A Lot of driving, and a bit of sunshine

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July 2nd 2016
Published: July 2nd 2016
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Sunset at Geraldton Sunset at Geraldton Sunset at Geraldton

A little fire on the waves
Geraldton gave us a good chance to do some washing and general tidying up. Sadly we were not allowed to clean the van or the car and Geoff had to spend $12 at a car wash to bring the car back to an almost presentable state. The break here was also important as this was a place that we could cast our vote in the upcoming (at that point in time) election. We were not sure where we would be on election day and, at the very least, being interstate it was wise to vote when and where we could. We found the Electoral Office in Geraldton, albeit via the back door, a fact that was of great concern to Margaret, but with a lot of encouragement from Geoff, she did concede that we were in the right place eventually as we negotiated the back corridors and climbed a set of stairs. Having done or part for truth, freedom and the Australian way of life we departed so Margaret could indulge in some retail therapy. Anywhere, anytime, it will always win. Having achieved all that we wanted to do, including getting the car serviced, it was time to hit the road
Wagoo ChaletsWagoo ChaletsWagoo Chalets

Out the back door - it was a station stay after all.
again. We dared to think that the sunny conditions we were experiencing were here to stay.

Bearing in mind that out ultimate destination is near Exmouth, and we still had three weeks to get there, we were looking for stops/stays that would burn up a few days or more. The Camps Australia Wide book offered a place called Wagoo Chalets (and camping), just south of Kalbarri, as a likely opportunity. Once upon a time I am sure that this place delivered on the promise in its title, but now it is another story. It would appear that the clientele that gives the place a reason for being are dedicated beach/rock fisher-people and as long as there is a roof over their heads they are not too fussed that the buildings were built in an era when fibro (asbestos)-cement was king. We chose an unpowered site (because we are quite self sufficient - if there is reasonable sunshine) although we did have to go without reticulated water . The site was level, although it was on the side of a hill – the ‘chalets’ were at the top of the hill. Beach access by 4wd was available, but it meant
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Indian Ocean vs West Australian coastline
letting the tyres down and Geoff questioned the real need to take the car onto the beach anyway. He opted to walk down and soon found out why the tyres would need to be nearly flat to get to the beach. The sand was very soft and even walking along the track was not easy. He got to the beach and found that the sand stopped about 50 – 70 mts from the water and massive sheets of flat rock stretched to the water’s edge. The rock had an equally flat vertical face to the sea and the waves that started somewhere in the Indian Ocean made impressive plumes as they crashed into the edge of the country. Now the walk back to the camp was something else again. If it was hard going with gravity, heading back up the soft sand track was certainly a great cardio vascular work-out; one Geoff is putting in the bank! Did he want to do it the next day... I don’t think so. He had tried to persuade Marg to go on the walk and when he returned said that it was a good thing that she hadn’t as she would be dead
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You cannot believe how cold it was getting this shot.
by now! He whinged for the next few days about his sore calves and feet. However we did manage to clean the caravan whilst there and get half an inch of mud off the legs and wheels. We are now a nearly normal white van again.

Geoff had a fancy for more station/farm stays and we had been told of a good location at the south end of the Shark Bay area. On closer investigation, we decided that the 40 kms of dirt road might not be to our liking and another opportunity was available in the area. Marg did not like this option. Despite it being presented in a very orderly manner with rock defined white shell sites, there was only scrub surrounding the camp area ; (mostly dead scrub) as far as the eye could see, but she was looking for a location with a view. We settled on a council site by the beach at a place called Whalebone Bay (why is anybody’s guess) It was something like 120 kms from the main North Coast Highway, which helps to explain why only one other caravan spent the night there. But the sun was still shining and it was a lovely peaceful campground.

On an earlier trip we had stayed at a place called Gladstone Beach and thoroughly enjoyed it. If memory does not fail me, we where one of about 3 or 4 campers at the time at this lovely spot. My how things change. This time there was a Camp Host, who turned out to be from the station on the other side of the highway, and he/they had taken control of the site from the local council. Camp anywhere north to the neighbour’s fence – 6 or 700 mts away, or south as far as you wanted to go. We looked around both north and south and found a nice spot behind the dunes, and booked in for 3 nights. There is a jetty of sorts, which has a very prominent sign on it indicating it is unsafe to use. The main reason for that being that its deck has been reduced to a single plank 25 cm wide between each set of pylons, with no hand rails and as a consequence, Geoff was unable to bring himself to make the journey to the end of the jetty. (Rather like the beam work
Whalebone Bay Whalebone Bay Whalebone Bay

Western Australian sunsets are just magic
you used to do at gym, Niki.) It was not a big deal as he would have had to fight 300 cormorants for the use of the end area, and the water appeared to be deep enough to catch fish without getting on the jetty. Geoff was extremely successful getting a magnificent tangle (very rare species, but legal length) and a couple of really good snags (also legal size). How good was that! We had sunshine, until the second day when there appeared to be a grey haze out to sea. It got closer and closer and the wind got faster and faster until we were convinced that the awning had to go in if we were to stay earthbound. The rain wasn’t too heavy, but it was horizontal. It did stop by the next morning, but the wind did not. Still we managed to cook lamb shanks in our camp oven in a fire that Geoff had dug into the sand. It was delicious.

We have moved on to Carnarvon and taken a ‘stay 4 nights and pay for 3’ at a caravan park. The decision to stay 4 nights might well come back to bite us as
Gladstone Beach Gladstone Beach Gladstone Beach

Tide was in...
it is the commencement of the school holidays here and it would seen that everyone is heading north with their little tribes. We had a young couple pull in next to us at 4.00 pm yesterday. They had left Perth at 6.00 am and driven the 895kms straight through... took them about ten hours. Yesterday it was 28 degrees here and about 27 in the caravan. Unfortunately it started to rain at night and is still cloudy and drizzly, although still 25 degrees in the van.

As I mentioned above, the federal election is being held as I write. Here is a little bit of trivia that we though you should know. We are now in the seat of Durack, but we have been in this electoral seat for a while; it covers 1/3 of W.A with an area of 1,629,858 km2, and has 97,347 electors. The U.K would fit into 15%!o(MISSING)f its space.

More next time.

Additional photos below
Photos: 9, Displayed: 9


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Wagoo Chalets

Candid photo of Geoff
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Whalebone Bay

Does it get any better than this?

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