Some bloody beautiful places

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Monkey Mia.  It was busy, commercial, ‘free’ (well, not if you include the $17.50 entry), and maybe a little disappointing.  Firstly you line up with 150 others for the morning feed session, dip your toes in the water, and wait hopefully for the volunteers to pass down the line and pick you from the crowd to hand feed the dolphins.  So you look at them eagerly, clutching your gorgeous children, hoping, somehow believing that you are the special girl that gets picked today, and she looks right at you….. but no.

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She picked that girl in the ugly fuschia dress instead.

Oh well.  To be honest, we have had better, wilder dolphin experiences than that one.  So, Monkey Mia….. nah, don’t bother.

But do definitely bother with Francois Peron National Park.

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It was a 4okm trip from Denham along a soft sandy dirt and corrugated at times track with a tyre inflation and deflation station at the entrance.

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The colours were absolutely outstanding

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Even though it was an overcast day, the red soils complemented the turquoise water and the azure sky to create absolute harmony!

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We drove and picnicked and strolled and soaked it up and, for the first time, really appreciated the remoteness and the thrill of what Western Australia is all about.

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The next stop up the highway is Carnarvon.  The annoying thing is that everything involves some backtracking, so, it was 140kms or so into Denham, then back another 140kms or so to the highway, then along another couple hundred ks to Carnarvon.

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A nice foreshore, a jetty and museum with an overpriced vintage train:

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complete with a large population of our indigenous friends and a lively judicial scene

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let’s just say Carnarvon isn’t your typical holiday destination in itself.  But it is on the way to better places. You can buy fruit and veg direct from the farmer with an honesty box and it is the home of those sweet little lunchbox bananas.  Carnarvon is really a great place to restock and refuel and get you ready for those better places.

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There was also this radical satellite dish which dominated the skyline.  Buzz Aldrin (Dr Buzz) came to Carnarvon a few years ago to open the Museum here.  The dish was instrumental in the manned missions to the moon in the 60s.  It no longer operates but just sits there and looks really cool.

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We got a few inches of rain in Carnarvon, not enough to get that mighty Gascoyne River flowing, but enough to close a few roads around the place so we had to stay a few extra days and wait it out.

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Just up the road, well 75kms of bitumen plus 60kms of dirt corrugated track was our next destination….

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But first we had to stop at a blowhole!

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We headed past Quobba Station and bravely continued along the bumpy track to our new home at Red Bluff.  It was a trip where, once you hit the point of no return, and, as the corrugations worsened, you just had to bite it, and carry on.

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Soooo glad we did!  Red Bluff was red at sunrise,

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pink and purple at sunset,

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with these perfect left hander waves reeling off it day and night.

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You camp right at the top of the dune, about 20 meters from the biggest pounding shorebreak I have ever seen…

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There was even a cafe serving the most perfect mango smoothies.

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There’s 2 families calling this remote piece of paradise home.  Between them there seems to be about 10 kids aged between about 5 and 19, all of varying degrees of perfect tans and the blondest hair.  The most typical beach bums you have ever seen.  It got us thinking about living somewhere so remote, home school the kids, where all you have to do is surf, ……  (Carnarvon is about 2 hours away).  As wonderful as it was for 6 days, they can have it actually.

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Perfection has its price.  And its limit.

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So, Brian spent many a day in the surf magazine quality surf amidst the holiday brochure weather

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and we strolled the sandy shore, watching for sharks in the shallows and dipped in the waters between the dodgy shories.

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See the reef shark feeding in the right of this picture?:

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Ahhh, what a place!

DSC_0968 (800x532)20kms further north along more crap roads and we found ourselves at Gnaraloo.

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An apparently famed surfspot and a favourite haunt of the pros.  The day we were there it was absolutely going off with 8 foot left hand waves lining up and peeling off.

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This spot was totally special.

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Remote, intrepid, adventurous, a highlight of our trip.  An awesome way to spend both my birthday, and Mother’s Day, with the crazy gadsventure crew

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Even the toilet had a view:

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Finally, North-Western Australia has really delivered for scenery and atmosphere and Red Bluff shaped up to be a winner.

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