Hanging With Friends in Albany

The pack up at Cocklebiddy has to rate as the worst ever of all our travels! Overnight the winds picked up to gale-force. Cocklebiddy consists of a petrol station, a roadhouse and a large, flat, open, red-dust-coating parking lot. Let me tell you an outside kitchen and trying to pack up canvas do not go well in a location like that with those kinds of winds!

We were high-tailing it on to Albany though as we were going to stay with our very good friends we met last year at Banka Banka station in the NT. En-route we passed through Balladonia which has a lovely little museum and skylab relic, camped at Fraser Range station and spent a couple of nights in Esperance.

Arriving in Albany after a massive drive from Esperance, we were warmly greeted by our gorgeous friends. Clint and Loz were amazing hosts and our four boys had a brilliant 5 days playing together. Albany has a population of approximately 35,000 and a rich World War I history, being the departure point for the ANZAC troops heading to the battlefields. We spent our first morning exploring the old forte and the ANZAC centre which allows you to follow along with the story of one of 35 soldiers’ lives the centre has researched.

We also explored a number of beaches and national park sights including The Gap and Natural Bridge. Raging surf crashes against the weathed, smooth cliff edge showing the raw power and beauty of the coastline. One large section of rock has been weathered right through creating a bridge over the sea.

One beach in particular we went to rates as arguably the best beach we have been to anywhere on all of our travels. A small horseshoe bay, protected by the surrounding rocks, with stunning turquoise water and pure white sand, it is simply like swimming in paradise!

A day trip out to Denmark was a heap of fun with a tree-top walk among the towering tingle trees, where the boys could follow along the forest detective trail and solve the clues. We couldn’t resist some amazing artisan chocolates… think finger lime and mango gel coated in dark Ecuadorian chocolate and blue cheese and marscapone filled bites of heaven! Our day trip wouldn’t have been complete without checking out some more beaches and the kids (and big kids) had a ball splashing and swimming in the renowned beaches around Denmark.

Loz, by the way, is an amazing cook and we (particularly me) were very spoiled having her cook delicious food for us. Loz and her family eat much the same as we do, wholefood, cooked from scratch and with love 🙂 We were also very happy to find out there was a 100% gluten free cafe in Albany so of course we had to sample their wares (which got a thumbs up all round).

It was really sad to say goodbye to our mates but we had an amazing 5 days with them and hopefully we can repay their hospitality down in Melb one day soon (hint hint if you guys are reading Loz & Clint!!).

Originally we had planned to head back East after Albany but the call of the South-West corner of WA was too great and we are now in the Margaret River region but that is a story for another day! One of my fav, easy camping recipes to come next time too 🙂

Until then, eat well & live happy

xMel

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