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Motorhome Travels - April 2006

01/04/2006

We camped at New Norcia for two days - courtesy of the monks. They allow self-contained vehicles to camp on their land (I guess for a limited time). The area provided is nice, well away from the noisy road and the even nosier monastery bells. We decided to spend the $14 each on the guided town tour - this turned out to be quite educational and quite a lot of fun. We were taken inside the monastery, into a few of the many chapels and were told something of the life of a monk (it sounded a little like living in prison but perhaps a bit more monotonous). The strange little  souvenir shop sells everything from monk made bread to monk soap-on-rope, along with a selection of produce from the farm and gardens surrounding  the monastery.

From New Norcia we headed north west and out to the coast - very keen to try out our latest purchase ... an inflatable kayak designed to carry two divers and all of their gear. We thought it best to try the kayak out firstly without the added complexity of dive gear and weights. The sea at our selected spot (just south of Cervantes) was fairly calm - just right for our maiden voyage. Fortunately we did not venture far, as we quickly discovered that the wind has a major part to play in the effort required to propel such a craft. We will try that again when there is less wind trying to take us on an extended trip to Madagascar.

The Pinnacles at sunset, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
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The Pinnacles at sunset, WA

We took the Moke out just a few hours before sunset and headed for the Pinnacles National Park - after a brief exchange with the less-than-friendly woman collecting the entry fee (a great ambassador - not!) we spent a hour looking at the strange limestone formations protruding from the sand and selecting the best vantage point to photograph the strange landscape at sunset.

We headed back to the motorhome and watched the news on TV for information about cyclone Glenda that is about to threaten the west coast north of us.

The following day we spoke to some locals about the cyclone and were reassured to hear that it was unlikely to have any impact on our location other than strong winds and some rain. We decided to move away from the coast - just in case, and found a great little camp spot on the shores of Lake Indoon. There we met a few other people who thought, like us, that it might be wise to be away from the coast for a day or two. As it turned out, apart from some light rain and some moderate wind, we saw nothing of the cyclone.

As I write this update, we are camped back on the coast (in fact we are about 30m from the sea). We plan to stay here for a few days before venturing further north. The sea is fairly stirred up - so there will perhaps be no diving or snorkelling for a few days - damn that Glenda.

 

13/04/2006

Apart from a four hour trip into Dongera to pick up mail and to fill the water tanks, we have not moved since the last update. We are still at Cliff Head about 320 km  north of Perth. The average temperature is slowly dropping, with over night lows now down to 8 degrees. The days however are still quite pleasant and the winds seem to have dropped. We will stay here until after Easter then head further north in search of a warmer climate.

These guys taste great!, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
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These guys taste great!, WA

The fishing and crayfishing here is pretty good - we have had a number good meals fresh from the sea and even Tivoil is enjoying the bounty of fresh seafood.

There are a small group of travellers enjoying this camp with us and we are all expecting an influx of campers to arrive at Easter to add to the group.

The rig 7km off shore, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
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The rig 7km off shore, WA

 

Directly off the beach there is large gas or perhaps oil rig that is lit like a Xmas tree at night. It is interesting to watch the supply boats coming and going from the rig around the clock.

 

23/04/2006

Just when we thought that there could be no end to the good weather - at 1:30am there was a spectacular electrical storm that started well out to sea and slowly made its way towards us. This provided a fantastic opportunity to photograph lightening.  Despite all the flashing and thunder, there was very little rain and the following day was calm and bright. We left our comfortable camp spot at Cliff Head as soon as the post-Easter traffic had dissipated. After collecting water and a few supplies we headed inland to Ellendale Pool.

Ellendale Pool from the top of the hill, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
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Ellendale Pool from the top of the
hill, WA

This camp is well signposted and well looked after. A very deep pool of fresh(ish) water provides a refreshing break from the heat of the day. We stayed at Ellendale Pool for two nights before making our way to Geraldton on Friday to pick up some mail.

After fuelling and watering the motorhome we headed again for the coast - the much talked about Coronation Beach. We have been here for a day and a bit now and have not yet seen the beach as we have been swamped with work - there are lots of travellers here and many of them have problems with satellite systems, notebooks or electrical issues. Hopefully we will get out on the boat tomorrow to have a look at the reef.

 

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