Serpentine Dam, Western Australia.
The first time I set my foot there was in January 1982, my fourth year in Perth, on my Yamaha RD250 bike. I was returning to Perth via an inland road, after several unforgettable days of summer holidays lazing around, camping, fishing
and crabbing in Mandurah, a Western Australian coastal town. The signboard on the main road looked interesting, so I rode my bike up to the dam. The place was nice, very good location for picnics and barbecues, but deserted. Maybe because it was mid-week. After taking several pictures, one of them shown here, I left the place and continued my way back to the city. The place faded into memory.
Nearly 28 years later in October 2009, while on a 4 days 3 nights‘ across
Australia journey on the Indian Pacific train from Sydney to Perth, I remembered about Serpentine Dam. On the third day after arriving in Perth, I retraced history driving my rented car to Mandurah on the coastal road and then taking the inland road to Serpentine Dam. In 1982 I was alone, riding my bike through the wooded road up to the dam. In 2009, I was similarly alone, driving a Bayswater Hire Cars Toyota Corolla Seca Ascent through the same road.
I arrived there late afternoon on a Thursday. It was eerily quiet. No other people were around. I was alone there just like I was 28 years before. After nearly one hour taking hundreds of photos around the area, and not finding the exact place where I had parked my bike and took the photo in 1982, I was ready to return to Perth.
But something caught my attention – a white barrier across a dirt path. I walked up to it, and beyond it I could see the unmistakeable spot of 28 years ago! The round-log fence, the blue lake waters, the island across the water.
I had traveled 11,000 km – 6,600 km by air from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, and a further 4.400 km on the Indian Pacific from Sydney to Adelaide to Perth, to retrace a personal history. And I had made it.
It was a very emotional moment. My eyes welled. Crystals of tears formed and dropped to the red ground. It had been a long journey across space and time. Don’t know when would I pass this way again. Hopefully I would, and hopefully I would not be alone then, but with my loved ones sharing the quiet splendor of Serpentine Dam.