Back to Perth, back in the van, back on the beans tooting our way through the Southern Karri Forests of WA. Coming to the last few months of our trip and it seems like we’re in fast-forward. Flying through the Margaret River, the blurred coloured cellar doors and lakeside vineyards. Flying through the coastal towns watching pro surfers emerge from 6ft waves with broken boards and camera crews. We’re in warp speed charging through timber towns with giant Jarrah trees that shade the dirt roads in zebra print. Houses so quaint I could eat them with jam and cream.
The Gloucester Tree got the better of me. I got half way up and felt sick when I looked down. So I stayed on the ground swatting march flies and waited for Jacob to scale the 53m, lookout tree. It had metal spikes prodded into the trunk like a giant pomander ladder spiraling around the body of the tree. Noone was on lookout, at the bottom as belay, no ropes, no harness, just nervous hands and feet sweating their way to the top. Jake said he could see the ocean from the top but not the forest floor through the trees.
At the Valley of the Giants, families posed in photos from the sixties in combie vans from inside the Tingle trees. Their trunks wide enough to fit an EH Holden and six kids. Grandma Tingle, 400 years old, furrowed and burled overlooked the valley of the giant ents. She watched over in burnt and hollowed silence as the treetops swayed. Red-winged Fairy Wren forage in the undergrowth and the funghi bloom in the rot of the diseased and the deceased. Towering life overshadows my own. Blanketed white noise. The forest for the trees.