Thursday, August 14, 2008

See Val Climb

The West Coast of Australia is, in some ways, very different from the East Coast, which is warm and sunny and... populated. West Australia, or double-you-ay as it's known here, is the largest state of Australia, but is the least populated. Of the two million people that live here, three quarters are in Perth, the capital, which is by the way the most remote capital city in Australia. It's actually closer to Jakarta, Indonesia, than it is to Sydney.

We took advantage of this and drove south to a sleepy, quiet town called Walpole, which isn't really anything much to look at. However, it's a pretty busy (relatively speaking, of course) tourist destination because of its proximity to the Valley of the Giants -- a grove of very, very old and very large Tingle Trees (a type of Eucalyptus). Here, we walked the Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk, a metal scaffolding 40m in the sky, and took in the views.

While in Walpole, we did a whole lot of nothing, seeing that there's very little TO do. We did enjoy our time at the Tingle All Over YHA Hostel there. It's run by a delightful woman named Peggy, and she made sure that our our stay was pleasant all around, with mattresses and linen more fitted to a five-star hotel than a budget backpacker's hostel. It may have helped that we were pretty much the only guests there, but the kitchen was empty and clean, and we had the run of the place. We enjoyed our time there so much that the one night we planned to spend there somehow became three.

Down amongst the tall trees, we also felt it necessary to climb this: the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree.

See the pegs on the trunk of the tree? We climbed those. See the leaves way, way up there? We were up there -- 75m above the ground, swaying in the breeze. The view was phenomenal, the journey down beyond terrifying. I almost feel like a bungy jump would have been less insane.


1 comment:

egan said...

hey Val and BG - we climbed that tree too. Mia also thought it was more insane than skydiving. almost.

have fun in WA, you crazy kids!