Day 5 Kalbarri to Monkey Mia
Breakfast comprises bread and jam, good aussie vegemite and the some bits of pieces left over from the previous days lunches. We load the gear and leave by about 6.15 which is a little behing schedule and Steve who is missing his wife and child desperately has taken off already back to
So we head off towards Northampton chatting quietly to each other on the UHF radio and Mark and Chris and Paul are awake (or at least partly awake) concentrating on the road and verges watching for the roos that are everywhere around there at that time in the morning. Taryn and Brett are catching up on their naps – Chris and Mark are driving – I am leading – honours degree in law – chair of several companies – official and participant in 13 Variety bashes and good at trip notes is heading South when he should be heading North and Mark owner of a successful building business is following me. I am in front really because we have a bull bar and the other vehicle does not to protect John Hughes car. We are heading at the 100km speed limit in the wrong direction.
Paul makes some comment about the route which is nondescript but suddenly it wakes me from my slumbers – good heavens we are going south – the Garmin GPS I have been watching on and off has an "S" in the top left hand corner and the compass on the screen is pointing roughly south. SHeet!!!! MM is north of here – what the hell – a quick chat on the uhfs and the quickest U turn you have ever seen - after they leave the double whites behind on the next straight piece of road and our intrepid team are heading back to the past ie Kalbarri.
We have lost a precious half hour and a bit which they did not have. So much for the trip into Hamelin Pool to see the oldest living creatures we know about on our planet the stromatelites and the excellent telegraph station museum – so much for the balance of breakfast and lunch is in trouble at this point not to mention the 11am appointment with the shotover cat.
But all is well that ends well – we are perfectly positioned going out of Kalbarri to get the sunrise over the gorges and some great shots are attempted out the window as there is no time to stop and set up. If you get yourself lost and we all do sometimes - dont panic - just work your way back safely to where you were supposed to start and start again. Dont speed to get back on time - you only take risks that are not worth taking and can end up much later than you would have been or badly hurt or worse! The outback is a place to be respected and long distance driving is dangerous at speed anywhere but particularly out here.
We get the shots we want at the excellent overnight and rest area on the main highway 1 on the way which gives us a chance to change drivers and stretch our legs about half way into the trip – still conscious of safety – "rather be a little late in this life and safe be early in the next"...
So we don’t go into the Overlander Roadhouse but as we pass it Mark stops and passes the baton – "his phone" - which is the only one to get a signal as we pass the Overlander where some have reception – to Chris who rings and leaves a message for the Shotover cat owners on their message bank telling them we are late and expect to be there about 1130. Fortunately they ring back and tell us that is fine.
Everyone is breathing a little easier but the really old people are still not going to see us this time which is a shame. still they are very very old and patience comes with age.
Watch Day 5 as a DriveWA webisode below:
source: Loco TV
We do have time to do a quick stop again at Shell Beach - which is too beautiful to drive past and a much quicker attraction than the "old People" and just off the road. We change drivers and see a magnificent piece of nature at its best and there are toilets there too.
We all grabbed some food out of the Engel in the back of the WA Pass Nissan to keep us happy and bright and drive on.
Chris puts the team on the cat – although sailing is his other passion – and stays ashore to get the rest of the days arrangements and tomorrows under control – sheet – sometimes a producers role stinks. They did not see a lot because we are not at the right time to see much but it was interesting and they think they got some good footage and had a great sail.
We check in and have a very good lunch in the restaurant and get ready to see Capes at 3pm.
Just as we start Capes Tour I check with them and find that the boys only have 40 mins and 10 mins of film respectively and we discuss whether to hold Capes up to allow us to get another tape – we decide not as he is tired and ready to go and we are running out of light – that was a terrible mistake. We are instantly in awe of the tour and Capes' descriptions of the flora and fauna and his indigenous culture of respect for country and listening to country. We want to tape everything on the hour and half tour but we have to start making edits on the fly and a couple of times we have to ask him to repeat things to camera when they become so interesting and important that we cannot afford not to get it onto camera.
He could be a show on his own – the tour is interesting, uplifting and enlightening and we know that it will finish with a fish being cooked on the campfire and some didgeridoo playing and we need to get that. the tape seems to go faster and faster and time stands still as we learn more about country and how to listen to it and learn.
The sun is rapidly setting and we are with this fascinating man learning about a culture which has been largely ignored by modern man – to its peril! He gives us a fascinating taste of his culture and shows us many things.
So we arrived back at the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort at about 6pm and we went off to our various rooms to get a shower and change our clothes and agreed to meet at the Monkey Bar which is a low key bar and food outlet with a video jukebox/karoke machine and a pool table which is quite fun and is much cheaper than the restaurant we had lunch in – it is near the accommodation and overlooks the magnificent Gulf and is near the washing machine area so it is popular of an evening.
We met Capes for a drink and had a light but filling and enjoyable meal over a couple of wines and beers and Paul and Capes played some pool as we chatted about all manner of things from the unimportant to the universal truths and the meaning of life in a light hearted and friendly atmosphere. There is a lot to learn outside the cities friends in DriveWA country!
Monkey Mia is a renowned location for interacting with Mother Nature herself. Apart from its amazing coastal splendour, Monkey Mia is graced daily by an impressive pod of dolphins. more
Go and visit the world famous Monkey Mia Dolphins at Dolphin Beach! more
Located 850 kms north of Perth and set amongst all the natural beauty of the Shark Bay World Heritage region, famous for its beautiful crystal blue waters, blue skies and sunshine 320 days a year the Resort offers a variety of styles of accommodation to suit all holiday makers from Beachfront Villas, Garden Villas to modern motel style Beachside Dolphin Units. more
Sail along Western Australia's World Heritage Marine Park on an internationally famous 60 foot Catamaran; Shotover. Or Let Monkey Mia Wildsights Tours take you on walks through the Natural Wonders, share secret talks of Shark Bay and "Awestronomy" from the beach or hot tub at Peron Station Homestead. more
Shark Bay is home to a lovely camel family. more
The Shark Bay World Heritage Discovery and Visitor Centre is located in Australia’s Coral Coast Region. more
Shell Beach is a spectacular sight. Aptly named, this beautiful white beach is adorn with billions of tiny white 'conquina bivalve' sea shells, which layer the coastline for approximately 60 kilometres. more