Or in other words, it’s all over now. I’m writing this on our last day of our final grand tour, approximately at km 8113 on our way back to Perth. Back home which isn’t home anymore. Two more days in Perth to unpack and get the Land Cruiser ready for sale and off we fly towards Europe.
We’ve been traveling through the Pilbara, Kimberley and back along the Coral Coast for 25 days and it will take time to digest, to sort fotos and to spread some on this blog. Don’t hold you breath but at some point they will surface.
The closer we got to the end of our journey and consequently to the end of our Perth-stint the more it sank in that this fantastic experience is coming to an end. Time for the last sunset on the beach, the last packing up, the last camping breakfast. The last time this and that. Suddenly it was selfie time..
Our Perth stint was an incredible experience for all of us. We are all so grateful for that opportunity! The boys are now fluent in Australian and thus speak “up to three” languages. Leola has enjoyed experiencing a different society and a new learning environment. Katrine appreciated her freedom not to work every day (even though she looks forward to her colleagues in Norway). The time in Perth and on all our trips has strengthened this multinational patchwork family both between the kids themselves and between parents and kids. And I have gained a serious bunch of experience in a different work setting in terms of role, culture, market and society. Thank you so much to NGI, presumably the best employer for an applied geophysicist 🙂
Last by not least are we grateful for our new 🇦🇺 friends that we will miss very much ❤️
There is something special about this place / track. It´s tiny, compared to things like the Canning Stock but it has a special feel to it, standing in the middle of the bush, with a days drive in any direction to the nearest main road. It´s kinda magic. And still, only a days drive from Perth through the Wheatbelt and into the outback Goldfields!
The magic presumably stems from…
The history of the track
Motivated by the intense gold rush after the first discovery in Coolgardie in 1892 bringing thousands of fortune seekers from the eastern states, John Holland together with Rudolph and David Krakouer and John Carmody set out to clear a 500 km track directly into the Goldfields through the dense thickets equipped with nothing but 5 ponies and a 450 litre water tank (100 gallon). The area feels remote today but one can only imagine what this endeavour meant more than 100 years ago. Every day, Holland rode out alone up to 30 km ahead in search for water. Rockholes in the occasional granite outcrops where the main source for drinking supplies. He then went back to his party and directed them in remarkably straight lines between water and feed sources. It took them only two months, reaching Coolgardie on 18th June 1893. Travelling time on the completed track by horse and camel teams usually took two weeks. We used two days to traverse it.
Oh what a joy! It´s not difficult terrain, no rock climbing or axel twisting its mainly sand / clay and some forest sections. Main challenge are very very very deep ruts that can be a bit of an adventure after rain. The track is closed during most of winter (“summer road only”). It hadn’t rained for quite a while when we drove it on 19&20 December 2017 but we still encountered water filled ruts, one that almost swallowed the Cruiser (almost thanks to Maxtrax!).
Where to? A nice, picturesque round through south-east WA. Through the Wheatbelt, into the Goldfields, into the big pit, down to the Nullarbor Plain, South to the coast at Cape Arid and then west along the coast with a one week stop over based in Bremer Bay. So much landscape, bush and 4wdriving to take in, it yet again will take a while to process everything. Approximately 2000 km, haven´t done the maths yet, you can do the maths here, day by day: Hema cloud
Hhmm, well the plan was to this time actually report from the trip. Plans are plans and plans can change. It´s just not happening. The days are packed with adventures, no space for typing away on something. Looking into the stars has more value. And the WordPress App doesn’t´t really work offline anyway (pictures).
So we are back to the same procedure as last time, we are back from the bush and will gradually report from our adventure, chapter by chapter.
Remember the list of things we wished to do better this time? We figured out almost all of them and it was a treat. On the way back we actually couldn’t´t really find anything that we should change for next time. The solutions to the issues will get it´s own post some time soon. The long-range tank and the water and rubbish solutions on the rear bar improved things a lot.
An enormous difference
Notice the black L on the back of the Cruiser? Yes, the teenager in the family now holds a WA Learners permit and has started her driving lessons on the Holland Track. Is that awesome or what?
An OZ adventure for an average european patchwork family