Perth to Coral Bay
09.11.2011 - 17.11.2011
The Journey North
Collect Shad from his rents (where he had his last big feed and probably good night sleep haha) and headed to the Pinnacles! The sun is shining, we stop off at a few look outs en route, the guys are getting on the back, playing cards and chatting away all is good! We missed some dune boarding at Lancelot (which apparently you can hire some boards pretty easily), but stopped at the Pinnacles which were quite cool! It was again $11 entry, but the motor home couldn’t do the Pinnacle drive. This was prob a good thing actually coz it meant we did a 1.2km walk, where you can wonder around the pinnacles and could really go where you liked, rather than being stuck to a road. This was where i first introduced.....the human pyramid! We made it!! And first time! They passed, they’re keepers haha! We were one man short, but it was still impressive and got us giggling! Next, onto Port Denision (where shad had been fishing before). It was nice, but i’d prob stay in Geralton next time, which is a bit further up, got more going on and was a good place to stock up. I cooked dinner, then the boys went fishing again (this time not as successful) which Nonine and I had a nice evening, watching TV, chit chattering. Next day we head up to Kalbarri national park to explore some more stunning coastline, natural rock formations and a few hikes to a beach for a flip flop kicking competition (tres amusant), and to see evidence of ancient worms, and hunted some crabs before camping in Murchison. We started taking it in turns to cook a meal for $10! It was a challenge, and tested the cooking skills in the house. The boys cooked bangers and spaghetti..did the job haha!
Next day time to do a serious walk in the depths of kalbarri national park. We had to travel down a dirt track (NEVER AGAIN!) before we made it to the Loop walk and teh natural window (Australian are hugely inventive with their naming!!?!). It was an awesome walk! 9km, stopped in the bottom of the gorge for a swim and a picnic, before completing the loop and heading towards Shark Bay. It took a little longer than expected again, and when a kangaroo ran off to the side of the road, a goat stood in the middle of the road, what i thought was a huge cat (im talking like a puma) jumping off to the side, and a vulcher with a massive wingspan fly off next to us, we decide to stop off in Hamelin at the Telegraph Station. Managed to get another free night (awesome!) and Nonine whipped up an Indian! Left early in the morning (7am!) and saw some stromatolites – first living organisms in the world) before heading to Shark Bay! Pulled into Denham, pretty windy, but gorgeous, then onto Monkey Mia! WOW! SUPER STUNNING! $8 each for entry, then pretty pricey camping, but clear clear water, white white sand, and not a lot of people. This was our first chillout time...had the guys on a pretty hectic schedule haha – they love it ;-) but was indeed nice to lie in the sun, get the bikini out and have a dip in the refreshing clear waters! Then the highlight of the day, just swimming in the water and dolphins come! And they have a baby splashing about and only about 1.5m away from us! Soo cool! There is dolphin feeding in the morning so we went and checked out the dealo, before heading to the bar for a cold beer and some games. Some more dophins came out to play later on, and we went for a stroll north and saw some rays and pelicans too. Watched the sunset, with the dolphins slashing before heading back to base for some food, goon and games and then the bar for some table football and pool! Fun night! I got up at 5am to see the sunrise, but not that great, so back to bed before dolphin feeding at 7.45am. As there were a couple of calves we weren’t aloud in the water with the dolphins but it was still pretty cool to see them & a few ppl got selected to feed them! (unfortunately none of us).
There was a 6km walk to the Big Lagoon in Francois NP on the way to Denham, which was only accessible by 4WD, but we figured we could walk it! So drove to the homestead, and started walking...this was soft sand, it was already getting hot, we had like 13L of water, food and were wearing good clothing, but when we reached the turn off for the Big Lagoon and it said 10km, we suddenly thought this wasn’t such a good idea. We carried on walking in the hope of getting a ride to the lagoon which we luckily did manage to get, but seriously it was a LOOOONG WAY! We then realised that if we didn’t get a lift back we could potentially be stranded here until the next morning, as i think most people pop down to the lagoon before heading to the Cape person which is supposed to be great (can see dugongs and sharks up there, but 40km on sand). So we managed to get a lift with the same guy – very kind! All 5 of us in his car with his wife and 2 girls! It was a bit of an eye opener! Its definitely more desolate over on the west coast and actually if i were to do it again, i’d prob do it in a 4WD with a tent or swag of something rather than a motor home, more chance of a being able to get a few more free nights parked on the side of the raod! Sheilla (our van) isn’t the most inconspicuous of vehicles! On the way back we stopped off at the Little Lagoon, just as nice really (need to wear shoes to swim at both lagoons as there are stone fish – deadly if you stand on them!) so the boys fished and shad and i went for a swim and tried spear fishing...amazingly not a lot in there! Back to Denham, relieved to be alive haha and we decide to have a movie night and a loungy meal – all of us eating dinner lying on Shad’s double bed, very cozy.
Next day onto Carnarvon to stock up. We were supposed to be going up to Coral Bay, but Shad was supposed to have dinner with a friend of a friend. It fell through, but it was too late to go so we pitched up and had a funny night playing Olympics – triple jump, slalom, penny dropping, boul, and many more!
Coral bay! Now i though Monkey Mia was pretty stunning, Coral Bay i think is more so and it has a reef swimming distance from the shore! Soooooooo nice! Clear clear waters again, a gradient of white to turquoise to blue! Then stingrays, parrot fish, eel looking things and reef! I popped into a dive shop advertising manta ray swimming, as the girls had given me a day snorkel with manta rays, but i wasn’t sure where for and it didn’t have an address on the voucher...turned out that was the place and they had a spot for me the next day!!! SWEET! 8.30am and we’re off!! Onto the boat and out into the crystal clear waters heading for our first snorkelling spot! Pru, our leader leads the way through an underwater gorge pointing out leopard like fish, turtles, sting rays, giant clams, mushroom coral, eel like fish with flute noses and a world of coloured corals. Spent the next hour face down in the water, duck diving, feeling like a mermaid! Love it! Then back to the boat, a bite to eat and off to the main part of the day, swimming with Manta Rays! You could see the shadows from the boat, then into the water we go! Its quite murky, but we can swim a metre away alongside the manta rays gliding elegantly through the waters. We get two sessions with the manta ray so you really get to enjoy swimming with them, just wish i could hold my breath for longer!! Buffet time, then a spot of sunbathing before an afternoon snorkel at the ‘Cleaning Station,’ once again Pru led us out, it was a bit rougher as we were near the break, so had to swim a bit harder, but turning the corner to the cleaning station, which is basically a huge coral which little fish live in and big fish swim around and get cleaned. We entered, a fish attached itself to my leg, and we saw a huge eagle ray and shark swim underneath us!! Sooooooooo amazing! Then we had about 7 or 8 sharks swimming around the station below us! Everything about the sharks put you on edge, whilst massively getting the adrenaline flowing! I went back to get my camera and then went out again with one of the new instructors, and coz we were both proficient swimmers we swam for ages exploring all the nooks and crannies! Would be awesome to work on a boat like that and get to go out each day, but geeze! By the end of the day i was pooped! And burnt for that matter! Def one of my Top Birthday Pressies ever though!! Thanks sooooooooooooooo much!! Best thing ive done on this hols so far!! Off to Exmouth tomorrow which i pick up my specs (yes i’ve finally got around to get some) and to hopefully see some turtles laying eggs!! Stay tuned!
p.s i hate flies!