Late morning. Sick of my tent being full of sand I pulled everything out of it and piled it on the picnic table, unstaked the tent, turned it inside out and shook as much of the sand out of it as I could, then set it up facing into the wind, as opposed to perpendicular to it, because I was weary of one side being permanently bowed in by the wind that blows incessantly. Now, of course, both sides are.*
I’m putting myself through some kind of torture out here. Heaven only knows why. Well, no, that’s not true. It’s to save a bit of money, and to see this beautiful coast (which is beautiful, but once it’s been seen and explored, even just a small part, then what?), “to see Australia”, to be on an “adventure.” Is this an adventure? If it is it does not speak particularly highly of it. The wind is incessant. My tent I’ve disliked for some time for its inefficient size (volume relative to it’s shape)—though perhaps it’s just too small for my preference—and because I don’t have a multitude more stakes to pin down the sides, for now when I’m inside it I feel as though I’m being beat about the head by a flock of birds, it’s so constantly flapping about. Sunlight has been inconsistent, and the temperature is so that because of the wind if the sun is obscured I need a jacket, but otherwise not, so that I am always too hot or too cool, or putting my jacket on or taking it off. If I lie down in my tent to escape the wind it becomes too hot when the sun comes out (not to mention the previously mentioned issues with the slouch of the tent walls), like lying in a greenhouse. And I’m camped at a site called Sand Patch, so naturally there is sand all throughout the tent again. Now, is this an adventure, or is it simply living in discomfort simply to save a bit of money? I think I’m heading elsewhere, or back to Perth in a day or two.
So, since I’ve been alluding, but haven’t actually asked the question, I’ll ask, what is adventure anyway? I think yesterday was a bit of an adventure—I left the hostel a bit after ten with sufficient water, and bought some simple food at the IGA. Then I began walking: two hours of leaving town along the road eventually to a bike trail which took me to another smaller, quieter road that at its end was Albany’s wind farm: 18 giant turbines atop the sandy hills that fall off like cliffs to the ocean some three hundred feet below. Around this area is a boardwalk loop that also diverges into the Bibbulmun Track and a long set of stairs that runs down to the beach
It was at the wind farm that I stopped and had a PBJ and some trail mix, and thought about what it was that I wanted to do. At the start of the hike I thought that I might walk a length of the Bibbulmun to the next town over, Denmark. This hike out from Albany was a test run to see how that might feel. How do I feel simply hiking out of town to the Bibbulmun? If I was comfortable with this, then I would either continue on toward Denmark, or would camp at the nearest campsite and continue the next day. Obviously my feelings have been made clear, and we see that my mind has been made up about going back. But to me, that first day at least was worth it. It makes a good bit of sense to escape the routine of life by doing something so not routine, but my life currently is hardly routine to begin with. So, this extra day, to just save some money, is simply stupid. Of course, if the weather was better and I didn’t have a caffeine headache, and the wind wasn’t so obnoxious I might feel differently. But it’s not. It is what it is. And I am what I am, which is a fool. But I’m learning more about myself all the time. I’m stretching, reaching into realms that I have not before. Certainly it will leave some mark or impression on me, within me. But do I have the talent to leave anything of my travels behind?
*editing this now, two months, nearly to the day, since first writing this in my journal I realize I probably should have turned the tent so the door faced the wind, rather than the rear of the tent, as it is a triangle-shaped funnel, the front door obviously being the widest part, but then there would be the issue of so much more sand blowing into the tent, so I guess the solution boils down to pick your poison…. ah, well….