Margaret River Runs Deep

Posted: June 27, 2008    Categories: Australia

I’m sitting in a bar in Margaret River, Western Australia enjoying the only free wifi I’ve found in Australia outside of the Cairns International Terminal. That is not an exaggeration in the slightest. This is the only place in the entire country.

I’ve come to Margaret River with a single objective, which I haven’t achieved yet and I’m not going to leave here until it is done. If I have to stay a few more days, then so be it. Its a very nice town. If I have to compare it to anyplace I’ve been before, I’d have to say it is like Door County, Wisconsin. Lots of small shops, nice restaurants, and rather touristy (but not in a big way). It is the low season for tourists so finding a table or a room isn’t too hard.

The hostel I’m staying at is surprisingly full, however. It is full of 20-somethings who are here to prune in the vineyards. I’ve noticed that Australian agriculture relies somewhat heavily on the young European tourist crowd to work a lot of its field work. I saw the same thing in Mildura, where there were tons of Europeans who would do day labor in local fields picking fruit. I’m told if you work for three months, you can get an extension on your visa for an additional year.

The weather here is cool and rainy. Nonetheless, people here are still surfing. This is about as winter as it gets here. For someone who has tried to avoid winter, I’m experiencing my third one since my trip started.

My stomach ache has returned. It isn’t something with my body. It is definitely something with my digestion. It happens when I eat certain foods, but I’ve never been able to put a finger on what exactly causes it. I get a sharp pain in my abdomen, which I’m assuming is caused by a gas build up in my stomach, because I have to burp all the time when it happens. When it is really bad, the pressure can cause pains in my back. It eventually passes as the food moves out of my stomach. It isn’t in intestinal thing either, it is definitely in my stomach.

I’ve been pretty productive the last few days, taking advantage of the free wifi at this bar. I’ve processed and uploaded almost all of my photos from the Darwin-Perth drive. I’ve added about 160 photos to the Western Australia collection, including some photos of humpback whales I saw in Exmouth (or at least their back and tails). I always let my photos pile up and always have to catch up in a marathon Photoshop session.

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