A Travellerspoint blog

June 2012

Day 51 - Monday 25 June 2012

Cervantes to Geraldton

Yesterday we worked on our itineray for the next 3 or 4 weeks as we realised that we were coming up to WA school holidays. We had planned on 3 days at Kalbarri but could only get 2, so had to stay tonight at Geraldton on the way. After Kalbarri we are staying 4 nights at Denham/Monkey Mia, then 3 nights at Carnarvon while we wait for our mail to catch up with us. We had wanted to stay 4 nights at Coral Bay but could only get a booking for 2 nights. After Coral Bay we plan to spend a week or so free camping or staying in National Parks, and a few days at Eighty Mile Beach on the way to Broome where we have a long standing booking for a week at the end of July. Just as well we decided to make a few bookings or we may have missed out on the good spots altogether.

We woke this morning to a grey cloudy day - Di blames you Frosty for drawing attention to yesterday's sunshine! We got away from Cervantes shortly after 9:00 am and followed the Indian Ocean Drive north towards Geraldton. Our trip today was a relatively short 230 kms, but as we got closer to Geraldton the showers became more frequent. We arrived at the Big4 Sunset Beach Holiday Park and were allocated a drive through site, and luckily the showers eased briefly while we set-up. After lunch the showers turned to fairly solid rain and it does not look like stopping anytime soon.

We spent a wet afternoon doing the caravanner's shopping trip - Getaway Outdoors for Bio-Magic and tent pole bags, Bunnings for tap fittings and mats, Spotlight for odds and ends, Woolies for groceries and Caltex for diesel.

On the way back to the caravan park we drove up to the HMAS Sydney Memorial. As it was still raining David dashed around in the rain for a few photos while Di stayed dry in the car. The Memorial Dome is made up of 645 seagulls, representing the 645 crew members lost at sea.

HMAS Sydney Memorial Dome

HMAS Sydney Memorial Dome

Memorial walls with 645 names of the crew

Memorial walls with 645 names of the crew

Remembrance Pool

Remembrance Pool

Posted by TwoAces 02:03 Comments (1)

Day 50 - Sunday 24 June 2012

Cervantes

A cloudy start but it cleared to a bright sunny day, with a temperature range of 13 to 23 degrees. We started the day with a visit to Lake Thetis to look at the Stromatolytes. Stromatolytes are one of the earliest forms of life to evolve on earth and fossilised remains up to 3,400 million years old have been found in the Pilbara. The Lake Thetis stromatolytes are living organisms with similarities with the Pilbara fossils, and have been growing for 3,500 years.

A Stromatolyte at Lake Thetis

A Stromatolyte at Lake Thetis

More Stromatolytes at Lake Thetis

More Stromatolytes at Lake Thetis

Next stop was the Pinnacles Desert Park, where thousands of limestone pillars standing up to 4 metres tall rise from the desert sands. A 4.6 km track has been marked through the desert park, as well as walking tracks from the information centre. The origins of the columns are unknown and scientists are not agreed on how the columns were formed, with some believing that the columns are a fossilised forest. The area was virtually unknown until the 1960s.

Di at the Pinnacles

Di at the Pinnacles

The Mighty Navara

The Mighty Navara

Pinnacles

Pinnacles

Sand dunes in the distance

Sand dunes in the distance

Rocky outcrop in the Pinnacles

Rocky outcrop in the Pinnacles

David is on this trip!

David is on this trip!

More Pinnacles

More Pinnacles

Ocean in the distance

Ocean in the distance

Sandstone outcrop

Sandstone outcrop

The ocean from the Pinnacles

The ocean from the Pinnacles

A last look at the Pinnacles

A last look at the Pinnacles

After visiting the Pinnacles we returned to the caravan park for lunch, then drove to Jurien Bay which is about 25 kms north of Cervantes. Like Cerevantes, Jurien Bay has been the subject of recent housing development since the opening of the Indian Ocean Drive in 2010 that has reduced the access time from Perth. At Jurien Bay we had a coffee at the waterfront cafe and sat in the sun and enjoyed the views. On the way back to Cervantes we stopped at the Molah Hill Lookout to admire the view.

Jurien Bay Jetty

Jurien Bay Jetty

Recent housing development at Jurien Bay

Recent housing development at Jurien Bay

View from the Molah Lookout 11 km north of Cervantes

View from the Molah Lookout 11 km north of Cervantes

Posted by TwoAces 03:12 Comments (1)

Day 49 - Saturday 23 June 2012

Perth to Cervantes

Another cold night - 2.2 degrees in Perth overnight. When we were packing up we lifted the front of the van to hitch up and a lot of water ran off the back of the van along with a large sheet of ice. Before we left Perth we made another trip to the Post Office looking for our latest mail consignment - to no avail. We arranged for the mail item to be forwarded on to Carnarvon as we expect to be there the week after next - this will allow a couple of more days for the envelope to turn up, then a couple of more days to be on-forwarded to Carnarvon.

We eventually got away from the caravan park by 10:10 am and headed north on the Tonkin Highway, then west on the Reid Highway, until we turned north on the Mitchell Freeway. After passing Yanchep and Two Rocks we joined the Indian Ocean Drive, which was completed in 2010 to connect Perth with Lancelin, Cervantes and the coastal communities to the north. We stopped for a morning coffee at the small fishing town of Lancelin. The roads in WA are generally very good and we have been very impressed with the ease of moving about as traffic flows very well.

Di at the beach at Lancelin

Di at the beach at Lancelin

Lancelin seafront

Lancelin seafront

Our rig parked at Lancelin

Our rig parked at Lancelin

Di has decided that she likes the new bullbar that was fitted in Perth. The new bullbars have plastic wrap-arounds rather than being all alloy. For Frosty's benefit Di does not think that it needs to be painted.

Di with the new bullbar

Di with the new bullbar

Sand dunes between Lancelin and Cerventes

Sand dunes between Lancelin and Cerventes

We arrived at the Cevantes Caravan Park at about 1:30 pm and booked in for 2 nights. Cervantes is a small lobster fishing town, and is named after a ship that was wrecked on a nearby island - the ship "Cervantes" being named after Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote. As we are only staying here for two nights we did not bother with the awning or the mats and did a minimal set-up. After setting up we went for a walk around town, then a short drive to explore the rest of the town.

Beach front at Cerventes

Beach front at Cerventes

Cerventes near the beach

Cerventes near the beach

Di at Thirsty Point - recent storm damage

Di at Thirsty Point - recent storm damage

Looking north from Thirsty Point at Cervantes

Looking north from Thirsty Point at Cervantes

Thirsty Point

Thirsty Point

TV reception is not all that good here, we have 5 ABC digital channels and 6 very fuzzy analogue channels. We got out the satellite dish but there were too many trees to get a good signal, so we packed it away again. Back at the van Di put her feet up - David did not!

Di relaxing back at the van - David used to have a recliner!

Di relaxing back at the van - David used to have a recliner!

We decided to walk around to the local Tavern for a meal - we both had scotch fillet steak with vegies - overpriced and not all that inspiring. Given the number of customers at the Tavern on a Saturday night, I would give Tuesday a miss. But then it is winter!

Posted by TwoAces 06:31 Comments (3)

Day 48 - Friday 22 June 2012

Perth

A cold morning again in Perth today - 5 degrees and a forecast maximum of 18 degrees. We have bright sunshine and a clear blue sky. David made and early trip to the newsagent and the post office hoping to pick up our latest consignment of forwarded mail. It has not arrived yet, so we will check again in the morning. Mail can take up to 7 days to get from the east coast to the west coast, so if it has not arrived tomorrow we will have to get it forwarded again - perhaps to Carnarvon as we will be there in a week or so.

We spent the morning visiting the supermarket, the nearest Woolworths is at the Belmont Shopping Centre that is enormous - it has Coles, Woolworths, and a Super IGA, along with Kmart, Big W, Harvey Norman and heaps of specialty shops. We also made a visit to Bunnings for some more Sikaflex 291 to deal with any future leaks. After lunch we went to Getaway Outdoors in Midland to get some more BioMagic for use in our holdings tank - it keeps them smelling nice! They only had one litre bottles for $40.00, so we had a wasted trip as it is normally $89.00 for 5 litres. We will try again when we get to Geradton in a few days.

Back at the caravan park we packed up as much as we could while it was dry - as another cold night is forecast and everything is likely to be p with condensation in the morning. Packing up the night before also helps with an early departure in the morning. We are offto Cervantes, which is about 200 kms north of Perth, via the Indian Ocean Drive, and the major attraction is the Pinnacles Desert.

No photos today.

Posted by TwoAces 05:08 Comments (0)

Day 47 - Thursday 21 June 2012

Perth

A little cool today even for Perth - 4 degrees overnight with a forecast maximum of 18 degrees, but at least we had a clear blue sky and no more rain. We had hoped to do a trip to Rottnest Island today but were unable to get a booking - a pity as it was a beautiful day. After a leisurely breakfast we decided to walk to the nearest shops that are about 3 kms away for a paper, a coffee and a few groceries. After getting back to the van we were sitting in the sun having lunch when we got a phone call from the repairers to say the Navara repairs were nearly complete and we would be able to pick it up at about 4:00pm. The bullbar is slightly different to the original, but the Navara now looks like new.

Nissan Navara - just like new!

Nissan Navara - just like new!

Posted by TwoAces 04:55 Comments (1)

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