Travel Journal

Perth to Monkey Mia

(Saturday 11 September 2010) by Andy and Babs
Hello again family and friends,

Our stay in Perth was most enjoyable. What a great city and very different in character to Sydney. Not so many skyscrapers and more pedestrianised. Glorious parks and lots of cycle ways. Best of all is the free transportation all around the city.
There are 3 "Cat" buses, so named because of the outline of a cat on the outside. Blue, red and yellow routes cover all aspects of the city. We managed the blue and red route and also a tour on an open topped double decker. All was going well until the heavens opened and we had to scramble downstairs. That also put paid to any more photographs unfortunately. It hammered down for the rest of the afternoon and evening so we returned to our hotel and called it a day.

Next morning and we were up packed, car loaded and on the way for our adventure up the West Coast to Geraldton through the Swan Valley. Passed loads of winerys, stud farms and lush pasture land full of cattle. Such varied terrain, from miles and miles of greenness to real scrubby land with small plants and trees.

Drove past RAAF Pearce which was so isolated, how do they manage to live so far away from civilisation? Continuing on mile after mile and not a house in sight. Entering in to what they call Wildflower Country we were amazed at the beautiful flowers growing at the side of the road. Lots of stops to take photos, they were soooooooo pretty and like nothing we had ever seen before. Met lots of road trains.....they can be anythng up to 36.5 metres in length and really thunder past you at a rate of knots.

Back to the green pasture land once more with hundreds of goats, sheep and horses. Next we passed by olive groves and fruit trees (no idea what fruit though) Forgot to mention that during this long journey I managed to nod off 3 times....poor Andy was left to keep himself awake.

Decided to stop off in a place called Greenough, a World Heritage site...used to be a settlement back in the 1800's but now belongs to the National Trust. Fascinating place. Churches, school, convent and police station complete with prison cells and court house. We had the place all to ourselves as the 7"Hells Angels" were enjoying a cuppa. Now these guys must have had an average age of 70 but were riding huge bikes. Good un em I say. This place was really in the middle of nowhere but made a good break for us.

Back on the road once more with only another 16 miles to go. Total distance travelled was 264 miles and took 8 hours. Arrived in Geraldton and our accommodation for the night. What a lovely place....all seemed very new and immaculate and our unit for the night was superb. Everything you could ask for. Small kitchen, lounge, huge bedroom and excellent bathroom, huge Plasma TV, DVD player, cd player and boxed breakfast for the morning. Unpacked again and decided to drive in to town and find somewhere to eat. New Australian cuisine said the sign outside this huge restaurant, so in we went. Delicious.

Returning to our unit and the added excitement of our own remote control to open the gate. How lucky was I to be put in charge of it.

Nice hot bubble bath in our huge spa bath and it was bed time, as another early start in the morning.

Quick tour of the town this morning and then it was on to the North West Highway and another 250 miles to cover. Andy at the wheel once more. Empty roads again apart from the usual road trains. Car in cruise control mode and we were gobbling up the miles through more scrub like land with lots of low level shrubs in sandy ground. Drove through a torrential rain storm but soon left it behind and out into vivid blue skies and brilliant sunshine.

Stopped off at a place called Hamelin Pool. Here we found a sea shell quarry where they used to cut blocks for building as there was no timber. Also along the beach were very strange looking living rocks called Stromatolites. Of great scientific interest...they are the oldest forms of rock and create oxygen for our planet. Spent a very enjoyable hour or so there
before continuing our journey.

Thought Andy deserved a break so it was decided that I would take the wheel for a while. Now bearing in mind that this is an automatic car and I hadn't driven it before, upon coming up behind a slow moving vehicle, I decided to indicate with the windscreen wipers and as we hurtled past Andy making the comment that the people behind would be saying 'look at that idiot in a hire car' now most of you know how well I normally react to criticsm......... He was told to shut his eyes, mouth and go to sleep, none of which he did. To help him pass the time thought he could send a text using my mobile phone....bad decision....tap tap tap he went couldn't work out how to do it....well we almost had world war 3....eventually he was told to switch the darn thing off and I would do it myself. These long journeys can really take it out of you that's for sure.

Well we finally arrived at our destination Monkey Mia. This is where we are hopefully going to be seeing the wild dolphins come in to the beach to be fed. We are on a resort in a beach front apartment. The view is simply stunning with aquamarine water, white sand and even more welcome, warm sunshine.

We have 2 nights here so hopefully will get to witness the arrival of the dolphins. Can't wait!!!!

To be continued.

Andy and Babs


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