We slept rough, drove for long hours and mostly had sustenance of canned tuna sandwiches and plain drinking water. We did the stereotyped activities of star gazing, having red dust on our shoes and backs and immersing part of us in clear water streams.
Yet it opened my eyes to the Australia beyond capital cities, with the sheer influence of the natural elements on such a huge chunk of this continental island. We were fortunate to explore during the dry season. I was taken out of my comfort zone in bush walking on challenging trails, the level of difficulty of category 5 involving good shoe grip, physical dexterity and changing my mindset.
I loved meandering up the Indian Ocean coast, particularly for its sunsets, unique marine life, dramatic landscapes and sheer isolation. At the same time, I did not get the opportunity to meet as many Indigenous people as I expected.
Perth is such a unique place so far from other parts of the world. It has a quiet lifestyle that still has an economy so dependent on extraction of resources. Yet it may have missed utilising more of its advantage in having a pristine environment and being in the same time zone as several growth areas of the world.
The trip involved first going from Perth to connect points Geraldton, Kalbarri, Shark Bay, Monkey Mia, Ningaloo Marine Park and Exmouth. Then we turned inland to stay four. nights in the Karijini National Park in the south of the Pilbara. Finally we headed back to Perth through the Central Highway inland through mining country, also dropping by the monastery at New Norcia.
Perth with its lights at night looked like an isolated presence in a universe of surrounding darkness. Most visitors head further south of this city to to the south eastern corner of WA. It has been a privilege to know the fascinating world north and north east of Perth. Yet we missed visiting Broome, Karratha and the region adjoining the Northern Territory.
We trudged and drove at least over 3000 km. We immersed in the delights of several national parks, most of which were larger than some notable nations. I now value more drinkable water, petrol and access to data and telecommunications coverage. Yet at the same time, there is no measure of the content, reward and thankfulness in the heart being able to savour so many dimensions of Mother Earth - away from the distractions, noise and pollution from contemporary human societies.
The further you undertake a journey away from the trappings of conventional society, the nearer you bring yourself to what matters and what you have been born for.