Days are going so quickly now I can hardly keep track of them. And the weather is definitely warming up the further north I go.
Left Carnarvon about 9 this morning and actually drove into the town which was
a lot nicer than I had been led to believe (someone told me that there wasn’t much point in stopping here). But actually it’s a very pretty little coastal town and I’m glad I took the time to have a walk around.
Had my usual morning coffee there and then set off for Coral Bay. What a long, long drive that was.
When people talk about ‘miles of nothing’ I understand what they mean. It just goes back to what I keep talking about – this vast country – and although the scenery does vary, apart from the scenery changes the land is mostly flat, sometimes undulating, usually with the red red soil stretching way, way into the distance, but most of the time I feel it’s just me and the road.
More road trains, yes, but not that many and quite a few Britz vans but I spend a long time without seeing people.
I reached Coral Bay about 1 in the afternoon and I hadn’t booked anywhere so was definitely leaving it to chance.
Tried one campsite and there was a cabin that was very expensive so decided to try the one next to it and guess what – I decided to give camping a go! So I ended up at Bayview Campground booking a powered tent site. Oh wow – so I really had to get myself together and put the tent up. I think I have been avoiding this!
After a bit of effort on my part (and some very welcome input from the young man camped on the site next to mine) up went the tent, for the first time. Now, I have been camping before on a number of occasions – when my kids were little – so I did have a few clues about what to do and I had actually remembered to bring a hammer with me to bang in the tent pegs.
I stayed two nights at this beautiful spot on the coast, but I have to admit that I don’t get why people want to go camping like this where you’re right within cooee of your neighbour and at night it’s so quiet (because most camp sites are strict about no noise after 10.00pm) that you could almost hear a pin drop. So if you do have to go visit the loo during the night the noise of your tent zip is enough to wake your neighbours – some of whom are snoring blissfully.
Mind you, there were lots of small children around and there were two very young babies near me, and they woke at night and I could hear the parents hurriedly trying to quieten them down. Brings to mind a funny story from my camping days with the kids at Bournda in NSW. There was a hole in our tent where the family was sleeping, and I had begged my ex to repair it many times, but it didn’t get repaired and one night I woke screaming because a mouse had got into the tent and ran across my face. Needless to say, pandemonium erupted with everyone awake and the little mouse trying to escape the tent as quick as it could.
And the hole in the tent got a patch on it the next day … of course it did!
Just another thing I’ve noticed – there are a lot of Europeans travelling in Britz camper vans – and at Coral Bay there were quite a lot of Victorians holidaying there. In fact the couple next to me were from Torquay. The husband had driven over to Perth with a mate who had flown back to Melbourne and his wife had flown from Melbourne to Perth with their 15 month old little girl which I found quite amazing that they would travel all the way from Victoria for a three week holiday in Coral Bay.
It is, of course, a beautiful spot, with the pristine white sand and clear sea water. I spent the afternoon at the beach – something I haven’t done for a long, long time, and the water was very shallow so I enjoyed just sitting in it for a while then going back to sit on the beach.
I did do a tour of the Ningaloo coral reef in a glass bottomed boat – wasn’t quite game enough to go out snorkelling or swimming with the whale sharks.
The below photos were taken through the glass bottomed boat so they’re not terribly good but it gives a good idea of what the reef looks like.
You go out to the reef and then the boat is stopped and the fish get some food – only happens in a certain area and the fish go absolutely bananas to get the food. Apparently the food they give the fish is deliberately kept to similar food they eat from the ocean.
The place is a hive of activity and has a cute little shopping centre with a fabulous bakery. There was a whole bus load of school children the morning I went there to get a cup of tea – because it was my first time camping I hadn’t organised myself with my little camping stove – needless to say I had to wait a while for my cuppa this particular morning.
Had a meal at the little café right next to the campground and had barramundi which was done in a cauliflower sauce and it was delicious. My treat for the trip!