Day 426 | Albany backpackers and that long awaited bed: 23 days later

20 km | Heading west total: 15,259 km

First bed since the comforts of Jan’s paradise 5 months ago in Broome.

I’ll have to have a couple of nights here. There’s washing to do, money to be spent.

Albany is the largest town on my route since Darwin: there’s all of 33k inhabitants in this historic port, first settled in 1826, (a few years before Perth.) OK, so it only just pips Kalgoorlie. It’s got a busy enough main street but the topography precludes a grid settlement, instead there’s a cluster of little villages.

It’s a bit like Auckland with those mounds around, but of course only 3% of the population.

Still, I like it.

The outlook is a series of peninsulas and hills around a harbour giving it a Tasmanian feel, or NZ even. It’s plenty green.

There’s a shower as I stroll the streets and one of the benefits of civilisation is I can escape into a bookshop.

I finally spot Don Walker’s Shots on the shelves, (I’ve been enjoying listening to his laconic reading of a few colourful excerpts on my own travels), and get halfway through the pages before I notice I’m still the only customer in the shop and the two assistants are staring at me.

The rain was just a brief shower that has long passed.