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Published: November 20th 2009
Day 206 - Kalbarri Our birthday shout out this morning is in two bites!
Firstly to Aunty Barb in Tewkesbury, Happy Birthday my lovely, we hope you have a beautiful day and enjoy the Tarran Gray concert at the club.
Secondly to Oz (Brown), are all your birthday presents associated with the new drag car? You lucky lady you!! Hope you have a lovely day Oz!
The time has come for us to have the car serviced again. We’ve completed 28 073 kms on our journey so far and we try to service the car every 10’000 kms or so figuring if we look after ‘it’, ‘it’ will look after us!
We get ourselves geared up for a day without the car, in reality it will probably only be a couple of hours but packing a lunch will enable us to be out and about should we desire and should the weather hold. Unfortunately this morning the colour of the sky is not postcard material and nor are the threatening rain clouds.
Glen at Kalbarri Auto Centre greets us in reception when we drop the car in at 8am, his expectation is to be finished in a
couple of hours which is pretty much as we thought. We’ve got a bit of a problem with the socket that the trailers electrics plug into, it’s got a screw loose and we can’t seem to tighten it back up so we ask Glen if he can sort it out for us. Fingers crossed he can.
The auto centre is on the light industrial area at the back of the town so we grab our bikes and set off back towards the ocean for the best catch of the day, the Pelican feeding.
It’s all organised by volunteers but we assume it’s entirely up to the Pelicans as to whether or not the stars of the show actually make an appearance. We’re nice and early, in fact we’re the first humans to arrive, so we sit and look out over the ocean to the darkening clouds in the distance - it seem the promise of unsettled weather is being kept!
The expectant crowd gathers and with 5 minutes to spare the representative for the Pelicans lands on the beach. I’m laughing my head off how this bird immediately turns to look at the audience and then, at
a slow regal pace, starts the walk up from the beach to the arena. He actually arrives before the volunteer feeder does but Flur is only seconds behind him and the ‘show’ begins on time. All the other pelicans must have been busy this morning, or perhaps they were getting revenge for the non appearance of a volunteer on Monday morning when nobody came to feed them!
If you’ve never fed a pelican before, like I hadn’t, then it’s a short lived experience. They’re fast, they’re eagle eyed, they know what they want and it’s the fish in your hand! If they don’t get it first time then the seagulls will so they are also quite precise when they strike! With their long necks and contortionist bills they have the ability to secure most of the fish but sometimes the odd seagull just gets in the way and ends up nearly chomped although it wouldn’t actually eat a seagull!
All round the Pelican feeding is good value with just a gold coin donation and a lot of fun to watch, the kids especially love it. There are lots of opportunities to get close up to these birds though
so if you don’t fancy the organised feeding then just wander down to the banks of the Murchison River, there are always plenty around.
With the weather just about clinging on to the blue sky we grabbed the bikes and headed for the coastal cycle path hoping to make it out to Red Bluff. It’s only an 8km cycle and it’s a great pathway to keep us safe from other traffic. Almost the minute we get to Red Bluff the heavens open, typical! We don’t get soaked or anything but it was enough to spur us back into town, what wimps we are but the 16km ride will have done us good and also meant that we’ve worked up a sweat for a Muffin! I can hear the cry from Mrs Coulsell now “On a Wednesday?”! There was an early days Tradeteam WMS team tradition which saw us ‘muff’ on a Friday much to the delight of Brucie (Steve Lee) who used to get it stuck in his beard and all sorts! Ahhh, those were the days!
Instead here we are in Rosie’s café with a coffee, a milkshake and two white chocolate muffins which have raspberry and
syrup in the middle, sitting looking out to the Indian Ocean in what is now bright sunshine. Life is tough!
We had a phone call from the Elliotts during the bike ride to say that they were on their way from Monkey Mia but they had a few things to do in Denham and then they’d be on their way to Kalbarri. We suspect that we won’t see them til Thursday but time will tell!! There’s just alot they haven’t done yet in Shark Bay and they’d be silly to miss things by rushing.
Glen from the auto place has phoned, PIE is all ready for us now so we cycle back there to pay the extremely reasonable bill where we see he’s not even charged us for fixing the electrics socket. Cheers Glen, thanks very much and we’ll be sure to pass your card on to Mum and Dad when they’re passing through!
Quick as a flash the weather is in disarray again, the downpours are short but quite heavy. We seek solace in the only 2nd hand shop in town to see if we can flush out some bargains. When asked if we’re looking for
something in particular I respond with a guitar or capo for a guitar - the owner laughs and says that she can usually deliver on the third item if she hasn’t got the first two! Looking around these sorts of shops is generally good fun anyway and we don’t leave empty handed this time! Books for the Elliotts and Reeves kids were found, we spotted a Zac Power book for Lach and then a Practical Jokers handbook which we just had to get for Kenny, an Enid Blyton book for Beth, one that would tax Zoe’s brain and junior scrabble for Zali! Result! Darryl even managed to find a fishing rod reel for $5 so that I can join in the fish catching extravaganza!
The caravan looked the best spot for lunch, we toyed with the idea of driving out along the coast but the view would have been a rain strewn windscreen which isn’t always the best!
Our time was well spent though as we did manage to ‘fix’ one of our little cameras which malfunctioned in Coral Bay and hasn’t worked since. Darryl had tested the batteries in the local camera shop in town but it disproved his theory because both of them show as fully charged which points to the actual camera being the problem. He sits for a while fiddling with the one where the lens is jammed open and won’t shut, eventually after no success he looks at me then drops (throws) the camera on the floor of the caravan saying “Yep, that’s sh***ed”! The camera hits the floor, the lens closes shut and we both look at each other in stunned surprise then burst out laughing! Alrighty then, a bit of tough love does sometimes do the trick! We will still have to get a new one in Perth but at least we’ve got a 2nd camera again and Darryl can start taking his excellent photographs.
There was nothing else to do but try our hand again at fishing, this time with me armed with a rod! Firstly we needed bait so we wandered down to the shop nearest to the campsite and bought ourselves some squid and a few more smaller hooks. With the water still a bit choppy I didn’t fancy my chances standing on the floating pontoon, that was a sure way for me to end up in the drink so instead we stood on the rocks along the bank. After a couple of unsuccessful casts and basically wrapping myself around the head with the line several times I decided to let Darryl lead the way and I watched from the sidelines! People always come to ask if you’ve caught anything (but if we had we wouldn’t have been able to keep them without having taken a bucket!) and we chat to an English couple who made the move to Perth a couple of years ago. It got cold, we got cold so packed up our things and started back to the caravan park and then who should we spot eating fish and chips on the park bench but Dot & Beth who we met at Whalebone. Great to see these lovely ladies again and good to hear their journey is continuing to be such ace fun.
At some point in the afternoon we got a call from Bel (of the Elliotts) to tell us that they were still at Shell Beach near Denham and that they’d stop over tonight at the free spot next to Murchison River. Bless them, we won our bet! Hopefully we’ll see them tomorrow as there are no distractions between there and here!
And so to bed, the campsite has been pretty quiet during the evenings save for the laughter from the group of lads camped down the front. Every now and then a siren goes off and they start boxing, it’s very funny!
And so to bed, a bit more reading but sleep comes quickly.
Dar and Sar
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