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Published: April 13th 2014
Sunday 6th April - arrived in good time at Adelaide airport ready to fly to Perth. Somewhat surprised to find that airport clocks were wrong!!!! Our watches said 11.45, airport clocks saying10.15. Tony checked with airport staff - Bugger - Clocks had changed overnight and we had missed a time zone change somewhere! They were a bit amused when Tony asked if it was April yet! Still nice to be early for a change with time on our hands! Very bumpy flight with lots of turbulence and with so many clouds we couldn't see the Nullabor Plain below us. At Perth we were picked up by our courier, Sam, a really nice guy from Sicily who couldn't stand the heat! He had damaged his knee at a Lionel Ritchie concert some time before and was now on light duties and couldn't carry any bags - kept saying what a gentleman Tony was for lifting the bags and carrying them into the hotel!! Checked in and walked into Perth for a meal - weather was warm and windy.
Monday 7th - off to Maui by taxi - driver couldn't lift the bags and kept saying how strong Tony was
as he struggled through the door with a bag in each hand! Picked up our next van and headed down to Fremantle where we booked into the campsite next to the beach where we had stayed 5 years ago. Unpacked all the gear to find Maui had only given us 1 pillow so off to the supermarket to buy another one! Lovely sunset so walked down to the jetty to watch the sun go down behind Rottnest Island. Lots of people fishing off the jetty watched by 3 Pelicans who were strutting up and down!
Tuesday 8th - up early and on the road towards Geraldton some 450km away. Long, straight roads with hardly any traffic to begin with. Decided to leave the main highway for a coffee at Cervantis (some 50km away!). As we approached the town we could see lots of smoke and flames, about to turn round when we saw the notice saying it was a controlled burn so carried on - the heat and smell was quite frightening and makes you appreciate the necessity for constant fire warnings. Had our coffee, refuelled the van, just about to drive off and were told we
only had 1 light working. Carried on to lunch stop at Jurien Bay - Tony arranged to have light fixed at Geraldton the next day. Off again, Lyn driving, road much busier with Road Trains in front and behind - some had 3 trailers and are up to 53 metres long. Freedom camp for the night was at a spot called Chapmans Valley Rest Area which is on the road to Mullawa which is an area where both Ian & Al had previously worked. Another brilliant sunset. Early night as tomorrow we are heading for Monkey Mia and Sharks Bay.
Wednesday 9th - long drive over dead straight roads and absolutely barren landscape with the odd sighting of Emus. Arrived at the Sharks Bay World a Heritage Site turnoff and then a 138km drive to Denham the main town. Did a slight detour to look at some Stromatolites regarded as being the earliest form of life on earth and possibly the catalyst to later life as they produced oxygen. Wonderful to see them in such clear water with no commercial hype. Popped into the Information Centre to pick up our permit for Eagle Bluff which is one of the
4 designated camping areas. Denham is a lovely small town next to the Indian Ocean, beautiful shallow aqua water and Emus walking down the road!! Found our site down a red sandy road, parked up and just a quick hop over the dunes to an idyllic deserted beach. Had been a pretty warm day so had a quick swim to cool off before dinner.
Thursday 10th - up early and wandered along the beach watching shoals of fish rising and a small ray making its way along. A job to leave such a wonderful place. Had seen a sign for a lookout further up the sandy red road so had a quick detour. Wonderful high lookout looking down across the bay where we had camped and you could see small reef sharks (1.5 metres) in the waters below. Back on the road through drought ridden country, ironically we kept seeing signs about flood levels of up to 2 metres. How bizarre until we spoke to a lady in the info centre in Carmarthen who told us that in 2010 the town was cut off by deep flood water as a result of cyclones hitting further north. What
an amazing land Western Australia is - full of contrasts and contradictions - as Lyn said the land is harsh but beautiful - bright blue skies, deep red earth, white sandy beaches, turquoise seas and of course vivid red sunsets and sunrise. Heading on up towards Coral Bay and Exmouth in the Ningaloo Marine Reserve.
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