Heading South

Exmouth Friday

A nice lie in this morning as we are a bit tired after yesterday.
Today is all about getting ready to leave here tomorrow and of course the Geelong game tonight. We go domestic with washing and shopping done before heading to the pool for a dip. We get entertained by a couple of girls chatting about how to get rid of a guy that they have as a roommate in their house. This goes on for quite a while and that guy’s ears should be red hot. He will be finding new accomodation pretty soon I should think.
Before we know it we are heading to Joel’s house for the game with Flick and a few of their mates in for the game. No further details needed re the game but the company is great. We say our thanks and goodbyes and head to bed.

Goodbye Exmouth

After a not so great night at Joel’s house due to Geelong getting a footy lesson we are up and on the road. Today is a bad day as we start to head south and will suffer an extreme change in weather. We might even get some rain which we have not seen since leaving in July. In WA the kids are now on a fortnight holiday and Exmouth got really busy yesterday with families arriving from Perth.

We have a drive today of around four hours as we head to the north side of Carnarvon where we will free camp at the Quobba Blowholes for 1 night and visit the blowholes which will be pretty wild due to the winds and predicted sea swell.

After a couple of stops to fuel up and have a wee breakfast then later a wee lunch we arrived at the blowholes. The change in weather is a shocker with clouds and a big temperature drop. The camp itself is fine but has some old and run down sheds around the place. Anyone is allowed to stay here but for a maximum of 30 days. The thought of staying here that long fills us with dread. We are happy to once again get our bikes off the van and go for a cycle around the place. We head down to the coastline to watch the blowholes in action and bloody hell they are going off, shooting high above us before the wind catches the spray and provided a good salty shower. The waves around the blowhole area are just scary with chaos as the waves push in and crash in to the waves pushed back from the sea wall. the signs warning that the area is dangerous and king waves can kill are not there for a laugh.

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There is also a lighthouse sitting high above the camp which we hope lights up after dark. We cycle around and checkout everyone’s stuff, at the far end there are lot’s of dogs and kids around a few camps. There are also a few large buses but these are not the type we have been seeing in other camps and have a more poor hippy feel to them as a posed to the millionaires we have seen. Amazingly there is a small sandy beach, the amazing part being that people are snorkelling in the freezing water just off it. I can assure you we will not be dipping even a toe in that water. We get back to the comfort of the van and out of the wind just in time for sunset drinks. We are having a very nice time thank you, when the guy parked next to us, and I mean right up our chuff starts the noisiest generator in the world. It sounds like something in a car spray shop and I can tell you now that there is now way that will be running as we close our eyes to sleep later on, lol.
Here we have no phone service, TV or internet so tonight will be movie night using our solar power. Tonight’s showing will be Sully staring Tom Hanks. We would watch the third series of Sons of Anarchy on our hard drive but like the first series there is no sound, not happy bout that. Anyway that’s all for now folks.

Quobba to Hamelin

A strange nights sleep as we had the wind blowing pretty much all night and we also had a bit of rain. This is the first rain we have heard since July but we can still stay, we haven’t seen rain still.
Today we are heading for the town of Hamelin where we will stay at a station for a couple of days and tour Monkey Mia and Denham.

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We head off early as we had the luxury of leaving the van attached to the car at this stop. We get off and then stop for fuel then make another stop in Carnarvon for supplies. We could have stayed here last night and on seeing the place we are happy we didn’t. Shopping done and now heading for Hamelin Outback Station which is at the end of Shark Bay road and the road is not the usual dirt tracks we have experienced.

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The death toll of animals on the way is pretty high with goats, sheep, kangaroos, birds (one that flew in to our back wheel) and Wallabies. The bigger birds do not need to do any hunting as the road is like a butchers table. As we arrive at the station we are very happy as this one looks to be very well looked after and the space given to us is huge. The women who book us in are really easy to deal with and happy and they show us around the facilities which are really clean and very well equipped. The station is part of Bush Heritage Australia which is a non profit organisation started by the politician Bob Brown that acquires properties, manages land of conservation value and now have over six million hectares secured. It runs by having over forty thousand people donating both monies and time to conserve the land for Australia’s plants and animals. The bathrooms and kitchen here are probably the best we have seen on this trip and we will utilise the kitchen later.

After getting set up we head for the main reason we stayed here and that is the Stromatolites (Greek for layered rock) which are found in only one other place on earth and are single celled Cyanobacteria which are related to Stromatolites fossils that dominate 80% of the fossil record throughout earths history. They look like a gathering of rocks some of which get together, some form a carpet like structure and they all release oxygen.

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These are rocks that are actually alive and formed the building blocks of life some 3.5 billion years ago. (Yes I did read a pamphlet. Unlucky for us and we knew it had to happen as we dropped south of the Tropic of Capricorn earlier today, it is raining.

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We cover the boardwalk over the Stromatolites faster than we might have if it were not wet and get back to the dry of the car before heading back to the station. We head over to the kitchen to cook tea, tonight it’s Thai curry with rice and garlic nan. The kitchen has everything needed from spoons to pots n pans. Next to the kitchen is a huge country kitchen table and a huge open fireplace making the place toasty warm and like all kitchen space it is the meeting and chatting point with lots of people dicussing which way they are heading and where they have been. We then retire as we have a big day tomorrow.

Denham and Monkey Mia

On the road heading for Monkey Mia and Denham we head to Monkey Mia first time and we will visit Denham on the way back. The reason being in Monkey Mia there is a feed the wild Dolphins program and it starts pretty early. We arrive and pay our entry fee in to the national park and head straight for the water as the Dolphin feeding is about to start, this assumes that some will actually turn up. No need to worry though as almost immediately two appear from nowhere and we are told to line up and step in to the cold water. Then Wembley receive a bit of an education and warnings about not touching the Dolphins even if they come and touch you. For us the chat goes on a bit too long considering we are standing in cold water but eventually the feeding begins with volunteers arriving with buckets of fish. The buckets would you believe have only three fish and only three volunteers clearly this would not take long. The highlight being a mother and baby appearing but staying back from the main action. We are lucky later when we get to see the second feeding but this time viewed from the pier to keep our toenice as this place is we don’t hang about as we only came for the Dolphins.

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We head back to Denham and have a look round and nice as it is we have seen better but we are low on alcohol and the town has a bottle shop which we take full advantage of and then head back to base where we will repeat last night but this time with leftovers of curry but this time we have a nice bottle of red to compliment it. We have a further tour round the property which is 202,000 hectares but we get round maybe two. We tour the various shed sun around the place and the lake which has a varieriety of bird life. Then movie night tonight is Nice Guys with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling.

Kilbarri

Moving day again as we head south to Kilbarri.

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Usual easy routine of getting the van down and hitched up to the car which we are now pretty good at. On the way down the clouds gather and yes bloody rain again but this time pretty heavy. So much so that we pull over and let it pass. As we get closer to Kilbarri the rain has gone and the sun is shining but at a much lower temperature than we are used to.
Here we are staying in a Top Tourist park a site we get discount for and it scored well on WikiCamps. We are pretty impressed with Kalbarri and we get to charge up our iequipment. Fully set up we are on the road to visit some of the local sites which are all coastline and sheer drops.

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One the way back we get a surprise and for the secondtime on the trip I get breath tested by the cops. All good of course and the cop says remove the plastic mouth piece after I used it and says ” you can keep that”. Another souvenir brill.

Back at camp and the place has filled up and there is not one spot to be had. We have a lazy one and get some fish n chips for tea and before we know it another day is gone. We will be here for a couple of days but have the option of staying longer. We plan to be in Perth by Sunday as we need to get the car serviced on Monday before we head to Margaret River on Tuesday.

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