Monday 19 September 2011

From Dongara to Kalbarri

So today’s run was a big one.  Again.

Starting from Dongara, we headed off to Kalbarri, on the way after a quick stop off for supplies and some information, we headed off to the Coalseam National park, which required a trip to Eneabba.

Once we arrived in Eneabba we decided we needed a quick refreshment stop at the bakery, a short pastry and coffee fix and we were off!  Luckily there were flowers all over the place.  So many, just lining the side of the road, requiring a stop occasionally for some viewing.


There are rest stops all along the side of the road and they provide a fantastic opportunity to look at the flowering situation.  Some places are covered like they have carpet.


The roads are long and straight.  Ratchet goes for a drive!

Flowers all over the place, and this is just a section on the side of the road!


After some driving, we end up at our first destination.  Coalseam National Park! 


Plenty of places to go!  Surrounded by flowers and Afghan Melons apparently…

And flies.

Just around the sign area were many types and colours of flowers!


First stop in Coalseam was the river bend section of the park, as it had the information and map.  Coalseam isn’t that big of a park, but it certainly has some interesting flowers, scenery and one hell of a lookout!!!

Can ya smell the history??  280 Million years, the age of the lower part of the side of that hill!  Wow!

The Irwin river also flows through the area and you actually have to drive across the river to get to the information!!  Luckily though, the Irwin River isn’t so strong anymore.  This is Australia after all!

Behold the raging torrents of the Irwin River!!


Look!  I found the river’s water!


A quick trip up the hill to Irwin’s Lookout.


Wow! Look At that view!!!

Some of the local fauna came by to say hello.  Must have been a bit upset with us, puffy cheeks and all…

Some fascinating looking flowers abound however.

Time to hit the road again.  The aim was to go down some road and pass through Greenough for out next destination.  However, this was thwarted by a lack of road signs.  So the nest batch of photos were taken on the road, somewhere, but I am not entirely sure where we were at the time…  Maybe I should have turned left at Alberkirky…
There was a wind farm along the way though.  I love the majestic nature of these things.  Not too sure if I would like to live near one though.  Massive things they are.

More driving and we ended up in Geraldton prematurely.  Stopping at a Bp to grab some lunch, I felt like I got mugged.  $44 for get this, 2 rolls, 2 sandwiches and 2 fruit salads in a cup.  Seriously, WTF?????  That completely made me double take.  I even asked the girl ‘Seriously?’ thinking she had charged me for, oh, I don’t know, MY FIRST BORN CHILD!

OMG people, OMG indeed.

Putting that aside, I asked some nice Firies for directions and worked out that we had come too far north somewhere along the lines.  So we headed south for a bit to get to the ‘leaning tree.’  It was more than leaning!

BAM! Take that Tree, Ratchet doesn’t know his own strength!  This is the original of the Leaning Tree of Greenough.


Actually, that’ a lie, Ratchet had nothing to do with the leaning tree, except for a photo opportunity.  Attention Whore that he is!  The trees (yes there are many) around here are bent over due to the constant wind that blows from one direction.  This particular tree is noticeable due to it’s shape, but almost all the trees in the area had some form of lean going on.

So after that little adventure we headed off toward Kalbarri, hopefully catching the Pink Lake on the way.  So we headed off to Northhampton and from there planned to get a quick bit of information  and then head towards Port Gregory for the Pink Lake.  A short-ish, well not really, driving around the countryside of WA is never short, we made it to Northhampton.  I found the tourist Info centre and hurriedly went to ascertain some better directions as the map I had was somewhat vague. 

I hurried, as the time was 4.30 and the info centre closes at 5pm.  Or so I thought.

Turns out the place wasn’t open.


Now what?  A quick run to the petrol station across the road (whilst avoiding the need for sandwiches) and a chat to the lady there provided me with required info, but sadly no better map.

We were off to Port Gregory!  Well, the Pink Lake, by Port Gregory anyway…  Zoom! It was a simple drive of about 30 minutes.  I had managed to see (from google maps) that you should be able to see the Pink Lake from the road that runs up to Kalbarri.  Convenient, as I didn’t want to waylay us in Port Gregory.  Indeed you can.  it doesn’t looks very pink though….  In fact it looks much like other swamp areas that lead to a body of water.  Looks like the way to see it is in Port Gregory.  Dammit if the info centre was open, they could have informed me of that!  PAH!

So no pictures of the Pink Lake.  Maybe on the way back.

Off to Kalbarri.

Luckily Kalbarri was easy enough to find.  The road didn’t diverge much and about an hour later, we arrived to our accommodation.  Which was a bit of a win find by the better half as it was pretty much a really nice spanking house, on the beach front, with a big-ass balcony for watching sunsets.  And since it was nearly time, that is what we did.  I tell you, the Sunset Lodge lives up to it’s name!



After settling down a bit, we headed off for dinner to a cafe/restaurant up the road. 

To have some of the most fantastic Pork Belly Crackling I have had in ages! AWOOOGA!

“Tets, I’m a Doctor and I strongly do not recommend this for you health!  But as a purveyor of good food…”

“You ate it ALLLL?!?!?!?!?”

Well it was good!  Here's the proof!

And thus we retired to the comfort of our accommodation, to discover the hot water wouldn’t last long enough because of excessive bath and shower usage. 

Awaiting a new day tomorrow.

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