for the most part they were simply full.

While in Albany some days before, we met Dan and Jade who mentioned they were also heading to Perth that same weekend. Theu had kindly offered us a lift if we fancied going back to Albany. It was certainly tempting, the only problem being how we might eventually get back to Perth again once the 2 weeks were through. For those unfamiliar with the area, the distance between Perth and Albany is about 420 kilometres; that’s almost the distance from London to Newcastle. So getting back here on public transport would be interesting, but whatever! We decided to jump; screw the details.

So we caught the train to Rockingham, where Dan and Jade were setting out from. Then we all bundled into the car, even managing to fit all the bags we brought, and set off on a road trip down the Albany Highway. The time actually passed surprisingly quickly and after just a stop or two at random truckstops, we found ourselves back in good ol’ 1849 Backpackers.

While here, I would resume working remotely while Lucy decided to curb some of the accomodation costs working for the hostel. This worked out well as they proved a fantastic bunch to be with and the atmosphere of the place was great. There were a few faces that were hard to forget, though much of it doesn’t translate all that well to a blog. There was of course our lift buddies Dan and Jade; then there was Dave the crazy Kiwi who was pretty much a resident; Tanguy, who I once decribed as ‘outrageously French’*; and of course the passionate staff Paula, Danny and Minouche.

One monday during a lull of work I took on the self-dared mission to write a game, with Unity, in a day (or more specifically, 6 hours). The result was actually surprisingly playable and may be the subject of a future blog post, but one of the best things was the competitive spirit that it fired up between Dave and Tanguy. I hope to make a public or online version of it soon; to which they promised the high scores table would be dominated by the alternate scores of ‘Kiwi’ and ‘Frenchy’.

We didn’t spend all our time in the hostel, however. We managed another brief one-day car hire to drive to Denmark. Now I know what you’re thinking; first of all, you can’t drive to Denmark. Secondly, even if you could drive to Denmark, it’s going to take a lot more than a day. However, Denmark has the honour of being not only a country, but also a small town somewhere in the vicinity of Walpole in south-western Australia. Our daytrip’s steed, a Suzuki Alto, we aptly named ‘Hamlet’.

Brushing over the epic long walk I undertook to fetch said car, we set out from Albany with a fellow backbacker, an Aussie named Jesse who fancied a wander around Denmark. After we dropped him off, we drove to a succession of interest spots, such as the Swiss Chocolate factory** and the Bartholemew Meadery. We also visited the Pentland Alpaca Farm, which Lucy had been particularly keen on. Alpacas were fed, a variety of other domesticated animals encountered (including my first ever Bison, which was an impressive beast) and a good time had.

We also went cycling a little around Albany on the hostel’s own hire bikes. The nearby Middleton beach was an easy ride away and we ended up doing it twice, both times taking the gorgeous scenic return route around the headland to the docks. It was also in Albany we met Lorne, a Canadian chap who had cycled all the way from Sydney. As one who’d like to build his own plane and who dabbles in programming, he was definitely an interesting guy to chat to. You can find his blog here!

All too soon, our time in Albany was up and we had to say goodbye. 1849 Backpackers was really one of the best we’ve been to, both for the people around and the hostel itself. We had a coach to get back up to Perth, where we would go back to living the apartment lifestyle for at least another couple of weeks. And so, it was farewell fair Albany!

* - He once introduced himself to a girl at the hostel with the suggestion of going to the beach: ‘You, me, some wine, the moonlight...’ Seriously, I have never met anyone so French.
** - More of a cottage than the name suggests.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.