The Journey Of A Lifetime

The Journey Of A Lifetime

It was about 7:30AM. Alanna is behind the wheel, just outside of a West Australian town called Pinjarra. About 40 minutes from home. We are on our way to the town of Margaret River to meet a very special pair of travellers. It’s not Alanna and I who are on the journey of a lifetime, it’s Claire and Emiel, also known as Hannibal World Safari.  Before we go any further though, I’ve got a hurdle to get over.

Ya see, before I left I checked my fan belts. They were pretty crook! Slightly cracked, a bit crunchy and one had a small rip starting in it. I didn’t have the time to change them over, so I bought a couple of new ones and chucked em in the spares. Wouldn’t ya know it we’ve not even been on the road an hour yet and one of em lets go, cutting a hole in a cooling hose on it’s way out. We limp our way on into Mandurah and park up outside a Supercheap store. I’m glad we did, because the belts are the wrong bloody size, the hose needs to be cut and re-joined and I end up doing about 4 trips in and out of the store grabbing parts and tools before we are fixed up and on the road again.

Rolling into Margaret River we keep our eyes sharp looking out for the unmistakable 60 series Landcruiser affectionately known as ‘Bruce’. He’s an easy truck to spot, kitted up like he’s off to explore the world or something crazy with biiiig stickers down the side’s letting us know we’ve found the right one. Funny that I should mention exploring the world actually, because that is EXACTLY what Emiel, Claire and Bruce are doing! In fact, very shortly Bruce will be on a ship bound for Amsterdam while Emiel and Claire fly over to await his arrival before hitting the road again. I discovered the ‘Hannibal World Safari’ journey when either they stumbled across Intents Offroad on Facebook, or I stumbled upon them. I can’t remember which. As soon as I saw that their planned route included Perth, I knew that we had to organise a meet up for a couple of nights camping.

The day is getting on a bit since I got held up with the fan belt incident, so our exploring for the afternoon involves ducking west off Caves Rd at just a couple of the tracks that lead to the beach. There are so many roads and brilliant 4wd tracks which pull off Caves Rd between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin; I reckon you could maybe explore all of them in two days but only if you are able to resist stopping to enjoy  the views, walks and fishing! We did exactly those things before making our way to Point Rd campground to settle in for a camp among the Karri forest; and chat about their adventure by the warm glow of a gas lantern.

The idea to take their vehicle halfway around the globe sprouted from surprisingly humble beginnings! Claire and Emiel were planning on doing Cape York when the old “why don’t we do this while we’re there” idea’s started cropping up. Then Emiel’s parents in Amsterdam coincidentally invited them over to celebrate their anniversary. Emiel reckons the idea of doing it all by plane never crossed their mind, the first and seemingly most logical decision was to ship the car over and drive back! Over two years they planned, saved, sold everything they owned, built the vehicle up and eventually hit the road in February 2015. As we sit with them now, 5 weeks into their 12 month journey; it appears they have settled into their nomadic ways quite well! Our clumsy pack up in the morning has nothing on their well practiced routine.

We set off north to check out Canal rocks and Sugarloaf rock, but we didn’t make it past Canal rocks! That place is awesome. Clear, calm and turquoise waters on one side, relentless pounding surf on the other; separated by some impressive looking rock features.While this was going on, a large skink crept right up and sat next to Alanna’s chair waiting for a slice of bread. Emiel jumped higher than Alanna when I pointed him out! We spent the afternoon eating, relaxing, taking photos and swimming with the biggest stingray’s in the history of ever. Then we decided to zip on up to Busselton to walk the jetty, something that Emiel had on his wish list for a while. That was the most peaceful evening by the ocean I have ever experienced! The water was flat and clear like a lake, lending us the opportunity to spot all kinds of fish, squid, stingray’s and dolphins. We stayed a lot longer than intended, it was well past dark before we even got back to shore (did I mention the jetty is 1.8km long?) and we hadn’t thought of a place to camp yet!

 

Thankfully my rather outdated version of Camps 6 was able to save the day and we located an overnight stop only a 20 minute drive out of town. I knew of this pullover; I knew it had a relentless mosquito population at certain times of year, and an even more relentless tourist population at ALL times of the year but it was gonna have to be it. We got lucky, able to squeeze ourselves in the middle of the area bounded by a motor-home, a caravan with a generator roaring, a couple of Britz rental vans and numerous small cars with tents alongside. We didn’t mind though, not every camp can be an absolute winner. A few drinks and good company more than made up for it!

It’s time to go our separate ways for now, us heading south east and them hanging around to sort a few things out after having their house (that’s Bruce the 60 series of course) broken into back in Albany. Serious bummer. We will meet Claire and Emiel again in Perth before they take the trip overseas and the REAL adventure begins!

Alex

Alex Garner

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  1. PX ranger
    January 19, 18:43 Reply
    Hi Mate, you do a great job of introducing people into the world of 4x4 camping and your efforts are appreciated more than you probably reliase, great work and please keep up your off roading adventures going online. Cheers James
    • Alex Garner
      January 24, 11:39 Reply
      Thanks James! Your words of encouragement make a difference for sure, I greatly appreciate it :)

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