Short Travel Stories is a special segment of the “Gone Atlas” website, where real life, short travel or backpacking stories will be shared, literally, for fun. Hope you enjoy, and if you do, leave us a comment below telling us an exciting travel story!
Chapter 1: The Roadtrip Begins
I’m in Sydney, I just finished working and I have enough savings to chill out for a long time. The idea is to find someone with whom buy a car and start roadtripping, when a friend calls me and tells me he’s in Perth, has a van and he’d like to drive all the way back to Sydney.
As a good backpacker I spontaneously say yes and two days later I’m in Perth ready to begin our 5 thousand km long drive.
We named our car Chubby, I don’t really know why. We are talking of a 1997 Mitsubishi can, no aircon and only one speaker working, it has more then 500 thousand km, it has been driven by God know who, and honestly it’s falling apart, but we’re hoping it’ll make it to Sydney intact. Yes, intact because my friend got it in one of those relocation deals, so it’s free as long as we take it to Sydney with no scratches, crashes, or anything. Otherwise we pay, well, unless an engine failure happens.
We hop on and I start driving, the thing is I’ve never driven on the left side of the road and on the right side of the car, it’s fucking weird, especially when I have to make a turn and use the indicator lights and instead I turn on the wipers, and it’s all a fucking mess for the first half an hour until I get used to it and I start cruising.
The first stop of our Australian odyssey starts in a nice national park with a river and a waterfall. We take out some meat and start cooking it on one of the free grills that Australia has to offer. The day is great, a kangaroo comes over and we throw him some bread and then he leaves to get some treats from the family next to us.
After lunch we keep on going towards Margareth River where we’re going to spend a couple of nights. We make it to this gorgeous beach, with golden sand, turquoise and cold water, but it doesn’t matter because it’s hot, and we just want to swim. And there we are, almost all alone on this beach, only a few surfers and a couple with their dog. You breathe serenity.
I start getting a sort of thrill being in such a great place, and I want to go see other beaches in the area, getting more and more excited at seeing marvelous landscapes. Then I feel my body getting full of energy and I feel like a kid who only wants to swim, and go underwater, jump from cliffs and run around the beach with no sense at all.
We moveto another beach, it’s called Conto’s Beach and it’s one of the best beaches I’ve seen in my life. The road that takes you there is a zig-zag going up a small hill and it reaches a parking lot on top of the hill with a great view of the beach. You can see the enormous brownish rocks, smooth, surrounded by dark green bushes and white sand that get’s lost in the blue ocean. It’s harmony for the eyes, it’s as if the four colours, brown, green, white and blue, combined perfectly to make my eyes relax and rejoice at the same time.
Whilst driving we had talked about everything: girls, drunken memories, friends and more, but in that moment we are both standing next to Chubby enjoying the view, happy and silent. We stay like that for twenty minutes or so, not a single word, just admiring the visual poetry that nature was offering.
We go down, walk for a bit on the sand, that feels like talc, I haven’t felt anything like that before.
We start going back to the car when my friend tells me to look back, I turn and I see four dolphins jumping on the waves. I smile and I can’t believe it. Dolphins! And here I am, excited as fuck, like when a girl sees a dog on the street, and my body starts getting full of energy again, and I have to shout, so I shout: “Man! Fuck this is insane!” I’ve seen dolphins before in aquariums, but never in the ocean, and I can’t stop thinking about how this trip just started and it’s perfect.
Finally we make it to the campsite, we pay the ten bucks and park next to some tables. We see there are some signs pointing to a path that leads to the beach. We follow them and make it to this place, on top of a steep hill with a very steep path downwards, full of green bushes, followed by a small white beach and the craziest blue water I’ve ever seen. On top of all that, we’re on the West Coast and it’s sunset, and we can see a gigantic sun disappearing in the horizon, with an orange sky and we’re just hypnotized looking at the landscape.
The sun disappears and I’m like crazy, I just want to sit down and write everything I’ve just seen and felt, I want to tell immediately someone everything I’ve seen today. It’s like a dream, and I need to express it, I’m filled with passion, emotion and happiness. But there’s no phone signal, so we can only take out our emotions by telling each other how perfect everything is at the moment.
It starts getting dark and we go back to the car to cook dinner. We had bought cheap food, pasta and pesto. With a small gas cooker, we boil the water, cook the pasta and then add the pesto, open a few, and we’re ready to go.
We are there just talking nonsense for hours. Suddenly we are surrounded by a profound, deep, enormous darkness. We look up and wee can see hundreds, thousands, millions of stars, the brightest stars ever.
It’s like the fifth time today that I see something I’ve never seen before, and again I’m amazed. The stars are just too many, too brilliant, and you can see a sort of light-blue cloud surrounding them. We have no clue of what that is, but it’s epic, genius, magical. And we stay there for like an hour, gazing at the stars, surrounded by darkness, nature and no one else.