Albany was once one of the commercial hot spots of Australia, as whaling was the most important industry back in the 19th century. It is the largest hub on the South Coast of Western Australia, a real city filled with cafes, and shopping malls, and industrial zones and suburbs. It is nestled in the most stunning nature surroundings. We arrived, checked into a cabin right at Middleton Beach, and the biggest thunder and lightning storm I have ever heard bolted right over us. This was followed by steady rain blowing in from the East, grey skies and cold air, basically for our whole time there. Finally, after almost a year of waiting, our rain jackets get their momemts of fame. Early the next day, it’s breakfast time.
I did not get permission to publish a close up, but I think I got Gesine’s message across: I’d rather be surfing…
I then rig up our 10 m kite and walk 20 meters across the sand dune for a lonely kite session in growing surf and 20 knots of wind. It was the first day I felt what it is like to go really really fast on a kiteboard, riding back to shore down the face of big rolling swells. Pure adrenaline and Flowmotion.
Fortunately, Albany has a few things to do on rainy days. First we are off to the Whale World Museum, which is housed in the large whaling station that shut down in 1982, as the last one in Australia, back then hunting and kliing thousands of sperm whales. Fortunately, stocks have since made a big recovery with an estimated half a million sperm whales now traveling through the world’s oceans. The museum is quite cool, shows the curelty of whale hunting, but also the town’s rhythm based on this trade, and information and movies about the state of whales today (whales are very coool and should be repsected and protected!).
Right next to the museum is a small park with some friendly Aussie animals:
We also introduced our kids to the zen art of ten pin bowling (inspired by the joy Rinpoche got from it in the novel “Breakfast with Buddha”):
For Sienna the “ball carussell” was equally exciting as playing. She also loved the “funny shoes” , which matched with her combination of all her favourite fashion items…
With this special technique she was crashing down up to 8 pins at a time…
We admired the works of the local art competition, which featured paintings, photographs and sculptures from over 200 artists; it was of surprisingly high quality and inspiring. Even more surprising was the “special effect”, when suddenly a lightning outside set us into dark.
Albany is surrounded by stunning cliffs and beaches, truly spectacular and unique. Here is a small sample:
Categories: Australia Westcoast