Wednesday, November 2, 2011
No sleep worth talking about, the wind died for about half an hour during the night but picked up again. We were buffeted from side to side atop Winston's roof in our canvas pop-top bedroom. I was so glad when the sun woke up for a new day and Alan had ventured outside to make our morning coffee. By 7:00 a.m we were all packed up and ready to be on our way once again. Now would you believe, on the single track out which we parked on to re-inflate the tyres before hitting the rocky area we caused a traffic jam. Two vehicles were heading to the beach, the one we did not find due to the sand dune beating our efforts to scale it. The driver in the first vehicle did tell us there were many tracks on the dunes but only one access to the beach, that made us feel better. This guy, out of interest was a fellow East African having moved to Australia from Tanzania. There must be something in our African blood and those like us that constantly crave the adventures of the wilderness and open space. Tis good to know we are just not off our rockers yet
Today we are heading for the Kalbarri National Park in hunt of photographs. There seem to be two areas to this park, one is along the coast with cliff faces etc and the other inland for the river and canyon. Obviously, the coastal area will is where we are heading first as it is on the way to the second area. So here we are, first pictures of the day.
After Buff Point we headed to the next location, Natural Bridge. This is all about getting the photo, the area is very well laid out with walks along the cliff tops and access for all vehicles, too many people around for us to want to stay long. At the Natural Bridge parking area we acted like true Brits, got out the camp chairs, the gas cooker and the kettle, making ourselves comfortable (and warm again) we enjoyed a good old cup of tea, lovely.
At the parking area were these two rails to indicate where to walk, I am just wondering why the path is on both sides of them as well as between them. So far I have not come up with an answer <g>.
We had a look at the next two recommended stopping points en-route to Kalbarri town to replace the missing loaf of bread but there was nothing that grabbed our attention and the next two place we drove straight past. Kalbarri is a picturesque seaside holiday spot, perfect for the family with a sheltered beach, lots of accommodation and quite a few shops. All we need is the IGA supermarket and then we are heading back the way we came as on the way into Kalbarri we saw the Parrot Sanctuary (Rainbow Jungle)and think it is worth investigating. Again, beautifully laid out and worth the 13 bucks each to get in. I am not a lover of seeing birds behind cages, they were meant to fly free in my opinion. However, give credit where credit is due, The Parrot Sanctuary have done a magnificent job in finding a happy medium in most cases with reasonably large long cages for the biggest of the birds so they can fly a bit and an internal avery which you can walk around with the smaller and less aggressive birds. I do have to wonder though why people allow their children to shout and squeal in places like this and they themselves talk in with such loud voices, maybe they are fed up of nobody listening to them and feel this urge to make their presence know. My fist shots glass of this vacation has now been purchased , wonder how many more I will collect.
Now this is a fun bit :)
Time now to check out The Loop and Natures Window to the World. The Loop is the beginnings of what I think will end up being an ox bow lake in the future (yes I did listen to some of my teachers when I was a school!!). Now before we walked to The Loop I needed to go for a pee. Alan has insisted I add this story to the blog after showing the picture of his 'falling off the sand dune in Winston'. No loos around so it will have to be a 'bush pee'. Check out no more cars coming, put Alan on guard duty and let loose by Winston's front end. Heaven. Just one problem, I thought I had shorts etc perfectly located but alas the wind must have changed direction and I got a drenching. Oh so not impressed. Now I need to find clean shorts and knickers. OK you can laugh but I was trying to work out how to climb back into Winston's guts to find the case with clean clothes with the bottom half of my body exposed to the public car park. Alan was either being oblivious to the situation or waiting for me to get caught with 'my knickers down'. Right, all dry and sorted, what a palaver as they say. Time to join the tourists and check out The Loop. Totally amazing rock structures, one has to marvel at the power of wind and water erosion, it sure creates the most magnificent art work.
Alan alas lost the Winston's keys on this little trek, he checked all his pockets, no sign, so we ended up going back to check the places we had been to see if they had fallen out his pocket there. Now there is no way to describe how stupid I felt, we had commented earlier on the big bunch of keys, both sets were attached together but did we have the sense to separate them and carry one set each, no. Also, the top we are wearing have a clip and a pocket for keys so they don't get lost, was that being used, again no. Still no keys in sight and Winston locked up I could only think we (notice how I am very politely saying 'we' ) had left the keys in the car lock. Shoot not there, what should be our next move, try pocket searching again and low and behold, the keys were quite safe and had not been on their own adventure after all. A big sigh of relief and the two sets were parted from each others company, one for me and one for Alan.
On our way again to check out the 'Natures Window to the World'. This was quite a walk and at 2:00 p.m. the sun still high in the sky making us rather hot, added to that our lack of a fitness regime made this a hike and a half for us. There is a long walk here but we are not going to tackle that, thankfully the location we are aiming for is only about 1km down the side of the canyon. Going down is never the problem, it is the getting back up . Oh the people, all doing exactly as we are, surrounding us with conversations in every language possible and covering all the pitches you can imagine. I am having a hard time not telling folks to shut up for a while and let their senses absorb the beauty around them.
This next image of 'The Window to the World' took me about half an hour to capture, folks are insisting on sitting in the hole to have several photos taken then standing right in front to talk to their mates. Trying to get a picture without the presence of humans is creating an ordeal.
Alan has given up and gone round the corner on a hunt for other spectacular images to capture.
OK got the pictures, refreshed with with pineapple juice, camera equipment safely back in place and now it is time to find a home for the night. We are heading for a place called Galena Bridge on the Murchison River where there is a picnic ground. We are hoping we can sneak further down the river without being noticed. Now how cool is this, the sign says 24 hour camping and there are lots of places that have been cleared for folks to set up home and very nice it is too. We did as planned and found a good lumpy, poorly kept road knowing that only 4x4 vehicles could head down it and found a pleasant little spot with only one neighbour about 500 metres away, this suited us fine.
With a stomping headache and feeling very tired it was a cold chicken salad for dinner, some Ibuprofen and early to bed, tonight I will sleep well. Tomorrow we are heading for Shark Bay, there is a lot to explore in this are, the touristy stuff at Monkey Mia Resort where dolphins come to the shore each day being the big attraction (no we are not staying there). I would end up with a sunset tonight but it is rubbish and not worth sharing with you. Chat tomorrow.