The campsite at Pemberton had a wonderful kitchen and very clean facilities. It was also remarkably quiet at night, which may have been why I was able to sleep till past 7! While we were setting up breakfast we listened to two kookaburras having a set-to above our heads; it sounded like a laughing contest and you couldn’t help laughing in response. We cleaned up and set off at 8:30 down a winding road towards Denmark for lunch.

Just outside Walpole was saw a detour for something called a ‘tree-top walk.’ We had read in the Rough Guide that this was a worthwhile experience, so we drove up and found a parking spot – Pam physically blocking another driver from stealing it from us, much to my amazement! – and paid a very reasonable $10 for the walk. It was incredible!

What we saw was a very old stand of Karri and Eucalyptus trees – the locals call the latter Tingle trees, a most inappropriate name for such a magnificent creation – and how we saw them is by a 120 foot high walkway that winds its way among the trees in that forest. At this height you are about halfway up these enormous structures that tower above you from their massive bases in the forest floor below. The metal walkway sways with the weight and movement of the many people walking this aerial trail, and it is more than a little unsettling. But the sight of these trees, their majesty and beauty literally take your breath away. Pictures cannot hope to do justice to the scope and size of what we saw.

Lunch after that was anticlimactic, and we drove in kind of mesmerized stupor to Albany, our destination for the night. The campsite was crowded and not particularly nice, but when we broached the sand dunes separating us from the sea, the view took our breath away. We were staring at a simply spectacular view of the Southern Ocean, sparkling aquamarine under the afternoon sun, with the headlands of the bay marching seaward in the distance and the waves crashing on the foreshore in front of us. We had but one collective thought: we must swim!

We returned in haste to the camper, put on our suits – cossies, in local parlance – and retraced our steps to the beach. We figured we would probably freeze to death before we got waist high, but we were in for a surprise. The water was warmer than the Indian Ocean in tropical Coral Bay, 1,000 kilometres closer to the equator. We swam and body surfed the waves for an hour before we tired and dried out under sand that was as fine and white as icing sugar. We had burgers for supper and I finally got an internet connection that allowed me to call Mom and wish her a very belated Merry Christmas. We have just two more camping nights on what has been one of the best vacations of our lives.

P.S. I can’t seem to upload pictures through this weak internet connection, and will try again when we get back to Perth. My apologies, and thank you for your visits and your comments.

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