November 1, 2010

Western Australia Roadtrip: Part 5

Read the previous posts here : The Roadtrip , Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 
Albany - Esperance

The next day, we bid goodbye to Barbara, heavy-heartedly. Although at her age, she could be our mother, we really had fun together. Age ain't nothing but a number yeah? 51 years of age and she could still go backpacking around the world. That's really inspiring! Plus, she looked so young! If that's because of her carefree traveling days, I'd do just that. *imagines self in 20 years time*

Our first stop in Albany was the Albany Wind Farm, which is located only 12km from the city centre. It can be very windy here in the south coast, so it makes sense to have a wind farm.

Apart from doing its part to help the environment, the farm has also become a popular tourist attraction. Standing high on the coast, they definitely make a fascinating landmark from afar, inviting us to take a drive there for a closer look.

The farm is run by a government owned corporation. Luckily they don't charge any entrance fees to visit this place. Yeay!

The farm consists of 12 giant wind turbines, each at a height of 100 metres from the base to the tip of the blades. It produces about 75% of Albany's electricity which is impressive, considering there are only 12 of them.

Getting closer to the wind turbines, you’ll feel dwarfed by their massive size. And you’ll find the swooshing sound of the turning blades quite surreal.

South West of the Wind Farm is the Torndirrup National Park, where the massive power of the Southern Ocean has created the spectacular rock formations of The Gap and Natural Bridge.

So here is the Gap. There is a narrow gap between the cliff-faces on each side where the waves come in. It was quite a spectacular sight to see the power of the water in the waves.

It was a normal day, but still... the waves crashed the cliff like the storm's gonna come anytime soon. Imagine the condition during the real storm. O_o

Right next to the Gap is the Natural Bridge. This is really quite a big natural rock bridge, and again has waves passing under it.

I read later that when the Bridge eventually collapses, it will form another wave trap like the Gap.

On a calm day you would be able to climb down under the bridge, but it would be a rather dangerous thing to do, as it apparently could fall down any day. The naughty (or should I say stupid) me actually walked on the bridge, because I thought the weather was good, so everything's gonna be okay. But when I think and look again at the picture, it gives me goosebumps because in reality, accidents can occur without warning. *sweats*

beautiful deep blue ocean

the amazing coastline of Torndirrup National Park

Albany is also home of the Dog Rock. It is a huge rock that is supposed to look like a dog's head.

Can you see it? A lot of people actually argued about this rock, because they didn't see any resemblance of it.

Yes? No? Of course it is not a Shih Tzu's head that's why you couldn't see it.

After lunch, we started the journey to Esperance. It was a longgg 480km drive. The reason why many travellers didn't include Esperance in their roadtrip. Most of them will only cover until Albany before heading back to Perth using the Albany Highway.

We entered the Australian Golden Outback, so the drive was pretty boring. The road was long and there's nothing much we could see along that South Coast Highway. One town to another are roughly every 100 km. We stopped at every town to fill up the gas tank and bought snacks to kill the boredom.

Only after we reached Ravensthorpe, the route seemed a bit interesting. There were a lot of farms, cows and sheep to look at. haha...

We arrived in Esperance about 6pm, after almost 5 hours on the road. Phewww!!!! Gotta have some rest.

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