The Return to Serpentine

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

January 1982 - Yamaha RD250 at Serpentine Dam, Western Australia

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

October 2009 - on the way to Serpentine Dam in a Baywater Hire Cars car

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.

The barrier

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.

October 2009. Same place, 28 years later.

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.

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7 Comments »

 
  • Ahsuez says:

    Oh my God. They are serious in preserving the nature (in agreement).

  • nordin says:

    Yep. That is one of the good things that WE could learn from them.

  • Yang Arif says:

    Looks like the trees are all grown up behind the log-fence. I wish I had the opportunity to ‘balik kampung’ to USA someday.

  • nordin says:

    True. We all wish that. Hope your wish would come true someday. When I was small and the christmas trees were tall, ….. now we are tall and christmas trees are small (Bee Gees, First of May).

  • kamarul says:

    Wow….En. Nordin….your story made my eyes welled with tears as well. I was in Australia for my Uni days, too.

    Hopefully, someday I’d retrace my journeys Down-Under like you did, too. With my wife next to me. 🙂

    P/S: Heyy….maybe it’s time you upgrade to Virago 750? hehe

  • kamarul says:

    Crikey! I missed out on your posting about upgrading to a ‘Camel’…..ha ha

  • nordin says:

    En Kamarul, thanks for stopping by here. And for reading about the “camel” bike 🙂 We have one more thing in common then, Australia 🙂 I highly recommend a revisit, or better still, several revisits. And it would be much better with our other half by our side on the trip. Where did you attend uni, and what year. Nordin – facebook.com/ibnordin

 

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