Surviving the School Holidays Part 2

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Coronation Beach was a great place to spend a couple of days.  A couple of days and a few windsurfs.

DSC_0797 (800x532)It wasn’t busy despite the holidays raging, and it only cost us a mere $7 a night!  Bargain!  For that you got an ocean view and a shelter shed.

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Only problem was that through the dividing wall of our shed dwelt another family whose kids had terrible coughs.  We have done a great job at avoiding sickness on this trip, so we cut our stay at Coronation a bit short so we didn’t get their germs!  And we disinfected the Duplo blocks afterwards.

The drive North is getting more and more barren.  Short saltbush shrubs sprout from bright red ochre sands and there is such huge expanse of sky it is ridiculous!

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The air has a different quality and at night the stars are so clear due to the lack of light pollution.  But the highway drives are pretty boring and long sometimes.  The trip to Kalbarri passed through the historic town of Northampton which had a little bit of character:

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Then we arrived in Kalbarri in time for a couple of days of drizzly rain, and also in time for the ANZAC day long weekend.  IMG_7748

We soon discovered that Kalbarri is the place where all of WA goes for their holidays.

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Talk about a thriving little place.  The van parks were all packed out but we managed to jag a little unpowered corner for a few nights.  The showers were grotty and the playground was broken but we felt ourselves lucky to find anywhere at all so we made the most of it.

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Brian had a few great surfs at Jake’s Point, and we drained the batteries watching movies in the rain.  The inverter broke, and we blew a fuse before we finally ran out of power for the first time ever on our last night.  Brian and Dash attended the dawn service (in the rain) and we all tried to partake in the pelican feeding but happened on a day that the pelicans were elsewhere unfortunately.  Dash got to throw a dead fish in the water though so he was pretty stoked with that!  Dash the menace.

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He may look cute, but geez he can be a monster!  He is always in trouble for touching things, poking fingers in dark holes, smacking/sitting on Daisy.  He is the one that will trip over nothing or bump his head on an unseen hazard every time.  What a little character.  It must be hard being 2.  He gives me the sweetest morning cuddles at usually 4am or so.  Love him!

Daisy is crawling and teething like another monster!  It’s not always fun sharing such a small space with monsters.  DSC_0848 (800x532)

But we wouldn’t have it any other way really.

Kalbarri is famous also for Nature’s Window and the beautiful gorge.

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It was reminiscent of the Grand Canyon the way it dropped away to the Murchison River far below.  Of course on a much less grand scale.  Coaxing the boys along a beautifully made 500m walk to get the money shot was fun.

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Even more fun was cracking the whip to get them back up the hill to the car!

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Not looking forward to the walks coming up further north in the National Parks.  I think Brian and I will have more fun taking turns and going solo.

At last, the blasted School Holidays were over and the highway was super busy with an assortment of 4wds and trailers and caravans and boats heading home.  We are heading home too, but we get to take the scenic route!  Our next spot was Hamelin Station Stay which was a patch of dirt on a working goat and sheep farm.

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It was a different atmosphere that’s for sure.  And the ablution blocks were about the most beautiful ones we have ever seen!  DSC_0835 (800x532)

It was lovely wandering around the farm and visiting the goats and the dam.

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The goats were awfully horny!  I’m glad we didn’t have to explain that one to Jasper just yet!

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They had some real rain here and then our site became crazy with ants which kind of detracted from the atmosphere, when we couldn’t even sit outside!

Hamelin Pool was the nearby attraction which is a bay that is 10 times saltier than the ocean and supports microbial life called Stromatolites.  These are the oldest living organisms on the planet and they were around 3.5 BILLION YEARS AGO!!!! Impressive to say the least.  This is the best example of them on Earth.

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For a bunch of rocks that grow larger with algae, they were really interesting!

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Shell Beach was around the corner which is, well, a beach made of shells.

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It was pretty cool, but there was more rain a’coming so we got ourselves into Denham and found the most exposed caravan park site we could to sit out the 20knot wind.  But the view was worth it!  I love being able to watch Brian windsurf from the comfort of my caravan!

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We hit the Ocean Park Aquarium with the promise of Tiger Shark feeding….. but there were no Tiger Sharks.  It was still awesome though with Stonefish, Squid, Sea snakes, Coral Trout, Lemon Sharks and all the other usual fishies.  It wasn’t all flashy like your Underwater World but it was a more authentic experience with a guided tour around a fully self sufficient eco attraction.

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It was fun and educational.  Did you know Sea Snakes have to drink fresh water?  Or that squid only live for 1 year?  And Trevelly are the fastest swimmers?  And most of the fish are hermaphroditic?  And Blue-Ringed Octopus and Puffer Fish have exactly the same paralysing poison and if you just continue CPR, even if there are no signs of success, eventually the compressions with reverse the toxin’s effect and the victim will recover?!

It also had a great view of Shark Bay.

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Denham is another daggy town which looks a bit rough around the edges.  Surprising considering this is a bit of a tourist mecca.

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 There are suddenly a lot of grey nomads around who look rather settled into the prime spots and it is coming into their travel season apparently.  Great.

We visited Monkey Mia this morning and although it was a quiet day, we still had to share the ‘experience’ with 150 other tourists.  And no, we weren’t picked to feed the dolphins.  But that is for the next blog.

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One thought on “Surviving the School Holidays Part 2

  1. Rev

    Three and a half BILLION years old eh! Do those Stromatolites throw a party every birthday?

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