To Goomalling by Bus

Thursday, 16-10-2014. Day 57.

Going Up the Country

Here's how great the Murray Hotel is. When they learned we'd be leaving before breakfast would be served, they delivered us breakfast to the room the night before. So while we didn't get enjoy watching the mechanical beauty of the pancake making machine, we did get a good breakfast before we left.


Our taxi was waiting for us right on time, so we loaded up and headed out to the bus station in East Perth, where we caught our Transwa road coach (that's a bus) to the small Australian town of Goomalling (pronounced ga-MELL-ing), the third stop along that particular route.

Two-and-a-half hours later, we arrived at the station in Goomalling.  How did we know it was the station? There was a sign.


The countryside of Western Australia is flat, dry, hot, and full of flies. As soon as we stepped off the bus, we were assaulted by marauding waves of buzzing insects. These things are relentless. They get in your ears, eyes, nose, hair, and even your mouth. It's especially irritating when they get between your sunglasses and your face and can't get out; they ping off your glasses and bounce off your eyelids, eyelashes, and eyeballs. We'd spend the entire next week waving our hands in front of our faces to keep the flies at bay (with only marginal success).

You can't see the flies. But they're there. They're always there.

You can't see the flies. But they're there. They're always there.

Our host was waiting for us at the station, and we quickly loaded our luggage into his car and sped off down a very straight, very flat road to his 1800-acre wheat and sheep farm, a short drive down the road.

We got settled into a small room off the side of the house. We were pretty cramped in there, what with our luggage and all, but after two weeks in a camper van in New Zealand, our idea of personal space had been somewhat altered. So we made do with what we had.

Just to catch you up here, this was our first day (of seven) that we'd be WWOOFing it in Western Australia. WWOOFF stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms or Willing Workers on Organic Farms (one of them double-initialisms). In short, you work on a farm in exchange for a place to sleep and three squares.

So that's what we did, and after a bit of lunch, we got right to it. While Samantha jumped in with the dishes, I helped pull up a series of unused stakes (tractor power!) from the farm's small fruit orchard. Then I took three of the longer ones and pounded them into the ground, adding a wire screen to make a trellis for planting beans. Job number one: complete.

Notable Statistics

  • Taxis hired: 1
  • Hours on a bus: 2.5
  • Number of times we mispronounced Goomalling: 5
  • Flies attracted: countless
  • Canned Heat references in this post: 1


To Goomalling by Bus
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