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Tales of the travels, trials and triumphs as we explore Australia in a converted bus
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Motorhome Travels - October 2010


The first two days at 14 Mile camp (on Warroora Station) were bliss! I got into the water with my spear gun and shot a very nice Spangled Emperor within about 1 minute. It was so quick, Tracey was still putting her mask on when I was getting out of the water with my prize.

Spangled Emperor at 14 Mile (are you sick of Me and the fish photos yet?), WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Spangled Emperor at 14 Mile (are you
sick of Me and the fish photos
yet?), WA

At this point we thought we would be leaving there with a freezer full of fish ... well the weather man had different thoughts. For the next 6 days the wind blew so hard and so constantly that on the few times we could get down to the beach and into the water, we were unable to see the end of the spear. This kind of visibility makes the likelihood of shooting your partner with the spear gun quite high (not the best thing for a marriage).

At least Thelma and Norm got to see one of our most talked about camps in a good light for one day before we left. The wind had driven almost all the other campers from the beach and only a few hardy (and sand-blasted) campers remained when we drove out on the Wednesday.

We turned the bus south and headed for Carnarvon to fill the water tanks, stock the fridge and pickup the post. With the bus fully restocked we drove the 60 km from Carnarvon to Quobba and found a great camp just a few meters from the beach. While the wind continued to blow last night, it seems to have eased up quite a bit today and we were able to get into the water for a look at the area known as the aquarium. This is a reserve so the gun stays in the bus. The aquarium is a nursery and breeding ground for all sorts of fish - we saw loads of very big fish that would not be at all safe outside of the reserve!


Tracey and (Mummy) Thelma at Quobba, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Tracey and (Mummy) Thelma at Quobba,

We have traveled this west coast many times - but never at this time of the year. It really is quite amazing how the weather changes your impression of a place. Our time at Quobba was great, with some really nice days with almost no wind. The sunsets and cooler evenings made sitting around a campfire very enjoyable and going to sleep with the gentle sound of the sea, very relaxing.

Norm uses the facilities at Quobba, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Norm uses the facilities at Quobba,

We met a couple of German back-packers - Judy and Michael. They are travelling Australia in an old 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser. We shared a few beers and stories and did our best to convince Judy to try meat (she has never eaten meat in her 27 years of life) - we were unsuccessful despite offering some high quality fish. It did not even help when I pointed out that the fish was a vegetarian too!

Early morning at the blow holes, Quobba , WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Early morning at the blow holes,
Quobba , WA

A very early morning trip to the blowholes at Quobba rewarded me with some really nice photos - I always like long exposure shots of the ocean, especially in the morning light. The exploding blowholes spray just adds the icing on the cake.

I was very keen to get back to Gladstone beach - I was sure that there was at least one more pink snapper with my name on it. When we arrived there the wind had once again whipped up the sea and the visibility was not great - but of course it takes a bit more than murky water to get between me and a nice fish on the end of a spear. I slowly approached the small rocks where I had seen quite a few fish last time we were at Gladstone. Seeing a very small hole in the rock I decided to take a look inside. As I pocked my face into the hole, a large pink snapper took fright and almost took my mask off as it shot past me at great speed.

He must have raced around and warned all his buddies as that was the last pink snapper I saw that day.

Coronation beach was our next stop on our trek south. The wind there was perfect for both wind surfers and kite surfers - no good for snorkelers. I often wonder if we should take up wind surfing so we have something to do when it is too windy for diving, fishing and snorkeling.

Wanting to show our guests something of Western Australia other than the coast, we headed for the inland billabong Ellendale Pool. This is a really nice camp spot on a large naturally dammed river. It makes a nice swimming hole and is surprisingly sheltered from the strong winds that keep the nearby wind farm producing most of the year.

From Ellendale Pool we returned to Cliff Head to about six million waiting flies. When the wind is easterly, this is the worst place in all of Australia for flies. We felt that this would serve an important lesson to our guests who had been, until now wildly distressed about the one or two little flies that have elected to say hi. Rest assured - they have NEVER experienced anything like the hordes of incredibly annoying flies that instantly stick to every part of one's body, less than a nanosecond after opening the door to exit the bus. In these conditions it is very unpleasant outside the bus as thousands of determined flies battle for the right to enter your ears, nose and eyes.

My mischievous nature wanted to lock the door when Norm was out of the bus and video the action - I am sure it would have won any of the "funniest home video" prizes.  Tracey forbid me - kill-joy!




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