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Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Kalbarri
November 19th 2009
Published: November 22nd 2009
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Day 207 - Kalbarri

Shivers, the weather is still a bit on the bleak side! Well we didn’t save all that money to come over here and sit in the caravan because it’s a bit windy and wet, we could have done that staying in England for half the price!

We had a good catch up on our friends Kangaroojack’s blog and are a bit wow’d with what they are seeing and experiencing at the farm in Woodstock. It’s all amazing and a sensational experience. The photographs are beautiful of the harvest but what with fires, tractors and things that don’t quite go to plan, they’re having a heck of a time!

On a much lower key we decide to whiz out to the national park here in Kalbarri and check out the lookouts which we missed along the route coming in. Dar is keen to see if we can get down one of the lesser used tracks leading to ‘the rapids’ along the Murchison River although neither of us expect to see the water moving very rapidly at this time of year!

It took us a while to decipher which track to take off the main road as it’s not one which is signposted. We didn’t want to take a wrong turn so just to be doubly sure we went out further to a track that was signposted just to get our bearings. From that we could work out exactly where we needed to turn off and we found ourselves somewhat surprised at the narrowness of the scrub lined track we are presented with. We decide to go for it and then laughed when the track shrank by about a foot either side just a short way along, whether you would ever get a Landcruiser or anything bigger than our PIE through there and still have paint on the vehicle at the other end is questionable!

Even though the wild flowers are technically over for the season we are pleased to see our route lined with a good few and it certainly brightens things up. The track is sandy most of the way along but easily negotiable without having to drop our tyre pressures but then it starts to rain. That’s not good! We come to the point in the track where you can either head towards The Rapids or to Hardabut so we tentatively carry on towards The Rapids but the track ahead of us is rough and the rain is getting harder. There are a lot of ruts and large holes in the track now so we stop to consider our options. It probably isn’t much further although the sandy track outstretched before us sort of suggests otherwise, the rain might stop in a minute but there again it might not and finally, and this is pretty much what stops us every time we find ourselves in a similar scenario, we don’t want to damage the car by getting stuck. If it hadn’t been for the pesky rain then we would have carried on without a second thought but water does funny things to these sorts of tracks and it’s that sort of fun which we can do without!

We find the smallest of small areas to turn the car around and head back to the main road stopping along the way to take photos of some of the wild flowers. All the ones on Darryl’s side had to be photographed by Darryl because there was no way I could open the car door to get out and walk around, the track was that narrow!

Every chance we got we gave a shout out to the Reeves family over the UHF as we didn’t want to miss them coming into Kalbarri. We’d text both families this morning to let them know we were going out to the lookouts but suspect they wouldn’t have got the messages until reaching town because of the signal strength, plus ours will be behind a huge pile, these families are exceptionally popular and they always have a stream of messages waiting for them when they get back in range.

Back on the bitumen the rain is still coming down hard but we venture out to the Ross Graham and Hawks Head lookouts via the beautifully sealed road! Hawks Head is a magnificent view but the Ross Graham area allows you to actually get down to the river level. It’s a beautiful vista, very tranquil with lots of wildlife around the place. Plenty of rabbits bouncing through the undergrowth and a good rock clambering expedition was undertaken to get a closer look at a potential rock slide. The gorge wall is somehow retaining a large slab of rock but it looks as if it’s suspended with nothing underneath and with its massive angle how it can possible still be up there we can’t quite work out!

The walk was great and we really enjoyed ourselves down there but we felt we should get back to town in case the others had already arrived. Bel had already mentioned that they may not stop overnight in Kalbarri as Simone had her heart set on staying out at Wagoe which is 20kms the other side. We thought that after our final night here we could spend a night up there with them so still hoped everything would work out one way or another.

Back at the campsite we drive in through the top entrance via the main road, guess who was driving out the bottom entrance when we did that! The Reeves and the Elliotts had gotten here about 20 minutes earlier and were now heading off to Wagoe for a look. Rani (the lady who cut Darryl’s hair at Mesa on Cape Range) came running over to tell us that we’d just missed them but that they’d all said they might be back once they’d set up at Wagoe. Frankly we were gutted.

For an instant we sat stunned like two lost children, it was quite bizarre. We got on the UHF figuring that Mark & Simone would have theirs on and we did manage to speak to them. They were on their way to Wagoe but said they would return to spend the day with us which was a beautiful thing for them to suggest but as we’ve heard Wagoe is really nice so we urged them to enjoy it and instead said we would come out there tomorrow. Part way through the conversation they went out of range so we weren’t sure whether they would come back or not but assumed we would leave here tomorrow and head straight to Wagoe.

The washing was dry on the line, I’d put it out before we left this morning so despite the downpour the wind had still managed to dry it all! I got that in and Darryl pottered about for a bit, both of us were wondering what to do for the rest of the day. We’ve done everything we wanted to do in and around Kalbarri, the only other place we wanted to see is Hutt River but that’s not far past Wagoe so could be sensibly covered off tomorrow or the day after.

With that the phone bleeped, a text message from Belinda saying that they were on their way back and to save them a spot. It turned out that Wagoe was really windy and they hadn’t liked the look of the camping area so decided to come back here. There were hugs all round when the two families drove in and it was great to see them again. They’ve been travelling together for a while now so there are plenty of stories to catch up on. It’s a very excited little atmosphere in what was a quiet caravan park!
So with the Reeves and the Elliotts booking in for 3 nights here that left us with a bit of a dilemma! We are supposed to be leaving tomorrow but there is a beautiful chorus of ‘stay, please stay’ from our lovely friends and it seems silly to leave when we’ve been so desperate to catch up with everyone one last time.

Most caravan parks do weekly deals when you first check in, if you stay for 7 nights then you generally only pay for 6. We’d booked in for 5 initially but now wanted to stay the additional two in order to match the others. I wandered to reception all ready for some hard bartering but there was no need, the owner of the caravan park honoured the deal so we parted with only the cost of the one night but will be staying the extra two.

It was late in the afternoon by the time everyone had set up, which always takes longer when you’re doing it in the middle of ‘show and tell’! We did a dinner run, a booze run, a bait run and then the boys (and I) went fishing leaving the ladies and most of the younger ones, except for Cody & Kenny, playing games in the huge campers kitchen that we have here.

The fishing was hilarious; we only went to the jetty which isn’t far from the caravan park so we weren’t really expecting to catch anything huge. We’ve both got quite good at the casting out side of things now and I even managed to catch a tiddler! I shrieked when I realised the nibble on my line wasn’t going away, I’d really caught one! Now what?! “Nige, help, I don’t like it” went the cry as the fish wriggled on the hook, poor thing. Nige quickly got it off and Kenny threw the tiny Bream back in the water to swim another day! A girl at the end of the jetty had caught 14 of these little fish and had fed all of them to the pelicans! 14! Crikey, the poor pelican will explode!

We didn’t catch anything else so returned to camp with empty buckets. We had burgers for tea and sat in the camp kitchen for the rest of the evening as it was windy and cold outside. With 15 of us in there we took over the place well and it was literally fun and games for the rest of the night. Rummikub had us all going, it’s a game where you create runs and sets of numbers (like you would in cards) and the idea is that having started with 9 coloured numbers you end up with none.

Simone is very competitive (in a nice way) and starts most of the games with “You can only win if your name starts with S and has 6 letters”!! Dee is set on assisting everyone, Zoe is constantly asking “Has she finished yet” gesturing at Bel who is still taking her turn and has so many pieces on her stand that she can barely fit anymore on! It’s all very funny. The games progress, the competition reaches breaking point and Darryl manages to win a game. Triumphantly he stands up only to reveal the blue number 7 where his bottom was previously hiding it. The room literally erupts with shouting, yelling, uncontrollable laughter and histrionics! He swears that one of us must have put it there but the tile is warm so it’s obvious it’s been there a while!! From that point on Darryl was made to lift and tip his chair during every game after he had his turn!

Most of us went to bed after about the 8th game of Rummikub (what a great game!) but then out came “Celebrity Head” where apparently Darryl was in his element teasing the others and driving them insane by changing the rules and pretending that he didn’t understand - you all know what he’s like late at night! Simone was asking the best questions “Have I got all my own teeth” and “Do I have ears”! She was Robin Hood but it will be tomorrow morning before she guesses that right!

Not sure if it should be called “Sore Head” rather than Celebrity Head but I reckon that’s what Darryl’s going to have in the morning!!

Night night

Sar and Dar - although he’s still in the camp kitchen trying to guess that he is Scooby Doo!!

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23rd November 2009

Windy and Wet!
Hi Guys, cannot believe it is windy and wet over there! Tiny drop of rain over here in Nangus, nothing to make a difference, they are still harvesting, little bit cooler this morning I am wearing .... wait for it..... a long sleeve t-shirt! I see the sun tan is coming along nicely a little bit darker than the last time we saw you! We too did not like Wagoe, we stopped on the way into Kalbarri, it was too exposed.... there was no shade..... it was very hot when we stopped by and just something about it that made us not want to stay there, so we went into Kalbarri, I think we stayed at the Tudor Caravan Park, which you mentioned a few blogs ago. They obviously put their own name into the internet every now and again, because we wrote in our blog how we felt about the place they sent a snotty message to us. The photos are great and the colours of the wild flowers just beautiful. Take Care and have fun KJ xx
26th November 2009

hello we ahve rummikub but have never played it we must be bad parents!!!!! hope you are well really missing youi keep turning skype on but don't catch you:( dinner dance sat won't be the same without you guys hope to catch you soon love em xxxx

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