Ben, Uli, Babsypinnacles
On the road again
by Uli Hoelzl
"Hi Mates ! - Where are you from? Really - two girls all alone from Europe ?"
Yeah, right! And what an incredible time we are spending here ! It was definately time for Babsy and me to go on our planned surftrip to the dreamland Australia ! Ten typical surfers were standing around our car. Everybody with a better advice how to solve our "stop&go - exhaust-explosion-problem"!
"No worries mate - we'll fix it for you !" We were just 50 km north of Perth - the capital of Western Australia (1.3 million inhabitants) - in the little village of Lancelin, when we had this next breakdown with our borrowed car. But the Australians and all the travellers welcomed us with a great hospitality, and they all were incredibly helpful so that we felt even better than at home ! After we found out that the generator was broken, we soon could continue our trip ! We went all along the West-Australian coast. South of Perth we appreciated the green vegetation, the rivers, wellknown wine-regions, and the big-wave-ridingspot Margrets.In the north we were impressed by nice, but very dry landscapes, with thousands of kilometers of deserted regions ! We visited all the well known and "secret" surf- and sailingspots and the most important National Parks.
But the reason and final destination of our journey was a secret spot in the very north-west, told to be better than Hawaii. There should be the best and longest wave, perfect for sailing and surfing as well, very less people...

But as well no fresh water, no electicity, the next village 200 km away, no protection from the strong sun - and a lot of sharks! But we definately wanted to go for it ! Endless roads until the horizon, dust, some lonesome trucks, dead overrunned snakes, emus and kangaruus on the road and signs like: "Attention, no water next 300 km - until next roadhouse." But it was worth going there. All our expectations were exceeded by far. We spent six wonderful weeks in this no man's land - which was paradise for us and some like minded friends.

"Don't walk on the reef !"

We led a very simple but happy life there. Living outside 24 hours a day, together with snakes, lizards, sheeps, and "some" mice. Sleeping outside with millions of stars above you. The sea feeding us with fish every day. Surfing in the morning, sailing in the afternoon. Life going with the rhythm of nature and the elements, the moon, hightide and lowtide and the sun.
Five o'clock in the morning. The sky still so clear, the rising sun warming my body. The fullmoon just setting. The strong lowtide makes the reef coming out of the water. This cristallclear water in all colours of green and blue invites me to take a morning shower. The underwaterworld in this lagoon is just unbelievable. Diving into the deep, silent blue. Forget about the world outside. Just floating. The silent sound of fish picking their food from the reef. The waves breaking over it. Their bubbles touching my skin. Only ten meters from the beach surrounded by fish in every colour and size, a big turtle passing by. Big corals watch over this world. Sunbeams are rebounding off the surface and creating incredible rays of light.
The current outside the reef is very strong that day and the little reefsharks don't make me feel a lot better. So I swim back into the save lagoon. This morning a friend and me we were very lucky to catch a creyfish - should be a delicious dinner that evening ! The important things in life: Here we realized what we really needed ! And how little we needed to be that happy ! Just living with nature, sailing and surfing, diving, fishing, collecting shells, walking along the beach, making necklesses and "natural backgammons", reading. Or just relaxing and observing the ocean, and being. Being yourself. Just "Gnaraloo Style".

Trophed out

A low pressure area was directly over our region. 4000 km north the first hurrican of the season. 46 degrees in the shadow. Hot wind from the land. And flies - a lot of flies ! Flies in my mouth, in my nose, in my eyes, in my ears, everywhere on my body. This were the typical days everybody warned us of. The aboriginals give the advice to lay flat on the ground and let the flies clean your body. After 30 min they are supposed to leave you again. But after ten minutes I am already freaking out and the only place where to "survive" is on my surfboard in the water. "Paddle more - surf less!" But after this three hard days the camp was empty again and the waves were ours !
Uli Uli

On a mission

It didn't help, this time it was our turn to go to town and do the shopping for everybody. 180 kilometers of dirtroad - just to buy 200 liters of water, beer, wine, fruits, vegetables, powdermilk, batteries, "micecatcher", petroleum, fishinglines, epoxy for repairs and hopefully to pick up a repaired camera and a teleskop. It was a very hard day: "Don't even mention the war..." It was impossible to put everything in the car, we put the rest on the roof. Poor car ! A delicious cold beer was everytime part of this legendary return journeys - or even two or three. Time for "girlstalk".
The setting sun puts the landscape into an incredible red light. Endless distance. No human beings. Just some kangaruus passing by - and fortunately not hitting our car ! Salsa-music from the old radio. Babsy clapping the beercans in the right rhythm. The wind in my hair. Feeling of freedom ! But suddenly the red light of the oillamp. We had to stop: The belt was torn! After some unsuccesible attempts of repair in the last sunlight we had to give up. We just could prepare for a night in the middle of nowhere !
But we actually were in a very good mood ! No problem with all that food, and besides it was a perfect night to observe the stars and to test the teleskope. The endless universe above us. Stars shining everywhere. Saturn with the ring, jupiter with his moons, orion, seven sisters, andromeda, southern cross. Infinity! Time for philosophical discussions. The next afternoon our deliverers came to tow us back. We knew they were waiting for us. Or at least for the food !
Babsy Babsy

Late splash at shark feeding time!

Only our group of seven people still had enouh energy left for some unforgettable sunset sessions. As soon as the wind turned offshore, the waves got glassy and the light of the setting sun was dazzling on the water - it was our time to go out ! To sail outside with very light wind, going over masthigh waves makes your heart beat faster. The sets were arriving in perfect lines. The spray was shining in golden-orange in the evening light. The full moon just rose over the land. One bottom turn and cut back after the other.
Only the sound of your rails "Ssst" cutting a perfect turn into the section. Sometimes it got dark: When the shadow of the rising wave was "falling" on you. But always remember: Don't let the fear change your style ! Laughing faces, shining eyes, motivating shouts of our friends, the big smile of a person going out when you just start your surfing. Not being able to stop ! Going out again and again. The dying wind makes it already very hard to pass the four meter waves. Darkness is already lying over the ocean. Sharkfeeding-time ! - And time to go back ! Once more I am too late.
I am just orientating by the reflecting light of a sail on the beach. No more wind. I have to swim inside. It wasn't the first time that I only could reach the beach because of Babsy helping me over the cliffs. De-rigg in the darkness. The smell of ocean water in the mild air. The sound of chirping crickets. Warm beer on my salty lips. The light of the shining moon on the radiating faces of my friends. Barbecue and fish is waiting for us ! "Bush-TV-Time". What a great luck to have this experiences together with my friends ! Not too many people on this planet with whom you can share them - and who understand. Moments we all won't forget for our lifetime. Engraved in our hearts.

Fake stars?

It's always hard to say Good-bye. But we returned with wonderful memories, new friends, and new experiences. Am I able this time to hold the energy in this "normal" world - to live my intentions? When I arrived at Munic airport, I looked up to the sky. Couldn't find Saturn. Had to realize that the stars are Up Side Down over here. "Live your dreams - face your fears !" - And go back whenever you want !!
Information Western Australia
Flight: British Airways or Malaysian to Perth - around 2.000.- DM, ask for the price for your equipment ! - not cheap !
Time: Surfseason: all over the year, biggest swells may to september; sailingseason: sept. (north) to march (south)
Spots: Esperance, Albany, Margret River, Perth, Lancelin, Geralton, Horroks, Coronation Beach, Kalbarri and many more...
Nationalparks: a lot ! 60 !! on 200.000 sqkm, eg.Kalbarri, Denham, Monkey Mia, Pinnacles desert, Yanchep, Stirling range...
climate: north of Perth very dry, (nov.-march) 30 degrees and more south of Perth mediterraneen climate, 25 degrees, cold nights !
Getting around: Greyhounds, buses
Car-Rental: Bayswater - cheapest, don't rent anything at the airport ! Buying a car: just worth of you stay longer than 6 weeks, cardealers often take it back, but for a very bad price
Camping: campgrounds everywhere, ca. 7 $ p.P.p.N.
Attention: lot of wildlife, often poisonous !
Don't forget: high sunscreens, moskitonet, surfmaterial with spareparts, sleepingbag, VISA !!! - get it in your travelagency or at the embassy, no problem for three months


Top of the Page Trips HOME text: Uli Hoelzl; photos: Carlson, Hoelzl, Strasser   windgirls 2000