In the morning, when I crawl out of the tent, all tired and grumpy after a lousy night's sleep, I find out that the garbage bag that we forgot to lock inside the car was discovered by ants, and they ate a huge hole in its bottom. No other option but to put the damaged bag into another bag and throw it in the car as is, with the remaining ants. Soon the ants escape the bag and scout the Tucson's interior, and during the day we will entertain ourselves by spotting and killing them one by one.
The night in the presence of cargo ships and busy waterfront brings no relief whatsoever. Too humid and too sweaty, and the street light two metres away doesn't help either. Is every night in these high latitudes going to be like this? Hopefully not.
If down south, in Walpole, I could see my breath in the morning, and if in Geraldton it was around 18° at this time of day, then here it's already 27°. We move closer and closer to the northern heat with every kilometre. As the dawn breaks, the sandflies awaken too and begin to buzz annoyingly next to our faces. Are they really trying to bite us, or they just do it for fun? Avoiding them as much as we can, we have a quick breakfast, jump into the car and drive away.
The night is warm and quiet, and the sleep is great; when we wake up, we are greeted by numerous birds in the aviary nearby: just a patch of grass surrounded by a mesh fence with perches and troughs, a perfect place for dozens of parrots, canaries and other colourful creatures. After having our breakfast and packing up our camp (feels a bit odd when two people now do it instead of just one), we take off.
In the morning Alen feels much better and says that he's ready to go. During a brief visit to the dentist we find out that nothing serious has happened with his tooth, and that it will get well on its own. Nothing to stop us anymore, then.
From Walpole, I finally begin my way up north. The morning highway leads me through the dense gum forest, where I overtake the lumber trucks every now and again. The road dips, rises and turns left and right constantly. The thick forest is full of pockets of warm and cool air; the windshield gets misty all the time, and you can never tell whether it's from the outside or the inside. Never saw that before. Go and try to see something on the road while you're negotiating a sharp bend and the morning sun hits your eyes, and the next second the windshield is so misty that you can't see a thing, and you don't even know what to turn on to clean it: the wipers, or the air con! Very unnerving. But the road is very beautiful nonetheless.
An unpleasant surprise in the morning: drizzling rain, which appears to have started during the night. Things left outside are completely wet, of course, but I'm only worried about the cooker. Just in case I evacuate it inside the tent and dry it carefully with a towel. Due to bad weather, I decide to skip the hot breakfast, and after a few snacks I start to pack up under the drizzle. Not a very exciting procedure, but what can you do.
I slept wonderfully. However, the warm and windless night resulted in thick dew all over the tent. I have to wrap it wet, and after that my hands are all covered in red sand. Still, I'm quite happy and excited. Even despite these little shortcomings and occasional panic attacks, it's still very beautiful around, and my journey is going exactly as planned.
Sleeping amongst the dunes turned out to be a lousy idea. It's quite chilly, and the moisture gets condensed on the inner walls of the tent; with each gust of the cold wind the tent shakes, and the water drips on my face. Once again I wake up before dawn and spend the rest of the night sitting in the car and shaking in cold. No more camping next to the sea!