Rain, trees, baby kangaroos, granola balls and why I love road trips

road tripWe went on a road trip! Woohoo! Roads trips are my next favorite thing, right after travels to far away places and right next to camping. Why do I love road trips? Well, I generally don’t like to sit idle and what else to do over a long weekend in Perth? Three days is not enough to go flying to some exotic destination, but it’s plenty of time to discover amazing places that are just a car ride away. I could even go as far as to say that road trips help better appreciate the local areas, the environment, the people, the places.

Although we booked our entire road trip quite last minute (story of my life), we were fortunate enough to find great accommodation, delicious places to eat and spectacular things to see. Checked, checked, checked! First night’s sleep was at Edge of the Forest Motel in Margaret River. The room was simple, cosy and warm. Our hosts, incredibly welcoming, waited for our arrival after check in hours. At their recommendation, our first night’s dinner consisted of a couple of gourmet pizzas from Swings with a side of salad, of course. Everything was delicious, crisp to perfection and flavorful. Zucchini, capsicum, mushrooms, olives, YUM! Happy bellies – checked!

Blue Ginger Margaret RiverBlue Ginger pantry. Margaret River. Plastic free since July 2013

Blue Ginger Margaret RiverDay 1 started with breakfast at Blue Ginger, Margaret River. I went for a quinoa porridge with banana, honey and pepitas, but that was a bit of a miss sadly as the porridge was rather bitter, but B. was pretty happy with his poached eggs.

As cliché as it may sound, I truly believe and (try to) live by the ol’ saying that life is about the journey, not the destination. Road trips are just about that! Time doesn’t matter, the destination is secondary. It’s all about being in the car, at our own pace, seeing the sights, stopping for photos anytime we want, not rushing, just enjoying the moment, enjoying each other and the randomness of everything.

Vineyard Margaret RiverRandom road. Random vineyard. Margaret River.

Photography Margaret RiverWe stopped often. We took pictures often.

Of places. Of each other.

Photography Margaret RiverYou don’t have to tell me how silly we are. We very well know.

I love road trips because on a road trip, when we stumble upon breathtaking scenery we can stop and admire it. Take photos of it. Breathe it all in. Heck, we can even camp for a picnic if we wish! All options are on the table.

Margaret RiverRandom beauty. Margaret River.

On the roadWA scenery can be pretty spectacular when given the chance. Nowhere during my travels have I seen dead trees standing tall, lifeless, in the middle of a life giving pond.

Great Forest Trees Drive, PembertonWhile cruising through the stunning tall tree forests of WA’s country landscapes, we decided to stop for a closer look and few snaps. Great Forest Trees Drive. Pemberton.

Since I first visited WA’s Southern areas, I’ve harbored a secret wish to climb the Gloucester tree. All 60 or so meters of it, I thought for sure this road trip is going to be it! The perfect occasion. Alas, there was so much rain. And while admiring the tree, its tallness, its beauty, picturing myself at the very top, like a brave conqueror, there was even more rain.

Gloucester Tree. PembertonMe and my unconquered tree.

Gloucester Tree, the largest climbing tree around, at roughly 61m. Pemberton.

On the way to the Gloucester Tree we stopped at Beedelup Falls. A 100-300 meters walk through the forest got us to a small suspended bridge overlooking a … is that a water fall? No, surely that must be just the beginning of one? Or maybe… nope, that’s really it. All of it. Though pretty, not sure how much it was worth our detour. If you plan to pay a visit, don’t build high expectations.

Walk to Beedelup FallsWalk to Beedelup Falls. Beedelup National Park. WA.

By lunchtime we were famished so decided to stop by Jarrah Jack’s brewery for lunch, refreshing cold water, a good stretch and a walk. Slightly breathtaking scenery provided us with plenty good opportunities for photography while awaiting for our food. But an empty table and $80 dollars later and we were still incredibly hungry! I could have easily finished by myself all the food that was served for two people. And I’m tiny!

Jarrah Jack's PembertonJarrah Jack’s Brewery. Pemberton.

While some choices and some stops can be better than others, they are all part of the adventure. Luckly, after lunch, we picnicked on some raw balls! Because on a road trip you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want. Well, almost whatever, almost whenever and almost wherever. But for sure you can enjoy a snack, on top of a brewery/ vineyard hill, under a solitary tree.

Granola ballsThese granola balls are perfect for a road trip! I made them before leaving and had them in a sealed container. They travel very well and are so nourishing. To make them, all you need is:

  • 1 cup of turmeric granola (or your favorite granola)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
  • 6 to 9 Medjool dates (depending on what granola you use)

Pit the dates and mix everything by hand. Then simply roll into balls and enjoy.

granola ballsAnother reason I love road trips is because we never know what we’ll see or what will happen next. Yes, we can have our map with us and follow our itinerary to the letter, but there’s always something unexpected, something surprising, something cool. Funny moments are inevitable on a road trip!

Western AustraliaEverysingletime I would stop to take pictures of cows, or sheep, or emus, or alpacas, they would all stop whatever they were doing and just stare at me. Staring right at me until I would go away. 

Venturing further into the heart of Pemberton, we decided it’s best to stop and grab a map of the area, so off to the tourist center we went. Where I had one of the best surprises of late! It was full of cute, snuggly adorable huggable baby animals! Oh my, the cuteness! Those eyes. The fluff. Best yet? Not only did I get to touch them, I actually got to hold and hug a baby kangaroo for the first time ever in my life. If you’re imagining a big ball of super cute fluff, you’re spot on. Also, incredibly huggable and playful.

Holding a baby kangarooAgain, you need not tell me how silly I am. I’m fully aware 🙂

A road trip is also our excuse to put together a playlist. And that only happens every …oh, I don’t know…10 years or so? But when it does happen it is oh so good.

Ford Territory What I loved about our wheels on this road trip were: the comfort and the command center. In translation, the ‘accessories’. Luxurious spacious cabin, super comfy leather seats (fit for kings!) and all the music we could ask for. And satellite navigation that safely guided us everywhere throughout our trip. Liz is a wiz. She connected to our iPhone, iPod and Samsung, she took our calls, she played our music, all with ease and grace and with the help of an 8 inch touchscreen. The car was a discovery road trip in itself.

Ford Territory TitaniumOur wheels on this road trip. Liz. A fiery red Ford Territory Titanium, kindly loaned to us by Ford Australia. Together we ventured into the ‘Wild South’, through enchanted forests with tall magical trees, down curvy roads and sloapy unsealed paths.

My absolute favorite reason of all for lovin’ a road trip is that I’m trapped in the car with my husband for hours and hours. And I love it! We get to clear our cluttered minds, shake off the daily burdens and work matters and make room for new memories. Road trips are an opportunity for bonding and closeness. So hard these days to spend quality time with the people we love, uninterrupted by all sorts of important matters that demand our immediate attention. No better opportunity to be ourselves, to be in the present, remembering the past, sharing old stories and creating new ones.

Kordabup sunsetSunset at the end of day 1. View from our room in Kordabup.

More stories and pictures to follow in Road Trip part 2. The sequel.

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