Perth to Coral Bay
Upon leaving Perth, we decided that we wanted to see Dolphins and had heard that you can see then at Bunbury, which is South Perth, so we traveled down there for a day or two. We got there and went to the Dolphin Discovery Center and were told that the Dolphins come in to the beach between 8am and 12pm. So we got up early the next day and took breakfast with us and sat on the beach and waited. We saw them at about 8.30am out of the bay and that was it this is the best picture we got.
So after the non event at Bunbury we were off to the Lancelin for the night as Ali wanted to drive the sand dunes.
90 on Dunes
The next morning we were of to the Pinnacles via a 4WD track over the sand dunes, as we started we ran into another Defender 110 and we all decided to stick together incase the tracks got a little hairy. During the drive we went through a army testing zone and a valley of Black Boy trees.
Black Boy Bushes
We stopped at Wedge Island to say good-bye to our new friends in the 110 after a quick picture on the beach.
110 and 90 on beach
The next bit of the trip had to be the hardest so far, we stated off great but then we came unstuck in a track the sand had encroached back over, after a few attempts Ali admitted defeat and got the ground anchor out and we winched ourselves out of the sand and up the track. We then got stuck again and had to do it all again and all this in 40 Degree heat and Sue was not so happy to be the one out of the car in the sand holding the anchor in place, but we got through in the end (Sorry we took no photos of that little adventure). After that we finally arrived at the Pinnacles.
Ali and Sue at Pinnacles
This picture is for Kim and Vic, see we do take some picture together. After driving around the Pinnacles in the heat we needed a swim to cool off and found a lovely clear bay to swim in, we could have stayed there forever but time was getting on and we had to make camp for the night. As we drove from the beach we happen to meet up with the other defender again and they were staying at a camp site not far away, so we followed them to a place called Sandy Cove. It was beautiful, clear crystal calm water and it was lovely to swim in. We stayed up talking for ages with our new friends Brad and Yvette. Then the next day we were off to Geraldton for the night before heading up to Monkey Mia.
After staying in Geraldton for the night, we discovered that there was not much to see, so we left for Monkey Mia, which was a long drive of 450k's and during the drive the heat was up to 39 degrees in the shade and inside the 90 the temp was 49 degrees, it was a hot one. By the time we got to Monkey Mia we were hot and a little melted, so first order on the card was a swim and later in the evening we sat in the naturally heated spa. I did not want to leave that. The next morning we got up and put our stuff together for the beach to watch Dolphins, (thinking it would be just like Bunbury) as we were walking down the beach and there they were in the water, but the crowd was to big so we thought we would wait a little while as they say they sometimes come in again. While we waited I worked on my tan for Kim and Toby's wedding and Ali went to by a new book from the shop. About 1 hr later I looked over and there they were in the shallow's waiting. This is only some of the 100 photo's I took.
Monkey Mia Dolphins
Also I got to feed one of them and it was amazing to be that close to such beautiful creatures, it was magical. As much as Ali and I didn't want to tear ourselves away, there was so much of the place to see. So Ali took me down some very sandy tracks this is just one of those. (I was praying that we would not get stuck again)
90 on Desert Track
After this we were back to have a snorkel in the ocean at Monkey Mia and hoping that a Dolphin would come over and swim with us but it was to late in the day for them. When we walked back to camp, an Emu though it would say hi, but he tried to peck me, but this is the picture of him.
He even Looks Evil.
As the wind picked up, Ali and I decided that it was to strong for us to stay there for another night, so we up stumps and moved on to Carnarvon, on the way we stopped at a beach that is made out of just millions and millions of tiny shells, it was weird, they were as far as the eye could see and it was low tide. At Carnarvon, we took a little trip around and found a 1 Mile Jetty but the wind was to strong to go on it.
1 Mile Jetty
We then took a tour around the area, we found some brilliant blow holes, as we came in to the park we were greeted with a sign saying "King Killer Waves", so far some people have been washed off the rocks dew to freak waves, so I was a little scared to say the least. It was fine though, the tired was out.
Ali at Blow Holes
After Leaving the Blow Holes we were off to Rock Pools, we were told that you can swim in them. Seeing the day was a hot one again that sounded excellent. When we got there we changed our minds, due to the rains lately it was a river not just a Rock Pool.
Then it was back to Carnarvon and we were going to see The Dish, which was the NASA Dish that the only Dish in the range of the 1st moon landing. Try to see the move it is funny.
Then it was time to leave Carnarvon, we were off to Coral Bay for a few days of snorkeling on the reef just off the beach. On the trip there we passed over the Tropic of Capricorn.
Us crossing the Tropic of Capricorn
Then we arrived in Coral Bay and it was stunning, we got our snorkels out straight away and we were off. I was a little scared of the outer water but Ali loved it and he took loads of pictures with the waterproof camera (not developed yet), there were loads of fish and the coral was sporning. After that I thought it could not get better, I was so wrong, the sunset over the Bay was so beautiful that I almost forgot to photograph it.
Last of the Sunset
The next day we woke early to go out on the 4WD tracks near by, on arriving at The Lagoon I got a fly in my ear and had to get the local nurse to get it out via a syringe, that was interesting. It did not put us off from going snorkeling again, but being low tied made me scared that I would cut myself on the Coral but Ali was in his element and he loved it. He even got to help get a stuck Land Rover off the beach. They had got stuck the night before and had been up all night trying to dig it out and stop the tide from sinking the car more into the sand
Upon returning we had heard that a Cyclone was on the way and that we would know it's fate in 48 hours but there is a Yellow alert for Exmouth, which was the town we were off to next, so we decided after looking in all the books we got from everyone to go back to Carnarvon, once there we would decide where we would go next. We stayed in Carnarvon for 2 days, to see which way the Cyclone would go. On hearing that Carnarvon could be one of the next town down the coast as the cyclone went to a Cat 4, we chose to get out of her way. We also had decided that we would go to Ayres Rock via a track in our 4WD book, which started in Leonora, which was via Mt Augustus, so we left for Mt Augustus, the largest rock in the world (Do not ask us what the difference between a rock and a mountain is, as we are still trying to work that out). We drove across to Mt Augustus via dirt tracks for 450 K's and no toilets along the way. During our trip we saw loads of wild life but this one was the best, we came round the corner and was confronted with something on the road until we got closer and realised it was 2 eagles eating a dead kangaroo.
Mt Augustus as we were arriving
Mt Augustus just after we arrived at Camp.
As you can see how fast the Cyclone was coming in as this was about 30 mins after we arrived at our Camp for the night, due to the winds we were to chicken to stay in the tent, so we booked a room as it was safer. It was a beautiful place to stay and the setting was wonderful, the only problem we had was with all the frog and there were 100's of them and they were everywhere, even after we turned off the light one jumped near Ali's head and after we had kicked him out, we went to sleep. I was woken by one jumping on my arm and it freaked me out, I didn't sleep the rest of the night, Ali heard me squeal but told me to shut up. In the morning he had no memory of the whole frog incident, but apologised profusely and made me a hot chocolate, so I forgave him. We left early in the morning due to the rain and we had 555 K's still to go on dirt tracks before we were on tarmac again. We were cruising along quite nicely until our first flat of the trip (on the trailer), which was not really that great due to the rain that was falling, but Ali fixed it and 30 mins later we were on our way again. We arrived at Leonora at 7pm and as it was still raining, we got another room for the night. We then realised it takes a week for the permits to cross aboriginal land, so we found out that there was an office for the Aboriginal Land Trust in Kalgoorlie, which was 230 K's away, so we headed back to Kalgoorlie, as we also had to get our tire fixed. We applied for the permits and we can pick them up in 4 days, so we are in Kalgoorlie until Tuesday (04/04/06) and then we are starting our trek to Ayres Rock.