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Published: October 30th 2015
For the last five days I have been on a whirl wind tour of regions north and east of Perth and have clocked up over 1300 kms on the odometer.
After putting Barb on the plane home last Sunday evening, I was not quite ready to head east and home, and decided to make my way up the coast north of Perth as far as Cervantes and Jurien Bay so that I could visit the Pinnacles National Park. It was worth the trip. That is, after I managed to clear suburbia yet again on the northern coastline. Monday night I stopped at a little place called Guilderton which sits right on the coast where the Moore River meets the Indian Ocean. This proved to be a very lucky accidental find as I had not read anything about it and had no idea what I was heading into other than it was hot, I needed somewhere to sleep and hopefully be close to water. The caravan park was right on the estuary and beach, just sheltered behind some big sand dunes and the view from the top of these dunes was very rewarding. I watched the sun set over the Indian
Ocean that night and a very full moon rise over the river estuary. Just lovely.
Next day I headed further north and the drive was magnificent, through national park most of the way (I actually forget the name of it, would have to look it up) with the unique vegetation that is all so close to the ground, startlingly white sand dunes suddenly rising from no where and of course the ocean right there on my passenger side of the van.
WA’s signage again caused me some mucking around. I passed the entrance to The Pinnacles before arriving in Cervantes and decided to have a look. But I was getting low on fuel, and no where on any sign did it say how far off the main road did one have to travel to reach the park. So after going about 6 kms I decided I had better press on to Cervantes for fuel rather than get stranded. It turned out that I only had another kilometer to travel and I would have been there. Grrrrr. Never mind. The Pinnacles landscape is very different – awesome perhaps, very desert like in that it was as hot as hades,
and full of flies and mossies. Not a blade of grass and these unique peculiar formations just rising up out of the ground. Fortunately for me it is possible to drive through the whole park, which is not all that large, but walking it would have been out of the question for me.
Getting that visit done quite quickly, I then retraced my steps to Cervantes and went on to Jurien Bay, and then even a little further beyond that in search of the Leseur National Park. But again, WA’s poor signage led me too far north on the coast when the entrance to the park was on another road some 21 kms east. Never mind, I made it all the way to Green Head, and then returned to Jurien Bay for the night.
Early next day I headed East – time to go home I figured, as I had finally done the sums, adding up the kms I have to travel and the number of days I have left before I must return. It’s a hell of a long drive I have ahead of me. Probably best not to think of it on a grand scale I
have decided, but just to plan each day as it comes. Having travelled the Nullabor once now, the curiosity and mystery has gone, and I know its just a long and fairly tedious crossing to be made.
Since leaving Jurien Bay on Wednesday morning, I have travelled over 1,000 kms. I am now in Kalgoorlie tonight, and tomorrow morning I will head off bright and early for Norseman and out onto the Nullabor. The two days of travel here were fascinating. Through lots of regional conservation parks, past national parks (the roads into most of them are attrocious and not worth bothering about), some fascinating little towns in the Wheat Belt and then once I rejoined the main drag from Perth to Kalgoorlie, what they call the Great Western Woodlands – which really means scrubby bush with some eucalypts that reach perhaps 3.5 metres tall on land which is good for nothing else, except perhaps mining for something.
The past week has been hot. Very hot. And this has made the trip somewhat uncomfortable. But I think I’d best get used to that as I expect the Nullabor to be very hot too. The people I have meet
have been fabulous. Again due to poor signage I actually got lost in the Wheat Belt and ended up going 80 kms too far north. When I realized that I was very unsure of where I was, I stopped in what was marked on the map I was using as a “town” but in fact had a resident population of 1, to ask for some directions. Mary Lou was the resident, and she lived in a purple house with an enormous shed at the back of it, with fascinating quaint and quirky tin sculptures and bric a brac everywhere. She greeted me at the door to her shed with a big grin and said, “you lost love?” She was a gem. Turns out she is a craft person who peddles her wares at markets etc and by mail order all over. She sculpts corrugated iron into fabulous items. She was very generous to me, offering me cold drinks, cups of tea, let me use the loo in her house, gave me maps and a booklet on the Wheat Belt with 2 cds in it. And lots of advice and directions about what to see and do. Meeting Mary Lou was
I spent that night in a little town I never intended to visit, called Beacon. The caravan park is unattended, but a lady comes by at 6pm each night to collect fees – an unpowered site cost me $11 and the park was just fabulous. Wonderful showers, toilets, laundry and camp kitchen fully fitted out with everything you could need. While paying my fees, I not only met the park manager (she didn’t tell me her name), but another woman who has recently been elected to local Council to represent Beacon. I also learnt all the political ins and outs of the Council and its personnel, the infighting, the good the bad and the ugly. All in all though, I reckon it’s a very vibrant community around there, and they sure are proud of their part of the world.
There may be one more blog in this trip yet to come. I hope to go up into the Flinders Ranges as far as Wilpena Pound before I return home. No doubt there will be some good photos to be taken there. After that I will be returning east probably via Broken Hill (which is where I
travelled this time last year) because I want to visit family in Cowra, and then Canberra of course, to catch up with my beloved sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren.
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