Kar Munn asks: “What do you like most about this trip” when we have our lunch in Canberra, the capital of Australia. The best? I’m thinking about the past eleven days. We did a road trip from Melbourne to Canberra. You can drive it in a few hours, but we took eleven days to discover Australia’s nature. And that hasn’t disappointed me yet. Australia is beautiful. A country with so much surface and only 25 million inhabitants, then there is so much untouched nature. That is amazing.
This road trip was totally different from the first one, but better. Better, because we knew each other better. I did not know Quentin, Kar Munn and Adrian before the first road trip. And better, because we met Australians who showed us an awesome place. So yes, the question is not difficult: it is that place (the secret place) that I found most special about our trip. The others nod. Absolutely, we agree, the secret place was the most special.
I’m not going to tell you exactly where the place is – some things have to stay secret – but we meet the Australians at the campsite at Point Hicks. It is a beautiful campsite where you first have to cross a long sand path to get there. A 4×4 is useful if you want to get there, but we also managed to get there with a Holden (Australian car).
As soon as we arrive we meet Graham and Debby who tell us that the whole family is coming. Their children, grandchildren and friends. That evening we sit by the campfire and they tell us about the secret place. Tomorrow they will go there. We can come along if we want.
Earlier than planned they go to the place the next day. Quentin and I follow with their daughter and her husband. Because Kar Munn and Adrian take more pictures they walk far behind us. They are afraid they can’t find us, but so far they always know how to find us so I am confident they will find us this time as well.
We walk down a long path and at the end of the path we see the rest of the family walking with Graham in front. He is the expedition leader. Together with Debby. We climb a lot before we reach a very high dune. We go to the top. It is beautiful. We can look 360 degrees around us and only see nature. The sea, dunes and forest. I have been at many beautiful places during my trip, but this one is definitely in the top 10.
The Way Back
And then it all starts: we’re going off the dunes in style with our bare feet. Everyone knows how to run down a dune. But this dune is so high that it takes at least two minutes before we are downstairs. Great! Actually, everyone is a child again when we are running down.
At the bottom of the dune we immediately step into the water: we walk back through the river. With the children in the inflatable boat, we walk back to the campsite. The river ends exactly where we camp.
Back in Canberra
‘I’ve never walked through the water before,’ says Adrian when we’re at lunch in Canberra and are talking about the secret hike. So yes, for him the way back was the best part of the hike. For me? I think the atmosphere, the view and running down the dune. Isn’t that why I travel (this question is rhetorical)? Feeling free, feeling a child again, and that’s what this road trip is. I felt sixteen and younger again.