Walk Walk To The Rock

In my first three weeks working at the bar, every day at least I would engage a conversation about how the guests have visited Uluru or plan to visit Uluru and I would tell them that I never went there although I had been here in weeks. But on 6th of July, I finally did the pilgrimage. Disclaimer: this blog post won’t be informative enough. It will serve you my crap story as usual. The reason is because I didn’t have a chance to study more about Aboriginal people which I am planning to do so. So yeah, let’s take a walk then? Yep, Matt, Sand and I walked to Uluru from Yulara. It took us about 19Kms to get to the cultural centre, walked another 2Kms to the starting point of Base Walk, and walked again for another 10Kms surrounding the rock.

It was all started when Sand and I had the same days off; he suddenly texted me: “Let’s go to the rooock!” Ofc! We thought about how to get there and he threw an idea to walk because his friend, Matt, has done it before. I was like, okay, why not.

On D-Day, we agreed to meet at 9am. As a woman, I woke up the earliest but I still struggled to draw my eyebrows in the last minutes lol! And it would took me around more than 5 mins to get to the meeting point and I literally left home only a few minutes prior and I raaaaannnn as if some perverts trying to catch me. Then what?? Matt came 10 mins later and Sand came 20 mins later and he even walked like turtle -.- lol.

We bullied Sand about it and it backfired us, no, I think it only backfired me. Sand walked so fast, how come he had that kind of energy? And Matt, he is tall so it was easy for him to match Sand’s pace. Me? I HAD TO STRUGGLE xD. Sometimes I would let them be and ran to pursue them in every 5 mins. Sometimes I took the lead so I controlled the pace lol. But it was a really nice exercise tho.

Along the way, we talked about many things, fought with annoying flies, laughed over small things, bullied Sand again for being late, and me shouting “Y SO FAAAST?!” But what I liked the most about our long walk was that Matt inspired us to pick trashes along the road. It was started with 1 bag, then 2 bags, then 3 bags and all of us carried “bags” to contain the trashes, it was even overloaded and sometimes the items fell out lol. We picked valueless trashes to the wow-how-come-they-left-this-here trashes such as shower bag, insect repellent, Bluetooth earphone, Frisbee, etc.

Gud bois

Three and a half hour later we arrived to the site; took almost 1 hour lunch break and we thought we couldn’t make it to do Base Walk (walk surrounding the rock). It was only 10Kms but the board says average duration is 3-5 hours. It was 2PM already and we had to hitchhike back home before or right after sunset. We looked for another option: renting bikes. But it was school holiday and we had no chance. All was gone. Sand assured us, “I think we can make it.” Then we walked again.

I was so amazed by how nature can provide us an incredible enormous rock like this. Actually, I’ve seen some unique big rocks on previous road trips: flat top and flat side so it looks like a rectangle (as if someone trimmed the side perfectly) or a huge wave-like rock. Rocks in Australia are amazing. Uluru is surely one of them; not only about the size but when I walked surround it, every face from every side of it was just amazing. Plus, it is so sacred to the traditional owners of Uluru: Anangu tribe. Uluru has been standing tall for hundreds million years and it was a place for the traditional people to cook, gather, and take a rest while hunting; a place for ancient events and ceremonies.

So majestic
Ancient paintings

To me, someone who just took a walk quickly; as a tourist, I could only be the observer of this beautiful giant. The rock will be closed to climb in October because of safety and respect issue and so many people came down here to seize the opportunity.

I was one of them who wanted to climb but then Sand opened my mind, that climbing is seen disrespectful to the owners. And actually it means much more than that; it’s about how not to conquer the rock because there’s nothing to conquer to begin with. It’s about not to feed your ego with glory when you hurt the owners at the same time. And now, I also need to be careful not to build a “good person” ego while writing this (if you know what I mean) lol.

I’m planning to visit Uluru again, listen to the story from the guides and study more. Yah, hopefully. Let’s finish this story first. So, we wanted to hitchhike although we knew it would be almost impossible to find a car that could carry three of us. So many cars ignored us until a car came and he said he could only help a person and that would be Matt. Sand and I were worried how long it would take us to find the next kind-hearted person. Not long tho! A car after Matt’s left, we found our angel, he was a ranger, Adam, and he helped two of us. Adam had to finish the job first so he dropped me and Sand at the sunset viewing area while waiting for him to pick us up home. And the waiting moment was beautiful; it was a perfect ending of the day. Can’t thank you enough to those three men. More journey to come hopefully?

I’ll see you again

THE BEGINNING OF LIFE IN THE DESERT

Here I am now, stranded in Yulara, Northern Territory lol. I am now working for Voyages Ayers Rock Resort, at Sails in The Desert Hotel to be precise, as food and beverage attendant, again. It’s a well-known company which employs many indigenous people, to prepare them to work in a bigger scale. If you open the G-map, our location is almost in the centre of the continent. We have IGA, post office, souvenir shops, and a few places to eat; all located in Town Square.

The first two weeks were very hard for me, I got a few personal problems and I didn’t have my friends with me in person. About the job, it is harder than the one that I had. Even though fine dining restaurant at Duxton seemed to be more stressful and the sequence was longer there, I still find it’s harder here working at the bar lol. But slowly but sure, I began to have friends <3

Actually, our counsellor even warned us not to tell stories or venting our problems to friends because just in caseeee, they’re not really your friends. And Yulara, is such a small town, we have about 1400 residents here, working and living together. Word of mouth can go faster than speed of light, I’m worried lol. That was why I didn’t want to open up to anyone; but now since I have changed, my world changed. Besides, all the people that I’ve met here are nice and I have a few people that I love the most here so far.

It’s gonna be a long journey here, let’s see what stories will be told.

217.45 FM

10th June 2019; my last day in Perth. The city that was so perfect for me: not too crowded, not too quiet. On that day, I left the apartment that was so perfect for me: not too expensive, colourful, located in CBD and so comfortable to live at. On that day, I left all the friends that had been fighting with me together in our Australia lives.

As I wrote already, I cried so much on my last day at Duxton, I just loved everything there so much and they loved me back. I cried again on (we thought) the last night for me and Ayu since I would be on the road trip on the next day and by the time I came back, Ayu would be in Tasmania for holiday. I still had the chance to have fun with Rusi on the road trip and after that, Rusi had to fly in to mining site and (we thought) we were separated not long after.

Call me sentimental because yes, I am a feeling person lol. It was just sad for me. I understand that people come and go, that’s life tho but still, separation is never easy.

I met Rusi and Ayu in Darwin and we have been friends for more than a year already. Fate brought us to have new lives in Perth and we had different jobs then, except for me and Ayu. To be honest, I never thought that I could be living together for a long time with other people because I’m a sensitive person, and based on the previous experiences, there were more problem when I was too close to anybody lol. And yes, living together, sharing almost everything, to blend in, to have that sense of belonging, it’s just like, you surrender yourself, you melt your ego for the good of the many.

Was it me who grew up or was it just because we were so matched to each other, I don’t know. Most of the time, I didn’t mind to clean the unit; Rusi didn’t mind to cook for us whenever she was in the city, and Ayu, the busiest person in the pack, didn’t mind to help us buying things (saved us from walking down to Woolies lol), or helped us with anything.

We could spend literally HOURS, to talk about random things, or simply watching movies. I am not like them who follow influencers in social media, so whenever they talked about that, I was out. But aside of that, we shared sooo many meaningful topics and it felt better with snacking lol. We never ran out of food; as long as you have Rusi in the pack, you’re safe. They know my stories, they know my true self, they know my past and I am naked to them. Now that I left them already, knowing that we will walk separately, I couldn’t hold my tears.

Dear Ayu

We literally spent everyday in the apartment; when everybody else worked out from Perth, you were always there for me. You were there when I was crazy over someone, you heard my story, you cried with me, you felt the hurt in me, you simply listened to my story and it was what I needed. You were one of the best workmates I have ever had, we understood each other and helped each other. You are my inspiration; how come you maintained working in two places, killed those busy days and never got sick?! lol. You are smart, you easily understand everything. Thank you for putting an effort to make notes for us at the pass. And thank you for so many movie recommendations even though there are still so many movies we can’t watch together anymore :'( And I really like your simple state of mind, I wish someday I can be at least 10% of you. I really wish you happiness, in every path you take, Yuuu. Love you.

Dear Rusi,

You are really something. I knew you from the start and even though Australia is the first place for you to live alone, your survival skill amazed me soooo much. I really like your brain, the whole brain lol. I like how smart you are, I like how you can use your common sense to manage situation, I like how deep the conversation could be whenever I talked with you. Yes you’re four years younger than me but sometimes I felt like you were the one who guided me lol. I like how you could be selfless to help others, how you think about others, especially about food xD. Thank you for inspiring me about many things. I really wish you to be happy as well, that you could find your Harvey Moeis. Despite of all the bad labels you put for yourself, you are actually an amazing person and has the wife material xD. Love you Uciiii.

We love to eat
We love to eat (2)
I told ya we love to eat….at Rusi’s birthday celebration.
Love you my hobbits xD

I also want to shout out to my Indonesian friends that I spent days in Perth with: Andy, Cia, Tika, Ian, Okta, Gwenn, Adit, Hardi, Handoyo, Yervan. I am blessed to know you <3 Perth always felt like home when I was with you guys :’) Let’s be happy, wherever we are.

A short trip to Yanchep to see lavenders.
From being the richest to the second richest. What a loss. Lol
The best Italian food!
Before we took SUPER FUNNY video of Idul Fitri xD

The last two pics were from my last day in Perth :’)

Can’t remember the last time I talked with Cia xD yeah, shit happens. I hope she’s happy.
At last, see ya my best friends, it’s definitely not a good bye.

The Sweet Southwest

Since I have finished my six-month job in Perth and I had to leave Perth, one of the last things to do was to visit the Southwest with Rusi. We had been dreaming to go there but never got a chance (or never tried to really make it). Finally we’ve got friend to go and share the cost with lol.

Yerin (middle) is my Korean friend, we started working at Duxton together.

I was the sole driver for 2071 Kms in total for 3 days and I couldn’t believe I could safely bring us home; but believe me, driving in Australia is safe and easy compared in Indonesia. You just need to make sure not driving (too) tired.

DAY 1

Destination: Esperance

Place to sleep of the night: Pink Lake Tourist Park

It was a nice drive tho! I really liked the trees covering the side of the road. That day’s destination took us around 8 hours to get there so we didn’t really explore much because we need to be there not too late. We took a break in Corrigin, a cute town who really treasures dog so much. We passed a beautiful dog cemetery, dog statues at the park and we even spotted a veterinary center.

Rusi and I also shared a luggage to keep our blankets, food, and cooking things. But this is Yerin’s and dunno why I found it funny.

Then we passed a famous spot in Hyden, The Wave Rock.

Based on the information center, Wave rock is a 15 meters high granite cliff and the shape has been caused by weathering and water erosion which have undercut the base and left the rounded overhang. It left me in awe, such a unique shape that million years of erosion can make. We continued the journey and enjoyed the sun before it set for a while.


I was driving Holden and I just realized that I didn’t know how to turn on the light lol. Couldn’t spot the button or handle at the usual place in other cars and it took me a while to realize where the setting was xD. Anyway, we finally arrived at the tourist park at 6.30 pm, almost got no space to sleep because the office closed already lol but thank God, we made it. It cost us $49 to sleep at the unpowered site. We slept in the car, three of us. Yep, in a sedan.

DAY 2

Destination: Lucky Bay and Albany

Place to sleep of the night: Kalgan River Caravan Park

We woke up early morning so we could catch the sunrise but too bad, the weather wasn’t cooperating. There are so many beautiful places at the coast in Esperance and we managed to visit some of them. It was so beautiful, so quiet, and cold definitely.

Observatory Point
Very cool place!

Then we continued our journey to Lucky Bay at Cape Le Grand National Park, hoping we could see kangaroos at the beach. It should’ve taken us around 40 mins to get there but we took a bit longer since we stopped by at some spots, looking at cute cows. So many farms around there and the view were magnificent!

The price to get into the national Park was $13 for a vehicle and actually there’s a caravan Park at Lucky Bay too but you need to book beforehand. It was cloudy and raining when we got there but it didn’t last long tho. We burst to the beach after that and omigoooooooshhhhhhh Lucky Bay is really really beautiful.

I put off my shoes and touched the water; the sand also feels different. When I tried to write in the sand, it sounded like scratching nylon fabric and it kinda hurt when you ran on it lol.

The sand is solid as a whole but so soft when you pinch; confusing. We took so many pictures here but we weren’t lucky, no single kangaroo on sight.

We had lunch at the Pink Lake which is not pink at all (well, it used to be) and continued the trip to Albany. Another endless beautiful farms view but Yerin slept most of the time lol. We finally reached the caravan park before 6 pm but it was so dark already. The park was located quite far off the main road but kangaroos visit it daily! We couldn’t wait!

DAY 3

Destination: Albany Wind Farm, Margaret River, Perth

First things to do in the morning: brekkie and see the kangaroos!!

So many of them and they were so cute! Rusi and I tried our best to sneak in and took picture in quiet but Yerin was shouting in excitement. She probably scared the kangaroos but she was lucky not to be kicked lol. To me that was the best caravan Park I’ve visited so far: cheap, pretty, near valley and by the river, so many cute creatures.

Kalgan River

We then continued the trip to visit Albany Wind Farm, that was my first time seeing so many wind turbines and we hiked a bit to get to the lookout and we could see a forest in one side and a bay in the other side. So beautiful.

Yerin wasn’t feeling well and Rusi let her sit beside me hoping she could get better by looking at the beautiful views from the front seat but she dozed out again lol. Seriously, Albany region has TOO MANY BREATHTAKING view of valleys, farms, cute houses, and greeneries.

Then we passed Denmark and omg :’(, the town won several awards such as..i forgot. But Denmark is too pretty and I will come back there to explore the town. Can I get a job there in my third year visa? 😉

The State Forest

Managed to visit Margaret River for an hour and bought a wine as farewell gift for my manager.

At Cape Mentelle winery.
To be honest, I was so damn tired already but Perth was still 270 Kms away.

Luckily Yerin felt better and she continued talking to me that I had to make her stop lol. However, you saved us to get home, chingu-ya, gomawo. Finally, we made it to the Southwest and it was a super nice trip, one of beautiful last memories in my last days in Perth this year and I’ll never forget.

Thanks to you guys, I have so many pictures of me xD ♥️

Teletubbies Hill in Perth

I feel so blessed to be back to Perth for the second time and I experienced so many new things during this period of time. I was badly broken-hearted, I met so many friends from many nationalities, met a new love from different country (I deeply regret it later lol), I stepped up at my work place and I’m proud I was be able and given the opportunity to upgrade myself.  I’m just happy to be here. I’ve been staying in Perth since last November and I need to go to the North in July to complete the third year Work and Holiday Visa requirement. However, I didn’t expect to leave sooner.

Firewater Grille restaurant. Image courtesy of JBM Projects.

This is the place I was working at. Firewater Grille (FWG) is the restaurant of 5-star hotel in Perth CBD, Duxton Hotel. Even though I only had a short experience as a waitress (thank you Exotic North Indian Restaurant in Darwin, you guys taught me this field), I didn’t know how to make barista coffee, and had a limited knowledge of wine; our manager still chose me, had faith in me, and wanted to nurture me under his wings. To add things up, I met so many kind-hearted colleagues from the service to the kitchen who were so patient with me and they assisted me to learn. Seriously! This one I’m not exaggerating. It didn’t take a long time for me to meet many best buddies there <3.

One thing I liked working there is that our manager challenged me so much. I had to learn everything quickly but I also always had colleagues who wanted to teach me those things: how to make coffees, understanding the menu, how to change cutleries, how to take order properly and handle a section, how to answer the phone, taking care of reservation, dealing with room service, handling payment and aaaargghh I just realized so many things that I learned there lol.

My manager also trusted me to serve our new General Manager’s table most of the time. I felt so honoured yet stressed actually; I gave myself the pressure to do everything perfectly since he’s our new general manager. I felt I need to represent the quality of the service of our restaurant. Time went by and GM’s image wasn’t that pressuring anymore, we even could talk casually.

FWG has won several awards and it’s really a fancy restaurant tho. We have breakfast and lunch buffet, high tea during lunch time on every weekend and a la carte dinner every day. I met various guests from the rude ones to the kind and inspiring ones. Mostly, the guests were very appreciative and even though the atmosphere is kinda formal, they always liked my cheap jokes and they threw jokes to me as well. Our restaurant gave countless surprise birthday/anniversary plates that could make our guests burst into tears. I still remember one guest was so touched to be surprised that way. She thought she couldn’t celebrate her birthday this year because she had a hard time battling with cancer. Some other guests would share with me the key to stay in love for more than 20-40 years of marriage and they hugged me when I needed the most. I also liked the nationality guessing game. From all the guests who asked where I come from, only 1 could guess I am from Indonesia lol.

Due to my visa work limitation, I can only work for one employer for 6 months but we actually have several ways to extend it. I thought I could extend and still work until July but I found out I couldn’t on the day my 6 months limitation was up. The point is, I was so sad but still grateful to be able to work for the last time. Our manager and colleagues were shocked and I couldn’t do anything. I cried a lot especially when I met GM and he said I’ve done a good job. I feel bad to my manager because he was preparing me to be team leader. I’ve trained to open and close the restaurant and I also had the experience to run the operational of dinner once. We thought there would be more nights for me to be the person in charge, but naahhh lol :’( I cried because I loved the restaurant and the people so much. I knew I had to leave sooner or later but separation is always saaaaddd :’(

From this blog post, I just want to give you guys my deepest gratitude. I’m happy I met so many kind-hearted and helpful friends. The days there weren’t perfect, we had problems, arguments; but in the end, we kept being friends and we kept helping each other. I found FWG is like Teletubbies Hill where all the Teletubbies like to hug. I could always boost my mood from hugging my friends there, I literally hugged almost everyone lol. Friends from the restaurant also helped me to realize that love can come from anyone, anywhere, in any form and any way. I’m grateful I could upgrad myself and it was because of you guys, you helped me to make it happen. I thank my manager, the chefs, my supervisors, my general manager, and alllllll people, omg.

My early days at FWG.
We also have Club Lounge, special place for people who stays at our Club floors. I was helping doing dishwasher on Australia Day.
My farewell. So grateful for those who made to come and see me.

I’m ready to move on but you guys must know but I heart you, so much.

Peace out. Love you.

______

The featured image of this page is courtesy of Duxton Hotel Perth.

Water Here and There

From my traveling, I found several interesting topics that I want to dig in and Messi challenged me to write more serious stuff once in a while instead of just fun traveling stories. So yeahh, umm oke laa. From several topics, I will just write about water which related to my recent journey.

Lesmurdie Falls National Park

I chose to come here on my day off back in March because when I Googled it, it looked so pretty. Even though I knew there was a high probability of no flowing waterfall, I still came here because I needed to stay active. I was the only visitor at that time lol! I hesitated because I had to trek but I did it anyway. Besides, it’s only bushes in there and the trekking path is nicely visible tho, I was just hoping not to meet dangerous animals.

Ascending path. See? Only bushes everywhere lol.

It was a short trek up to the hill and Perth CBD was visible from far, pretty. Once I got to the waterfall, I only laughed to myself: See, no waterfall. It’s still summer! Anw, I met another ONE person and we took pics of each other.

Can you spot the water?

Talking about waterfall, that was the second time I visited waterfall in a wrong season. The first one was when I visited Jim Jim Waterfall in Northern Territory (NT) which I couldn’t even hear a single droplet fell down. It’s kind of serba salah, while in NT several waterfalls don’t operate in dry season but in certain days in wet season, the access to national parks will be closed due to flood or even scarier: CROCODILES. In certain parts of WA, you won’t see the water flowing during summer. You have to wait until Autumn or Winter which you would rethink if you wanna swim anyway. Serba salah. Maybe I should do more research to meet the needs tho.

Jim Jim Waterfall, only drips heard.

But seriously, I suddenly remember about waterfalls in Indonesia (especially in West Java). Those are non-stop working waterfalls and I just want to remind you who are in Indonesia right now that in this MATTER, you are so blessed. I remember when I was still in Indonesia, it was so easy to see rainforests and once I walked in the forest, I was always hypnotized by the scent of damp woods, the leaves. Green color dominates everything and the air is so cool. It is also easy to find water, the spring water from the mountain. And our waterfalls are always noisy, high debit of water always flowing 24/7.

The trek at Merbabu Mountain. I love rainforest.
Oenesu Waterfall in Kupang.

In contrast, Australia is a water poor country. I will talk about Western Australia (never been to any other states other than WA and NT lol) which is said as the driest state in Au. There are no countless big trees like in Indonesia, only bushes everywhere. Desert dominates the area and I can’t imagine living far from coast (85% of the population living within 50km of the coast of the very large continent with vast empty areas in the middle). Good thing that the government takes water issue SO SERIOUSLY and we live conveniently. No money to buy spring water? Drink potable water from your kitchen sink. The Swan River in Perth is also clean, not turbid or even looks so dark like in Ciliwung, no trashes, and maybe almost zero waste. I remember Indonesian boys really like to swim in river, which would be even nicer if they did it here, in a sense of cleanliness. But if I remember how the people in Indonesia treat our water makes me feel sad tho. There are still so many people near my house who throw trashes right into the river (the trash collection points are also located by the river and whenever the pile of trashes is too high, they will fall down to the river). Many women use detergent and wash clothes in the river and I also saw black-colored water (maybe waste) comes from a factory near Kalideres. I just can’t imagine how stupid we are just because we (still) have access to get water. We’re just being ungrateful right now.

In Australia, the government works so hard to give the best for the people. You can see the feedback when water sports in Australia are working. Every afternoon, you can see people kayaking, canoeing, or sailing with small ships in Swan River. They trust the water and find it enjoyable. But the good environment here is not something that happened easily; it took them hundreds of years to work on it and the consistency to give the best, a strong policy from government and obedient citizens make clean water accessible.

Where do you think we should start straightening out the tangled threads about water issue in Indonesia?

A Vivid-Warm Nostalgic Town Called York

Let me tell you something, I never intended to come to York that day.

I’ve always been like this; whenever I plan something, I only work on it for 40%-50% and the rest of it will be improvisation. Good thing I traveled alone again yesterday and I could drive anywhere I wanted. My original plan was trekking to Lesmurdie Falls National Park, visiting Mundaring Weir, Perth Hills, Perth Observatory, staying in Kalamunda overnight, and visited a few National Parks nearby. I even rented the car late but have checked almost half of the list already by 3PM. I thought where I should go next and somehow York appeared in my mind.

Accompanied by Spotify, I drove all the way to York which is located 86 kilometers away from Perth CBD. Some of my friends have visited York and actually I knew the vibe would be similar as Meekathara, Mt. Magnet, and a few more towns that my friends and I passed by when we were on road trip; I knew York would be that BEAUTIFUL. As I entered Shire of York, nature gave me my favourite scenery in Australia: vast hills and valleys. In a certain part of road, you will see trees lining up on your left and right side and I wondered what it would look like when Autumn comes…must be so pretty <3. I really like the Town Centre because it feels so nostalgic to me. The town is taken care beautifully: the architectures, the design of land use, environment, etc. In this millennial age, this town attracts people by standing tall with its own identity; it doesn’t care about modernization or stupid attractions.

 

 

I watched the sunset at Mt. Brown lookout. At first, I stopped at a small area which I thought it was the lookout but something made me so scared: a graveyard behind me. And I was alone LOL. Actually once I came to Australia, my parno thinking has reduced so much. There’s no way I would see Kuntilanak, Pocong, or I have to feel scared every malam jumat. But still, I’m not much different from my old self. Then I realized it wasn’t the right lookout spot from the map lol. I drove a bit further then and I found this:

 

 

I did nothing but enjoying everything (and being online on Instagram). Beautiful. Mother Earth is so beautiful :’( I could see people’s houses from above and the Town Hall looked so tiny. In the east, a vast land was visible and I contemplated that this country (as well as a continent) must have been fighting so hard to get water and to plant variation of crops. I grew up on the island with plenteous natural resources such as water and fertile soil, I feel so blessed. Many parts of Indonesia, even though they are not as developed as certain big cities in Indonesia, we can’t argue more, they are so blessed in this matter. But anyway, I won’t talk much about this now (I will do it in the next post).

 

Look at the color!

 

I really love this car. Rented this from Ace Car Rentals and so irit laaa.. I only spent $22 for driving 253km. It was about 1:15.

 

Back to York, I googled a caravan park and yep, this is the place I’m going to sleep at tonight, as I said to myself. Seriously, I never thought I would be brave to sleep alone at caravan park. Whenever I slept at caravan park, I was always with Cia and she would always accompany me to go to the toilet. And I’m so beser T^T but she always got up whenever I woke her up. This time I was alone and I had no other option but to face my fear.

Tony Smith was the one who welcomed me and concerned so much about me. He’s a charismatic ranger who has been doing this job for 20 years. He found out I traveled alone and I was only with my car. At first, he pointed me to park the car at unpowered site (I’m so used to it) and asked if I bring my blanket and kept saying: lock your car, open the windows a bit. I only had to pay $15 (y so cheap T^T). Later, he changed his mind. He wanted me to stay inside the unused caravan with electricity which was wayyy more proper for me to sleep and I didn’t have to pay extra. So blessed!

The caravan was so cozy tho. It has a queen-sized bed but too scared to sleep there. I chose a couch in a smaller room instead. The night was cold, I was too scared to turn off the lamp and this annoying bladder always made me go to the toilet. I couldn’t sleep and got migraine until around 10.30 pm the last time I was awake. Suddenly around 12 am, a loud noise was heard! It was windy that night and the branch above the caravan would always make noise but this one wasn’t because of the wind. I was pretty sure! I kept silent and started analyzing: the door. Not long after that a voice was heard, ”Are you alright in there?”. Yeaaa, I replied and he apologized and said stuff about the light. I only replied okay and thank you. Damn, I couldn’t sleep again xD.

I stood up and checked the door. The door has lock latch and I could tell the door was pulled from outside (thank you lock!). I guessed if he was Tony but why Tony had to open the door instead of knocking. Worst part: I HAD TO PEE! I’m sorry Tony or whoever else, I was so scared that I had to contain my urine and poured it in the sink (I washed everything with soap right away!). I went back to sleep like a baby surprisingly after that.

In the morning, I confirmed everything with Tony and he was shocked. He asked me about the impression about the voice; letting me judge from the accent. All I could tell was it was a voice of old white guy. He was kinda angry tho.  I’ll do my best to repeat his words.

“There’s no way I would open your door. You have my number and as long as you don’t call me, I knew everything was okay with you.”

“Thank you for telling this. Tonight I will hold a meeting with everyone who lives here. Whatever the reason was, it was not right to do that. They have nothing to do with you.”

“This really makes me angry.”

“Good thing that you had the door locked!”

Wah Tony, I really adore you as a ranger. Thank you so much for helping this random girl who traveled alone. And actually, I don’t think it was a bad person tho, he was asking if I was alright lol but yeah, knocking was more appropriate than trying to open the door. I still give 5 stars for this caravan park. Good service, clean toilet and shower area, good kitchen and laundry room too, and cheap T^T.

 

 

“Drive safe! Come here anytime you feel like want to get away from city life.” Nice advice! Thanks Tony.

 

Happy and refreshed!

Rottnest Island: Land of the cuties

It’s been a while since the last time I traveled solo and anw I owe you another two travel stories when I was still in Darwin which I did with friend(s). This time, life in Perth made us walk alone. We got different jobs and it’s so hard to match the time. On top of that, my heart was just broken that I wanted to have time for myself. Out of so many choices, I chose Rottnest Island, which I had been dying to go just to see this animal: QUOKKA!!

 

The best picture I can afford to let you know how cuteeeee it is! Happiest animal in the world they said!

 

They are everywhere just like stray cats in Indonesia, seriously! Quokka is the native animal of the island and mainly nocturnal but don’t worry, you can see lots of them even in day light. Quokkas are curious (they can fearlessly approach you), photogenic (they know if you want to take their pictures, they will go closer to your phone), Quokkas run so fast (I scared it once accidentally xD), and more importantly Quokkas always smile if you see it a bit from the bottom xD.

 

Managed to get a kiss from Quokka.

 

I admire Australian Government for protecting the nature by giving us top-down policy with an expensive fine. I am really obedient to (almost) every rule in Australia. Rottnest Island also has strict policy about its wildlife and the rules are written everywhere.

 

 

Quokkas are so loved and everyone wants to be near them!

 

But apparently Quokkas are not allowed to go shopping.

 

I also spotted this beautiful creature when I passed the neighborhood. Animals in Rottnest Island really live happily!

 

Another reason to love Rottnest Island is because it is so eco friendly. Sorry you lazy asses, you can’t rent a scooter, car or limousine or whatever to explore. The options you have is taking the bus for $20 or hire a bike for $30 a day, or if you are a cheapstake, you can explore on foot, up to you la. I chose to hire a bike just like most everyone did, I repeat again, like most everyone did: old people, kiddos, parents, lovers.

 

Although the island is hilly (like I even chose to walk when I was going uphill), parents still used this lil cart to carry their child. Salute to strong parents!

 

Pedal and Flipper shop.

 

It’s so nice to cycle around the island :'(. It was so quiet along the way, fresh air everywhere, you can stop anywhere you want, and to me, everywhere and every second were my ME TIME.

 

My bike ($45 for 2 days) with Wadjemup Lighthouse as background.

 

Rooms for rent on the right.

 

35% energy of the island comes from the wind.

 

Near my hostel.

 

Clear blue sky, mesmerizing waves, clean white sand…..you literally can find them in soooo many places in Rottnest Island <3.  My favorite was Parakeet Bay because it was sooo quiet (it’s not in this pic).

 

I spent two nights in Rottnest Island and paid for the accommodation for $108 at Kingstown Barracks. It’s so expensive for me and actually I wanted to go to the campsite and erect a tent there but I changed my mind.

 

Dunno if $54 per night is considered expensive or not for other people, I mean, we also have to help ourselves to make bed xD

 

And if you are a heavy eater, it’s better for you to buy groceries at General Store and cook at the hostel. I was so lazy, I brought 2 instant noodles for my dinners. And the campsite was kinda okay, not that deserted and scary — in fact, the site is surrounded by so many cabins and other rooms — but you can’t bring your own stove. I chose to go to hostel because I decided to bring my small backpack and the price is not that far from each other anyway.

 

I chose the most distant route on day 1. Good instinct because cycling too much hurt my butt. And, you have to wear helmet, it’s a compulsory!

 

 

My starting point was Kingstown Barracks and I cycled all the way to West End and went home passing Wadjemup Lighthouse. I stopped at every listed spots there xD. On day 2, I went to the north and dedicated my time to relax: swimming and reading. My favorite places are Little Salmon Bay, Mary Cove, Cape Vlamingh, Parakeet Bay. My favorite objects to shoot are Wadjemup Lighthouse and the windmill by the golf course.

Anyways, I was so brokenhearted but so happy to see couples everywhere that I couldn’t resist to use my phonecam.

 

Zoom in to see these cute couple.

 

Birdies in love

 

Youngsters in love

 

Old couple in love

 

Quokkas in love their bodies even look like heart shape

 

Let’s just say they’re in love as well ok?

 

Me? I’ll do my best to be happy la

 

Thank you Riri for helping me buying the ticket ferry so I got 15% discount :'( and I was so blessed to be helped and I wanted to help others even more. When I was cycling from the hostel to The Settlement (the center of business and where the main port was located), I passed 4 children climbed a tree. Worried but didn’t want to disturb their fun time, I only shouted “Take care okay???!” when I passed. They all replied, “Okaaayy.”

As I went further, I was worried: they climbed so high what if something goes wrong?, they have no adults to watch them that’s the biggest problem, I don’t want to regret anything if something goes wrong.

I went back and found only one boy was still up there.

“Hey, can you please come down?” I asked.

“Umm, but we have been careful.”

“I know, but your friends have climbed down anyway so would you please come down?”

Finally he said okay and climbed down successfully, “Good boi!!”

Dunno if I just prevented them to explore their world in their way (kids need to explore I know) but I chose to listen to my heart la! To be someone who is careful and take care of myself……until an officer shouted to me so loudly: “HELMET ON PLEASE!”

 

 

 

Journey To The West

Australia is super duper big lol! When I told my dad we were gonna drive from Darwin to Perth, he freaked out and asked me how far we would drive. “You better don’t know the distance, Pa.” I said. I’m glad he didn’t google it because I know how overthinking my dad is.

Because it is this far.

 

For you to compare.

 

And we are all girls and our manager+supervisor were kinda worried they even gave me tips and emphasized to stay connected because the truth is communication coverage in Australia is still lacking in many places especially when you do road trip.

Telstra is the best provider and its signal reaches many places yet no one of us use Telstra lol! But seriously tho, I would say our journey was kinda blessed but maybe having Telstra would be safer because you’ll never know what will come to you. And I’m so happy I’ve got Cia and Rusi in this journey. Cia is a very reliable person, not a typical female driver. She understands automotive and she is a very good driver. Rusi can’t drive but her ability to keep us awake was amazing lol! She had a pile of conversation topics, high level of endurance when it came to the talking and being awake, and voluntary painful strikes she gave to me whenever I felt sleepy while driving XD. Can’t forget how painful it was when she hit my hand.

Ready to know the story? Here we go.

 

Before we left Darwiin for good, we still managed to take selfie with manager+supervisor and gave them farewell gifts.

Rusi cried so much omg

We left Darwin around 11.45 and our goal that day was to get to Timber Creek before the sun sets. Cia and I have passed this route before and to be honest, the view in NT is still boring. “Flat” scenery, only bushes everywhere. Another challenge was driving the van itself; because it is slim and tall, it wasn’t stable if we drove more than 120 kmph. When I was driving, I almost sent us to death because suddenly the van lost its balance and I got panicked! I braked to slow it down but I made it worse. Then I learned whenever I lose balance, better just to lower the speed and don’t brake so suddenly. We passed Katherine and had lunch there and OMG it was so hot and humid. I wished Timber Creek wouldn’t be hot but actually it was the worst.

Image from Google.

Very hot, no wind, and to make it worse, I had problem with Cia. We couldn’t sleep in the van or we could be suffocated. At about 2 am, we went outside and slept in the kitchen area of the caravan park. There were 2 ceiling fans on and they helped so much. The most important part was Cia and I had to be fit because Day 2 would be a very loooong and tiring day. But it went better tho. No more problem between me and Cia; Rusi and Cia got “enough” sleep, and I somehow felt fit enough to be the next first driver.

 

Our goal today was to spend sunset time in Broome. Broome is famous of its long white beach and camel ride. So many good sunset pics with camels and we really hoped to see that but it was a veryyyyyy long drive we didn’t know if we could make it. I started driving early, at 4.45 am and it gave Cia enough time to recover her energy.

Rested in Kunnunura and had our breakfast here.

 

Lily Creek Lagoon.

 

Managed to take picture with Cia aftermath lol.

 

Her turn to drive.

 

From our window.

 

The weather was so nice that we stopped to take selfie with pretty clouds.

 

Told ya it was pretty.

 

Met cute wallabies :3

Eventually, we didn’t make it to Broome. We slept at Willare and it was still about 170 kms away from Broome. Good thing that no one of us was selfish enough; we took this journey easily. No sunset in Broome, no worries.

 

Changed plan, we tried to make it to Broome before sunrise so we started to drive at 4 am but dafuggg the sun rose at 5 am! xD We had fun on the road instead while waiting for Cia to poop in the bush.

When we arrived at Broome, we had another situation. We were so so so so shocked to hear recent airplane crash happened in Indonesia and it killed our friend’s parents. Lisa. I cried instantly and to be honest I lost myself to enjoy the day so we spent almost an hour at Maccas to sit quietly, surfed the internet and read articles about the crash. Rusi brought us back to the reality, the show must go on, and I’m sure Lisa didn’t want us to mourn too long either. Then we discussed about the trip and continued the day.

Hello Oaks lol.

The beach was really spectacular! White sandddd, so clean and vast, and the color was so blueeee. The wind was strong and it was really nice to do water sports here.

We continued driving to our next stop: Port Hedland. Believe me, the journey Broome from was the most boring, tiring, and annoying of all. It was hot, bright, no beautiful scenery. Only red dirt, bush, and endless straight road. I was driving and I was really sleepy actually since I swam earlier. We took a rest in Sandfire (the name of the town is as scary as the color of the dirt or sand or whatever) and the rest area got a pretty cute photogenic spots.

BM – SF, the most boring part.

We made it to Port Hedland in the evening. Port Hedland is a busy place and so many mining sites and I think I saw a factory here. It even has international airport! And its caravan park was the best because we got signals, they have free laundry+dryer, and the weather was nice.

Milo and marshmallow to warm the hearts.

 

It was Halloween day and we participated in it thus we put make up on.

Guess the themes.

We drove to a certain distance with those looks lol. Worst part, I lost to Cia and Rusi and I had to pay the fuel with that look. Just as I entered the store someone near the cashier was shocked, “Whoaa, what’s going on here?” He laughed af xD

Rusi took the pic of our spot.

 

I think I’m kinda obsessed with clouds.

 

And oh, the journey from Port Hedland to our next stop was a bit merry. Usually we drove alone for a certain (far) distance without passing a vehicle from both lanes, like, the road was super quiet. However, we met so many road trains and other vehicles here. Many mining sites spotted too along the way. Hectic.

We spent the night in Karalundi and it was very quiet and actually we were lucky the caretaker of the place was waiting for someone who booked a spot via phone. And luckily we arrived earlier than him so we could still sleep there. Someone named Kayleen accompanied us during dinner time and he was very chatty! We tried anything to try to stop him talking like giving him food, disctracting him, etc but he kept on going T^T. Cia was the only one who listened to him patiently xD.

 

 

Just in case somebody is curious about Kayleen, here’s our pic:

I wish your dreams come true, boy.

Today, surprisingly we made it to Perth xD. At first we were even not sure if we could arrive in Perth on Nov 3rd! The journey from Karalundi to Perth was the best! We passed Meekathara, Cue, Mt. Magnet, New Norcia, Wubin, Bindoon; beautiful small towns. But Lake Austin was one of the attractions we want to visit!

Nice huh

Rusi even wanted to leave Karalundi unshowered because she wanted to swim at beautiful Lake Austin. However,

This is the actual Lake Austin.

 

Somebody ain’t happy.

 

So the Lake Austin I browsed earlier wasn’t located in WA but in USA xD. Thank God Rusi took a bath in Karalundi or she would be super upset throughout the day lol!

Sad not, the scenery of those towns I mentioned was pretty.

Jacaranda tree in Mt. Magnet

 

A very quiet monastery in New Norcia.

When we got to New Norcia, it was a bit cold that we wanted to make Indomie. Indonesians will understand the relationship between indomie and cold weather :p. Cia was the first one to cook meanwhile Rusi and I wandered around and took pictures. To be honest I like New Norcia, it’s old and beautiful.

But dunno why we felt the horror in New Norcia because it’s too quiet lol!

My mind was contemplating if I would see a ghost from the window. Just like in movie.

Cia was the one who panicked the most and insisted to leave ASAP lol. Rusi even chose to eat the indomie in the moving car rather than to spend more time in New Norcia. We guys were really overreacted xD.

Anw, were so spoiled by beautiful scenery of a SUUUUUUPPPPPPPEEEEERRRRR VAAAAAAAASSSTTTTT wheat field from Wubin to Bindoon, it’s like hundreds of kilometers!

Sunset time.

So pretty :'(

We finally arrived in Perth at around 7.30 PM. Safe and sound. I came back to Mark and I know Cia and Rusi will enjoy living with Mark too.

All the things happened during the trip; so much laughters, excitement, fatigue, disagreements, so many new things to learn especially in driving, we thank God so much. Thank universe. Now that we’re in Perth, hopefully beautiful things will come to us too.

Let’s hit the road again sometime.

Sayonara

Life is indeed a never ending adventure. Cia, Rusi, and I decided to leave Darwin, to leave stability, to leave ongoing income without a clear assurance about the next job. Rusi could’ve climbed up (she was already a supervisor tho), Cia got so many hours and her work was trusted. Me? Eventho my wrist hurts and I had to have it rested, my manager helped me to keep being productive by giving me easy tasks. In my eyes, I really had the stability. BUT! Blame our ages, we’re still so young that we want to explore more. The plan of moving to Perth had emerged since a month before but we kept delaying it until it reached one point and I realized the universe was working on us! We searched for flight ticket but Cia’s instinct said better no hurry. She actually wanted us to do road trip instead of flying. Rusi suddenly watched Instastory of her friend; doing road trip by campervan for a very cheap price by relocating the van from one to another state. Somehow I also suddenly read my friend’s, Wilson Sumbayak’s Instagram post which boosted up our spirits. Minutes after that, we found a perfect ride from Darwin to Perth from www.coseats.com. We booked rightaway lol.

 

Don’t plan too much he said. Set your direction and let’s pack no matter if you’ll fail or succeed. Sometimes you just need the courage (eventho it looks reckless).

Anyway, this relocation thing really helped us to save the money! All you have to do is to visit Coseats and find your desired trip (and good deal if you’re lucky).

Darwin-Perth was only had one deal. We were lucky tho. And in case you’re asking if we really paid $1 per day, well……

 

Yes we did

 

So the deal required us to relocate the campervan in a week and you can see we had to pay $100 on the 7th day because $1/day is only for the first 6 days. Actually Apollo asked us if we wanted to return in a day earlier but we wasn’t confident we could drive 4100km that fast. Plus, we’ll be charged extra if we deliver it late so yeahhh we chose to pay $100 :'( But you can see it was actually a good deal and some deals are good enough about the fuel policy. In our case, we got $50 refund of fuel but some can give you refund muuuchhh more, e.g. $700. Y so cheap? Because we basically helped the company to deliver the vehicle to the state where it was booked. And to us, it was a nice deal because the airplane ticket could cost $350 per pax. We’d rather add up a bit more and enjoy the scenery tho.

Anyway, we only had a limited time to do preparation but thank Gooooddd we worked at hotel coz there are so many leftovers that we could take and it saved us so much money. We didn’t buy toiletries, things we use in cooking such as cooking oil, salt, pepper, and many other spices and seasonings, linens to cover our beds, any many more. Another problem arose: capacity. Cia and I only brought 1 carrier and 1 backpack each, and a guitar. But you won’t believe Rusi lol! She brought 2 luggages, 1 daypack, and 2 more tote bags of her daily essentials. Cia and I worried so much where the heck we should place her belongings xD not to mention we packed so many shopping bags about our cooking items. But yeah, we could think about it later as preparation was the thing we had to do at that time.

To be honest we didn’t have a proper time to prepare for the road trip because we still worked in the past week and hotel was still busy plus we had a farewell party on the day before we left. Our manager and supervisor came up with and idea: International Food Day. Each person should bring one of traditional food of their country. So imagine even on the last day before we went we were still busy cooking xD. I cooked Nasi Liwet, Cia cooked Bakwan Jagung, Rusi hired someone to cook Rendang Sapi as she had a very high expectation of it but apparently she was not happy with it, three of us were.

 

Just finished cooking at Rusi’s place.

 

Not the complete one.

 

We had Fijian, Thai, Indonesian, Nepalese, Papuan, and Filipino foods. So nice! Can’t believe we were so good in cooking.

 

Maigad so blurred T^T. But well, I’m gonna miss these Indo girls :*

 

Last family picture <3 Not a full squad tho ;”(

 

Can’t believe it had been 6 months for me to work there. From the state of “I want to quit!” in literally everyday to the state “I’m gonna miss this.” To my manager, Ana, you’re something! You’re tough and sometimes scary but I know your heart is so tender. You are very compassionate and thank youuuu for helping me throughout my hard times and thank you for molding me to be tougher and better. And to my supervisor, Vini, I’m gonna miss your laughter. Your smile, laughs, jokes, and foods will be remembered xD. I always adore how inspiring your life is and parts of you as a mother are things I want to have someday. Thank youuuu. Good thing of this parting is, I left together with my 2 close workmates that I didn’t feel alone lol but I’m definitely gonna miss everything about Oaks.

 

 

Bye trolley.

 

D-day has come! Cia and I went to get the campervan and woooo, we were so spoiled by it. Four people can fit in the van and it has 2 beds, kitchen, sink, microwave, fridge, good air flow, etc! Niceeeeee <3 Watch this and you’ll be amazed. Cia was the first to drive and was so challenged to drive a van lol! But the van was really nice; smooth, automatic transition and really had good power.

Time to part came for real. We cried as we knew we couldn’t spend many days of togetherness with people we love in Darwin anymore but we’re still in Australia anyway. We hope we’ll meet again someday.

Thank you Darwin. I thank you so much.