Friday, 23 August 2013


Dodged Denham and Kicked Back at Kalbarri

Saturday 17th August (Cont.)

Without having decided on our short term destination yet, we have stopped at (457) Gladstone Scenic Lookout for lunch and decided to stay overnight. The lookout is the only high point in an otherwise extremely flat and dusty landscape. The thin blue line on the horizon is the ocean.


And there are lots of gnomes (left by travellers) gazing out towards it.

Our neighbours, Leicester and Sue, were from New Zealand and were swapping motor homes with a couple from Perth.
They were borrowing theirs while they are here and the other couple will use theirs when they go to NZ shortly. They arranged it all on line and didn’t know each other beforehand.
They were singularly unimpressed with our flies but otherwise enjoying their holiday.
We had a lovely sundowners together and indeed, we had a lovely sundown!!!!

 Sunday 18th August

After my coughing fit at one o’clock this morning (when Ron and I both thought I would bring up a lung) I finally settled back to sleep to be woken at about 5.30 am by a text message on my phone. It was OK though because it was photos of Xander. (Ben obviously forgot the time difference!!) He is now having Swimming lessons and standing up in his cot….talk about upwardly mobile!!!!!!

We were still deciding ‘do we, don’t we do Denham’ and settled on ‘Don’t’. The weather is overcast and cold and there isn’t much there except Monkey Mia (which neither of us are interested in and lots of (apparently) lovely beaches. It is too cold for swimming though so we have gone on to (446) Nerren Nerren Rest Area

There are lots more wild flowers about now and even some at the camp area.


The weather is so foul, we spent nearly all of today indoors. I did venture out a couple of times. I spoke to a lovely young English couple who were still coming to terms with the size of Australia and figured they could have driven to Scotland today if they had gone that far back home. Mind you, I am still coming to terms with the size of Australia, especially northern WA where there is so much distance between towns and most of those towns so far have ranged from small to teeny weeny!

Monday 19th August
  We have decided to move on and so packed up ready to go and this time we actually did not get away at our usual 9.30. In fact it had just gone 10.00 and Ron had fired up Indie and we were just about to move off when our path was barred by caravan, the owners of which turned out to be none other than Aidan and Mary. They had pulled in for a morning cuppa. What are the odds? Anyway they kindly made us coffee and shared their Tim Tams (an extreme act of generosity).
As we drove on, we noticed fields of crops for the first time in WA.

We arrived at (444) Galena Bridge (Murchison River) and set up camp next to each other. It was very windy and the flies…..!!!!!!

But at least this time there was water –granted not much, but water none the less.

Ronnie and I went for a walk and took in the scenery.

We saw wildlife and more wild flowers.


I still can’t identify most but Mary, after much consultation with her Wildflowers Book, assures me that the white ones may be a variety of Mulla Mulla.

It seems Mary thinks most flowers are a variety of Mulla Mulla and it has become rather a standing joke between us all.

Did I mention the flies? Ronnie lent me his fly net and while it may not strictly be haute couture it is extremely effective.

  Later in the afternoon, who should rock into camp but Judi and John?

  We met them back on 5th July at (619) Goldwire Rest Area when we were still travelling with Bob and Fran. (It seems like eons ago; we have done so much and been so many places). We have been leap frogging down the coast and have crossed paths a couple of times. This was the first time though that we have actually been able to sit down and catch up. They came over for sun downers and the six of us had a great old catch up and a chin wag.

Tuesday 20th August

What a wonderful, lazy day. We read, we dozed, I did some drawing. It is still very windy and cold but Indie is our safe haven. And inside with the sun shining through the windows; snug as bugs we are. All our friends, Aidan, Mary, Judi and John had left us. They were going as Ron and I were getting breakfast.

But we weren’t alone for long. I reckon there would be at least forty vans of various size and type here tonight.

We will head off towards Kalbarri in the morning.

Wednesday21st August

As we drove to Kalbarri, there was a sign saying that ‘Natures Window’ was closed from July to October. This would me the most iconic natural rock formation in the whole of Kalbarri National Park and the one spot that draws tourists from all over. The road in is being bituminised and they are upgrading the facilities. And of course, what better time to do this than the height of the tourist season. (Turns out, they are still allowing tourist buses in but it would cost us $108.00 and that’s three nights’ accommodation!!!!!). 

We arrived in Kalbarri mid-morning and decided to stay at Murchison Caravan Park ($35.00 per night). There was nowhere to park Indie so I walked in to register and Ron parked over the road in the car park. Five minutes I was gone! Five minutes! And I come back and there’s Ron chatting up a blonde!

Turns out, it was Terri. We first met Teri and hubby John on 15th June in the Northern Territory. Since then, we have seen them a couple of times. Meanwhile, they have been to Perth, had a trip to Bali, come back to Perth, headed back up to Kalbarri and found Ron in a public car park. Teri invited us back to their Caravan Park for Sun Downers.
Aiden and Mary are here but they had gone out by the time we had settled in.

After lunch, Ronnie and I went for a walk up through the town


It is such a pretty little town and sits right where the Murchison River empties into the ocean.

We walked over to Teri and John’s. Just as we were getting close, John arrived to pick us up. They had invited their neighbours, Bev and Jim over as well and we had quite a little party going for a couple of hours before we staggered home.

It was wonderful to see them again and a little bit spooky about the chance way of running into them. (Very Twilight Zone!)
Thursday 22nd August
This morning we did the Kalbarri Coastal Cliffs (a 12km drive along some staggeringly beautiful sea scapes).

Our first stop was Red Bluff.

It was a lovely sunny day, but the wind was still howling. I thought my skirt was going to blow away at any moment or indeed I would do a Mary Poppins and just fly away.

We saw whales breeching and pods of dolphins – quite magical!!!

We went to Mushroom Rock and Rainbow Valley.


Then it was off to Pot Alley with our intrepid, all terrain Indie doing a splendid job of negotiating hills and bends.

We walked across the top of Eagle Gorge and Shellhouse Grandstand


The water is so clear.

From there, it was back to Indie for a delicious lunch before sallying forth along the 3km boardwalk from Island Rock to Natural Bridge.

Apart from the fear of plummeting headlong over a cliff and disappearing into Davey Jones Locker, and fighting an almost impossible battle with flies, the walks along the Coastal Cliffs had been just gorgeous. Just to top it all off perfectly, we saw more whales and another large pod (probably 10 -15) of dolphins.
Friday 23rd August
Today is another rest day before we head off again tomorrow.




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