Heres an update on the last week or so......
After our night in Broome, we spent the morning looking around the town, trying to find a power lead for my netbook and then a walk around the saturday morning market. It wasnt anything special so we hit the road just before lunchtime and then just continued to drive. We stopped for fuel and toilets, but after about 11 hours on the road we had covered about 1200km's and finally decided to stop at a roadside free campsite. The drive between Broom and Port Hedland we had just done, was described in the lonely planet as ' a tiresome and boring 600km', and I have to agree. I loved evry minute but didnt see anything but trees and road.
After a good 5-6 hours sleep we were woken by the sun rise and I decided to get off towards our next destination - Exmouth. It sounded like an OK place and we planned to vegout there for the day if the weather stayed nice. It turned out to be much much better than we could have wished though as Exmouth itself is an ok little town, but the national park that adjoins it is stunning, with some of teh best beaches I have ever seen and I have seen a few!!
We hired some snorkel gear from town and went to Oyster stack beach, where we spent an hour snorkelling 'Ningaloo Reef'. This reef is actually more spectacular when you snorkel it, than the great barrier reef and is accepted locally to be a secret gem, that you dont tell anyone about, to stop hordes of people ruining it. We saw massive fish, coral and sea slugs before moving a mile north to Turquoise bay. You can tell how it got its name as the sea here is beautiful and has a tidal drift that you float along on while you snorkel - just beware that you get out before the sand spit, where the drift speeds up to what must be 10-15 kmh and without flippers would be impossible to fight against.
This drift also has the weirdest effect on the sandy beach - It pulls the sand away fro the beach at the same time as holding the sand on the beach - This give you the weirdest and bestbeach ever. Beautiful sand with a 5 foot drop almost straight down - You can dive into the sea like you would dive into a swimming pool and then get swept away by the current!! Its fookin ace and we spent ages diving and bombing into the deep clear sea.
We watched a stunning sunsety over the west coast and then spent the evening watching a movie on the outdoor screen in teh caraven park and then the football - man united v Blackpool, before bed.
The next day we drove 150km's south and arrived at Coral Bay - a tiny resort with yet another stunning beach, where we once again spent the day snorkelling Ningaloo Reef. In the two days snorkelling we both got a bit of colour off the sun and spotted loads of fish, including a couple of manta-rays. It was a great couple of relaxing amazing days.
We left coral bay after watching a disapointing sunset, alongside a family who were looking to try ans see the space shuttle and space station, which were hidden behind clouds as they passed by. I drove for an hour and we free-camped for the night in a nice road side site, where we saw some really cool, big spiders in the drop toilet ( after a check we found out they were Huntsman spiders -only slightly venomous)one of which went missing later on!!! and there were millions of moths everywhere.
Tuesday was a driving day again and we headed south through carnarvon and towards shark bay, where we intended to stay the night. In shark bay there is a small resort called monkey mia, where every morning dolphins come to the beach and get fed by hand, so we stayed there for the night enjoying a few beers in the bar and had a nice night before getting up on wednesday and standing on the beach with a crowd of about 100 people, while 4 dolphins slapped around us in the clear shallow water and were fed by a lucky few punters. We decided yo hang around for an hour afterwards as the dolphins get fed 3 times between 8 and 12. It was a good job we did as Buffy got picked to feed them the next time they came to the beach.
It was soo cool to see the dolphins up close - from about 3-4 feet sometimes, stood on the shore and certainly a highlight of the last few days.
We continued south and stayed overnight in K.... where we had heard about a great little fish bar/bbq/restaurant. It turned out that Finlays Fish BBQ is a back street hacienda with an open fire, no roof, paper plates and a rude chef who calls you for your dinner by saying things like ' Hey, the old cow with number 7 - your scrans ready!' - Obviously we loved it. The food was great and there was loads of it, plus we spent a couple of hours sat around teh campfire chatting to a few of the other punters, before heading back home to the camper van with full bellys.
The next day we visited Hutt River Province - A seperate state from the rest of Australia, that started life as a farm but claimed and won independance in teh 70's as a way to keep their 13000 acre wheat quota, rather than the measly 200acres offered by the then australian government. We were shown around by Wayne, who is the son if the Prince and princess who run the (They were away in Perth seeing the doctor!) Its only a farm homestead, but with a rolls royce for transporting the prince (actually the farm owner) and its own government offices and passport stamps, it as a fun place to visit.
After a night in a campsite by a dried up lake, we drove south and reached Perth by lunchtime on Friday, where I finally got a power supply for my netbook and we moved in to a hostel in town after dropping off the campervan. We got away with a little bit of damage on teh step of the van and also got some diesel money back. In the evening we went to the cinema and eventually had a reasonably early night in a lovely proper single bed!!
|The deep sea at Exmouth|
|A huntsman spider in the campsite toilets - The 2nd one was bigger but disappeared!|
|Bloody outback flies|
|Dinnet at Finlays BBQ|
|Vegging round yet another campfire|
|Out of australia - in australia|
|I had to drive through northampton!!!|
|Buffy feeding the dolphns|
|Finally in Perth|
|The bastard pelican that nearly shat on us!!|