Friday 30 September 2011

From Kalbarri to Denham. What an Amazing day.

We arose early and packed The Monster for it’s trip up north, saying seeya later to the fine place we called home for 2 nights.  It was pretty good too, big house, affordable and its location was brilliant!  About the only only complaint I had was that the hot water didn’t last long enough for our showers, but it recharged soon enough.  Maybe we take our showers too long anyway… 

The place where we stayed in Kalbarri.

And so we headed south of Kalbarri to the Natural bridge and a few other lookouts that were a few minutes south of where we stayed.  As we had missed them on the way in.  The good thing was that none of them were too far away and it took maybe 10 minutes at the most to get to the first one.
First signs that whales were in the area.
Ratchet taking in the view.

Luckily we bumped into a couple of whales frolicking in the water, well, they were in the water, we watched from the lookout.  And thus the chase started.  We saw that the whale was heading south and from our first spot, we were far away, so after some unsuccessful photographing attempts, we moved down to the next lookout to get a bit closer.
And we were, but not enough.  We hung about a bit more and headed off to the Natural Bridge lookout.   Nice and close this one and there were a couple of spots to go to as well.  Still ridiculously hard to get the damn photos though.


One schmuck in a boat was far too close to the whales, which was a young one and he hung around for too long.  I tell ya, if I had a sniper rifle and a tranquiliser dart, I would have sent one of those babies into the boater guys ass!

Look at this asshat! 
There was also a party of dolphins at another section as well. 


Quite an interesting story for Kalbarri’s history especially in the lookout and coast line that runs south of Kalbarri.  Actually all up, there has been some interesting stories all round.  When we were at the Pinnacles, I found the Aboriginal stories of the area quite interesting as well.

We headed east through the Kalbarri national park bypassing all that we had already covered yesterday, to exit and catch the highway north for Denham.  It was a long drive.  That wasn’t all that interesting.  So much straight road today!  I was shocked.   I did manage to spot an Emu on the road (alive) that was contemplating crossing, but I saw it too late to point it out to my companions.  It then scarpered back into the bush.  Wisely I think as there was a fair bit of traffic at the time.

Nice burger at Billabong Pub, having to overtake the same bus again and again, stopping to look at flowers although not as many stops as we had before.  The Billabong Tavern and Roadhouse was an interesting place.  The tavern had some friendly locals and they managed to bust out some pretty damn fine burgers for our lunch.  It was pretty relaxed.  The Roadhouse itself though was almost a tourist destination in itself, or that’s what they wanted you to think….  A little bit too much on the tacky merchandise side of things for my liking, but it didn’t seem like many people were buying them anyway and I guess there might be some people out there who are into that sort of stuff.


Who am I to rag on another’s collecting habits?

On the way to Denham, we managed to stop at the Hamelin Pool to have a look at the Stromatolites, the oldest living species on Earth apparently.  Outside the caravan park by Hammelin pool, we spotted a little family of Emus!  One adult and about 6 or so baby emus.  Oh, so cute and fluffy, and fast, they walked off into the bush before we could get a quality shot, I didn’t think that Emus got around with so many babies.

Picture ended up being a tad dodgy due to camera issues…  I tried to fix it up, but it just came out really red..  Anyway, the main emu is in the middle of the picture.  Babies are …  somewhere…
Amazing it was as well!  They helped cultivate oxygen on the Earth for us air breathing folk and they just look like rocks.  there are a couple of places around that have stromatolites but this place has them all over the place, from weird looking sponge to some funky looking flat rocks.  Amazing, the growth of the world at work.  I was fascinated to read that as a single celled organism, they formed when there was little oxygen in the atmosphere, apparently the stromatolites were so prolific around the place that they managed to raise he oxygen level of the Earth about 20% thereby allowing oxygen breathing life to get a bit bigger.  Wow!



And we then left. After thanking the Stromatolites of course.

That Ratchet, such a prankster!  I told him his head wasn’t big enough!  He just asked me if I had seen Episode 22 of Transformers Prime…  What a smart ass.  HooWah!

After leaving the Stromatolites, we hit Shell beach.  Another snazzy place where the beach is made of, wait for it, shells!  Who would have thought hey?  Well the water certainly looked nice and was a good temperature, from the feeling of my hands after I dipped them in it, I suspect that there is a LOT of salt in there.  Ratchet had fun at the beach!


See? The sand is made of shells!!
Incredibly clear water, so tempting to take a dip in!  Shame I hadn’t brought my swimmers….  Too many people around to go skinny dipping too.  Shame really…

From Shell Beach, Denham was not all that far away.  Nice caravan park, but they managed to mess up the booking with one of our rooms, but we managed to sort it out and ended up with a slightly more expensive place, but it had a shower (the budget cabins ARE budget).  Although I don’t mind roughing it, if given the option, I would avoid a communal shower.  The places we ended up in were pretty confortable with a main room for watching TV, dinner etc, a kids room with a bunk bed, another master bed room and a bathroom. 


By the time we had arrived and got a bit settled, it was sunset.  I tell ya, it was a magnificent sunset to!  Prime spot right on the edge of the beach.  Then it was dinner time.

We walked down the main street to the local pub for dinner.  Considering how Denham is a fishing town, you’d think there would be more fish restaurants around.  Well the only place open was a Fish and Chip shop and one other small restaurant that looked good, but needed booking.  So we went to the pub and had a chat with the nice bloke behind the counter and ended up with some pretty good dinner, that featured both fish and salads as well as tasting good.  Not many other places were open at all and we felt there was a lack of choice.  I guess most people staying in the caravan parks cook their own meals, after all the place did have ample barbeques around.  The food was good.

After that we headed back to our accommodation in the caravan park, luckily a walk across the road (ignoring the cold wind) by me revealed the most incredible amount of stars!  So many stars!  I haven't seen that many in god knows how long.  My companions, who hadn’t seen so many stars in even longer than I were in awe.  We could clearly see the Milky Way and the Southern Cross was as bright as a bell.  We tried to take photos, however without special equipment stars are notoriously hard to photograph.  Companions had no luck at all.  I also found a rather amusing sign.  Well to me anyway…  :3

Do they really need a dispenser for THAT?!?!?

Walking along then we discovered people fishing for squid on the jetty and that warranted investigation.  Lots of bright lights and people with torches and quite a bit of activity.  turns out there were heaps of squid hanging about the jetty.  I was informed by one of my party that squid were attracted to light.  So that’s why the squid trawlers on the TV have bright lights, I just thought it was so the fishermen could see what was going on.  We hung about there for a bit enjoying the atmosphere of slaughter.  We decided it was time to move on.

After returning to the caravan park, as it was very dark in the area, I went and got my tripod and we attempted to get a good shot of the stars.  So with a bit of timed lens opening and various setting fiddling going on, I managed to snap a couple of shots.  Some good, some not so good.  I messed about with the aperture and ISO speed, the blurry ones were due to me having the shutter open for 15 seconds and the wind blowing, despite having the camera on the tripod.    I recommend clicking on them for full effect and the size they should be viewed in.


The best of the Star photos is this one.

There was also a harvest moon up as well, one day I sill get a good shot of the moon’s details (well to a certain extent anyway…)


Tired and that’s it for now. Bye bye.

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