Part Four - Perth to Kalbarri

17th August, 1998
18th August, 1998
19th August, 1998

Monday, 17th August, 1998

Kangaroo Paws photograph

Bed of Kangaroo Paws in Kings Park, Perth

Drop Cap oday was relatively relaxed. We didn't have to get bags out so had an extra half hour in bed. After breakfast we had a tour of Perth, seeing the Kings Cross type area (Northbridge, actually), all ethnic eateries and adult shops and nightclubs, and lovely Kings Park.

Karri log photograph

Log of Karri Wood, Kings Park, Perth

Drop Cap his is a large area of bush, right in the middle of the city, but a lot of it is laid out as a Botanic Garden specialising in WA wildflowers. There is an enormous log of karri wood there, just to show how big it gets. There is a lovely view over the city and the river and it was very pretty.

Ark of Joan shop photograph

"Ark of Joan" Fremantle, WA

Drop Cap hen we drove to Fremantle, the dock town where the America's Cup was defended and lost. It was given a facelift for the Cup and has quite a number of attractive old pubs etc. We had an hour and a half to explore so we looked at the shops. It seems to be mystic city, the number of New Age places was amazing. We explored one called the Ark of Joan, a very pleasant young woman who makes organic face washes and creams but lots else. I was attracted by the sign in the window "The Goddess lives and magic is afoot". I bought Geoff some incense for full moon rituals and some charcoal blocks to burn it on.

Drop Cap fter we got back to Perth and the hotel we had a rest then went for a walk, got some lunch in a takeaway and walked all the way to the Port where the cruise boats leave from. Then we walked back. My feet are giving me trouble again and I have been sleeping very badly so I lay down to rest. Mac slept but I just lay with my eyes closed. I am so tired! Tomorrow we pick up some more passengers to make up for some of our losses and head north for the Pinnacles and Monkey Mia. Some long drives , I think. Oh, well.

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Tuesday, 18th August, 1998

Black Swans photograph

Black Swans, Lake Monger, WA

Drop Cap t pelted down with rain as we left Perth this morning. We passed through the area known as Lake Monger, where we saw the first black swans we have seen since we arrived. I had been wondering where they were.

Pinnacles photograph

Pinnacles, Nambung National Park, WA

Drop Cap e headed up the coast to our morning tea stop at Yanchep, which was a beachside place with a wildly windy shore on the Indian Ocean. I wandered down the beach and dipped a finger in the sea. Here my camera chose to seize up, AGAIN! I suppose I have been lucky to get four films through it. It's so irritating and we are heading for the Pinnacles which I particularly wanted to capture.

Drop Cap still had some of my throwaway panoramic left, so clicked discriminately when we reached the Nambung National Park, home of the Pinnacles Desert. Thousands of these petrified relics of who knows what were scattered randomly over the sand. Someone said they reminded her of Stonehenge, I thought the Callanish Stones myself, except that there is no design to this, of course, they are natural, not man-made. It was a fantastic sight.

Pinnacles photograph

Pinnacles, Nambung National Park, WA

Drop Cap he fields and road verges today have had the beginnings of the carpets of wildflowers the west is famous for. Low growing wattles made a yellow glow everywhere and banksias, (bottlebrush types, anyway) of all sizes and colours were beginning to come out. Some white clematis and purple hovea also added to the show.

Drop Cap e drove to the town of Cervantes, a lobster fishing port enclosed by the National Park, and are here for the night. A very interesting day. Geoff has been organising flood relief crews for Wollongong. Every time I leave! Next time it will be a hurricane!

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Wednesday, 19th August, 1998

Drop Cap very diverse and quite interesting day today. We headed out of Cervantes and drove north to Port Denison and Dongara. Prior to this, as Mac reminds me, we met a large ginger cat, who opened the screen door of the unit next to ours and went in! He wasn't particularly receptive to Mac's overtures, however.

Greenhough photograph

Some of the group at Greenhough Historic Hamlet School

Drop Cap fter morning tea by the beach at Pt. Denison we drove on through quite attractive country to Greenough (pronounced Grennuff) Historic Hamlet, a village completely owned by the National Trust. Here we looked over some of the main buildings, courthouse, catholic church, school and general store, all dating from the mid 1800's. A lovely little place. They also had a black cat which Mac and Margaret, another ailurophile, petted.

Greenhough photograph

The Convent, Greenhough Historic Hamlet, WA

Geraldton photograph

Geraldton Marine Museum, WA

Drop Cap eaving Greenhough we headed further north to our lunch stop at the city of Geraldton. We wanted to see the relics of the "Batavia" which was wrecked off this coast in the 1600's. They were in the marine museum, which Wayne kindly parked nearby. We picked up some food, a delicious sausage roll and pastie and ate in a nearby park, then went to the museum. It was small but the display was very interesting - a large case of recovered silver coins, cannons and various domestic artifacts . The ship itself is in the museum at Fremantle, unfortunately I didn't know that in time.

Drop Cap fter lunch we took a detour to go up a dirt road past the Hutt River Province, 18,500 acres of farm owned by "Prince" Leonard of Hutt and his wife "Princess" Shirley. They succeeded in seceding from Australia in the late '60's, early 70's. I always thought it was a bit of a joke, but he has apparently done it perfectly legally (although the government has hastily moved to shut down the loopholes he used). There were the beginnings of masses of wildflowers along the road verges, some very pretty. Pink, purple, yellow orange and red. Also a lovely silver grey, known as smoke bush.

Kalbarri Gorge photograph

Kalbarri Gorge, WA

Drop Cap s we approached Kalbarri the ocean became visible again and we drove to a lookout over a hitherto invisible and unheralded gorge, with rugged cliffs and stunning views. There was a track to a tiny beach and a life ring attached to a cliff face. I think people would have drowned before anyone could reach it. Still, the thought is there.

Drop Cap he Kalbarri Palm Resort is very big, two bus loads tonight. A reasonable carvery buffet and the promise of a free movie. In the dining room of all places. It is "The Wedding Singer", which Neil and Pat recommended. I might give it a whirl.

Drop Cap omorrow to Monkey Mia. We have an optional sunset cruise on a catamaran, where we will hopefully see some dolphins. I watched "The Wedding Singer" and enjoyed it. It was bright and funny. Not brain surgery and one of the seven original plots of the world, but enjoyable.

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