Recently I went to Margaret River, one of the most touristy places in Western Australia. Due to the area’s popularity there has been a lot of disruption to the ecosystem. My job was to help the Curtin Volunteers with their sand dune restoration project. We all looked like giant peacocks as we passed brush down our human chain. We also planted a lot to help keep the sand intact and discourage tourists from making their own paths and further destroying the beach.

Our free time was completely filled with a tour of a few of the 90 wineries. A visit to the chocolate factory was a treat, but if you go there don’t expect Willy Wonka- you’ll get to watch one lady in chef’s hat and coat make bon bons behind a glass, and a handful of samples of the freshly made chocolate. Caving was my favorite part of the journey. With a bit of pleading and pitifulness we convinced a park ranger to let us tour the Giant’s cave one of the largest (1,886 ft. long) and deepest (282 ft.) caves in the area. Most of the cave has railing and ladders, but due to the need for funding a good part of it you spend rock climbing, which is dang scary in the dark. However, the ranger assured us that the most dangerous part of the journey was crossing the street to return to our vehicle.

The downside of the trip would be the pub. I’m just a little too Amish for bars. I don’t like loud noises or smoke. I fell asleep, which cued very buff drunk Australian man to ask me to dance. Not having finished my nap my brain did not have the energy to decline. I wouldn’t call the events that happened dancing though… I was in the air more than a figure skater… but much less graceful… think of a cave people swing dancing. After the song ended and my head stopped spinning I retreated to the corner. This did not work out however- de-wallflowered myself and every man in the place wanted to dance with me. Ladies take note — men prefer funny aerodynamic women to pretty ones.

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