Day 409 of retirement

July 29, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 23rdJuly 2018:

Back to Pt Quobba blowholes tody. Totally different from our last visit as there is a HUGE swell (biggest I have ever seen). Huge spray show as the swells hit the rocks. Saw a couple of whales but they were way out avoiding the coast.

At the blowholes car park a HUGE rogue swell came through and flooded the car park. Luckily we were all back out of reach of the flooding but reminded us to stand well back from the cliff edge when a huge swell is running.

We found a nice spot out of the wind and had a picnic lunch watching mother nature’s wave show.

Tuesday 24thJuly 2018:

Last day in Carnarvon today. Got a load of washing done and hung before we went for a drive to Miaboolya Beach.

Had a nice walk up the beach before heading to our favourite tapas restaurant for lunch.

Spent the afternoon washing and cleaning the mighty Mazda inside and out at the local carwash and vacuum station. Also did a run to Woolworths for some supplies, as our next stop at Coral Bay is only a small town.

Managed to squeeze in a nice siesta late afternoon.

Wednesday 25thJuly 2018:

Left Carnarvon for Coral Bay (250km & 2.5 hours with some wildflower stops).

Coral Bay is packed out, tourists everywhere. It is peak season now so all the grey nomads have arrived from the cold south. Ooohhh wait that’s us…

The wildflowers bathed the roadsides of our trip so very pleasant.

Had lunch in Coral Bay and finished having oysters from Cowell (SA) which is just up the road from where I grew up and mussels from Port Lincoln, my old stomping grounds. Small world. Ooohhh yes it was very yummy.

Thursday 26thJuly 2018:

Our boat trip was postponed to tomorrow so had a very nice rest day consisting of good food, a siesta and a nice long walk along the beach.

Did a drive round Coral Bay, which took all of 15 minutes. We are staying in the centre of town so can walk everywhere.

Finished the day on the beach watching a magnificent sunset.

Friday 27thJuly 2018:

Did a tour today on Ningaloo Reef in a semi submersible boat. A submarine without submersing. The coral here is very different to the Great Barrier Reef. Awesome but different.

I apologise for the white balance (colours) of the pics as they are taken underwater through thick glass.

After an afternoon siesta we wondered down to the beach for the fish feeding. Heaps of tourists and heaps of fish.

Saturday 28thJuly 2018:

Guy and I got up at 2:30am to see the blood moon/eclipses. It was rather cold but a nice clear sky. With the clear sky came mist unfortunately. I was unable to get a good clear pic of the event but still managed to get some pics of the blood moon/eclipsesincluding some abstract ones.

Back to bed at 5:00am and up at 11:30am so managed a very nice sleep-in.

Another awesome lunch and siesta before our quad bike sunset tour.

On our quad bike tour there was only one other rider (plus passenger) so a very personalised tour.

Had a lot of fun cruising the back roads in the dunes on the quad bikes. Had a few screams from Guy as we zoomed along.

Sunday 29thJuly 2018:

Our last day in Coral Bay. So after a sleep-in we had a nice big breakfast of eggs Benedict followed by a skinny chai latte. We rarely have a big breakfast so a treat for us.

Then a stroll along the beach and up to the lookout where we watched the kayakers, snorkelers and glass bottom boats go by.

Back for our afternoon siesta followed by another stroll along the beach. We do love this place as you just walk everywhere. Haven’t started the car since we arrived 4 days ago.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 

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Day 402 of retirement

July 22, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 16thJuly 2018:

I fed a dolphin today. Guy and I hit Monkey Mia this morning for the wild dolphin feeding. We shared the beach with 100+ others for the two feedings. You stand on the beach and each of the 5 dolphin handlers select 5 people from the crowd completely at random to feed the dolphins a fresh fish.
We both missed out in the first feeding but for the second feeding we split up so we were at opposite ends of the beach. And of course I got selected and Guy missed out.
Very very lucky and privileged to get up this close and personal with “Puck”, a free-range dolphin. Awesome experience.

After Monkey Mia we went exploring along the coast and visited Shell Bay, Eagle Island and few other coastline features.

Finished the day with a dip in the artesian thermal pool at the old Peron Homestead. The water in 40C (almost too hot) and comes from 540m below the ground. Very mineral heavy but ooohhh so good.

Tuesday 17thJuly 2018:

From our wanderings today (Tuesday) at the Ocean Park Aquarium. Awesome small aquarium where they have a continuous tour going round the aquarium staffed by 3 marine biologists. 99% of the fish are from the local area and you get to learn all about their life, loves and weird goings on.
They have a great restaurant there as well and we enjoyed a very nice seafood platter for two.

Finished off the day with a dip in the artesian thermal pool at the old Peron Homestead. Tony Breen you have us hooked now.

Wednesday 18thJuly 2018:

It is our last day in Denham today so back to Monkey Mia to see the dolphin feeding one last time. It is quite mesmerising to see these magnificent creatures up so close. The whole process is very well managed which puts the humans and dolphins at ease with each other.

Had a great lunch watching the dolphins swim by as we enjoyed Pork Belly with salad.

Back to our cabin early in the afternoon for a cup of tea and a siesta.

Thursday 19thJuly 2018:

Left Denham for Carnarvon (340km @ 4 hours drive).

Nice leisurely drive as the wildflowers are starting to bloom with fields of yellow, purple and white. Will come back and explore the wildflowers further.

Had a nice lunch at one of the local pubs and back to the cabin for an afternoon cup of tea and siesta.

Friday 20thJuly 2018:

Rest day for us today in Carnarvon but a busy day for the Mighty Mazda.

First stop for her was the local Mazda Dealer for a 10,000km service and a thorough check over.

Then off to the local tyre centre to have the newish front tyres moved to the rear and new tyres on the front. This was then followed up with a tyre alignment.

She is now ready to take on the next 10,000km of our adventure, all refreshed.

Saturday 21stJuly 2018:
Found an absolute gem of an awesome spot today. Pt Quobba Blowholes (160km round trip north). As we sat on the rocks eating our picnic lunch the blowholes were erupting right in front of us with whales breaching beyond the blowholes. And hardly anybody here.
We sat there just mesmerised by the best show mother earth could put on for us.
And to top it off some beautiful wildflowers greeted us along the road.

Sunday 22ndJuly 2016:

Visited the Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum today. Fascinating place with lots of short videos on the history of the facility.

It was primarily used by NASA for tracking and communication in the Apollo, Gemini and Skylab missions.

It also played a huge part in Australia‘s overseas communication with the rest of the world.

I also learnt that the Apollo 11 mission had 4 computers on board with each having the power of an old Commodore 64. There were 2 for navigation (1 each for the main and the lunar modules), 1 for the command module operations and the last one was a spare if all else failed.

And these simple machines were programmed not to ever lockup. If serious issues were encountered the computers were programmed to shut down all but essential services and continue on.

After a yummy lunch in Sunsets Café, at the (close) one mile jetty, we went for a drive in the countryside exploring, but as rain approached we headed for home as we were on a dirt road.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 

 


Day 395 of retirement

July 15, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 9thJuly 2018:

Off exploring today. First stop was The Pink Lake at Port Gregory. The lake was a little pink and not in its full glory.

Hutt Lagoon is a pink lake, a salt lake with a red or pink hue due to the presence of the carotenoid-producing algae Dunaliella salina, a source of ß-carotene, a food-colouring agent and source of vitamin A. The lagoon contains the world’s largest microalgae production plant, a 250-hectare (620-acre) series of artificial ponds used to farm Dunaliella salina.[2]

Back to Kalbarri for a yummy lunch then went exploring all the lookouts from 10km out of Kalbarri, then back into town.

We were very lucky to see whales. They were out from the coast quite a bit but one came in quite close so we were able to get our first photo of whales in WA.

Tuesday 10thJuly 2018:

Off exploring Nature’s Window and Z Bend Gorges today.

Nature’s Window has a rock that has a “window” in it that overlooks over the gorge. We had to line up to take our turn to get pics of Guy in the window. Too many  “tourists”.

We sat up on the ridgeline for a while as we enjoyed the serenity of the stunning location.

Next stop was the Z Bend Gorge. Hard to capture the true awesomeness of the gorge as half of it was in shadow. Still a stunning place to visit.

Last stop was our favourite whale-watching headland about 10km out of Kalbarri. There were half a dozen whales breaching but they were a long way off shore. Too far to photograph.

Wednesday 11thJuly 2018:

First stop was back to our whale watching spot and we were lucky enough to see a whale in close to the cliffs. Great watching him frolic and approach some fishermen in a boat and check them out.

We then went for a drive to see the Hawk’s Head and Ross Graham lookouts over the gorges. At the Ross Graham lookout we went for a walk down into the gorge and explored the awesome patterns in the cliffs.

Back whale watching after lunch but the whales were way out off the coast. They didn’t want to play close in.

Thursday 12thJuly 2018:

Quiet day as we explored Kalbarri after a load of washing was done.

Got a friendly wave from a passing whale at our favourite spot.

Friday 13thJuly 2018:

Last day in Kalbarri today. As it drizzled rain all morning we had a quiet relaxing day.

Saturday 14thJuly 2018:

Left Kalbarri for Denham (Monkey Mia/Shark Bay just up the road). A 380km 5-hour trip with a few stops. As WA school holidays end Monday the traffic going south (Perth way) was horrendous.  90% of the traffic was heading south (we headed north) and at times there were long lines of cars, 4×4, caravans, camper trailers and boats grid locking traffic.

Another nice roomy cabin for the next 5 nights. After a quick trip to the supermarket we rested up in the late afternoon as we have tours booked for the next two days. Busy busy.

Sunday 15thJuly 2018:

Went on a 4×4 guided tour today of the Francois Peron National Park. As we were the only two on the tour we got to see some “secret” spots that Luke our awesome guide took us to.

A great day out all round.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 


Day 388 of retirement

July 8, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 2ndJuly 2018:

Left Geraldton for Port Denison (70km), which is just, down the road.

Made it into Port Denison just as the storm front hit. Blowing a gale and raining. Our cabin is 20m from the beach/rock wall facing directly into the storm. Awesome.
Feeling much better today from the food poisoning. Had my first soup meal today and it stayed down, so all good.

Tuesday 3rdJuly 2018:

Well the bug has hit Guy now. She spent a very unpleasant night with the same symptoms I had. She spent most of the day in bed recovering. It was a windy cold winter day anyway and we had nothing planned so a great day to rest up all round.

Weather is supposed to be fining up a bit tomorrow so might do some car exploring as we have one more day here.

I had a very productive day updating my two cameras’ firmware, creating some new user profiles and going through all the menu options to refresh my mind with the functionality.

Wednesday 4thJuly 2018:

Went for a drive round the Port Denison area today in the winter storm (Blew and rained on and off all day). Our last day here as we head back inland tomorrow to Mullewa (for 2 nights) so hopefully will leave the crappy weather behind us.
Both feeling much better today from our bugs and had our first good lunch. And it stayed down and in, so all good.

Thursday 5thJuly 2018:

Left Dongara for Mullewa with a detour to Pindar to see the Wreath Flowers (220km) which are 10km down an outback dirt road.

The Wreath Flowers are an amazing flower that looks like a funeral wreath with pink and white flowers round its edge. We found lots of green circular flowers minus the blooms. We are 3-4 weeks to early.

Staying in Mullewa in a motel room. Bit cramped after all our nice roomy cabins. Only here for two nights then got a week in Kalbarri in a holiday house so looking forward to spreading out once again.

Friday 6thJuly 2018:

Off exploring Mullewa on foot and by car today. We walked the Wildflower Walk (3km) on the outskirts of town. Great track that is well marked and takes you through the virgin bushland. A few wild flowers out but we are 3-4 weeks too early for the main blooms though with the best surprise, we found a couple of patches of the hairy stemmed snail orchids, we are so happy!!!

Then drove the Northern Loop trail (115km with most on dirt roads). The back roads are well marked (so you don’t get lost) with points of interests sign posted along the way. There were a few wildflowers out so managed to get a few pics.

A great day out in the bush.

Saturday 7thJuly 2018:

Left Mullewa for Kalbarri (230km & 3 hours).

We travelled via The Chapman Valley Way, which is known for its wildflowers. Still a bit early but a few wildflowers out.

Arrived at our house for the next 7 days and it is very nice to have a bit of space to spread out.

Also gave the Mighty Mazda a wash as she was filthy from travelling on the gravel roads in the wet. She is looking like new again.

Sunday 8thJuly 2018:

A bit of a sleep-in this morning. Then spent the rest of the day planning the next 4 months of our travels. We locked in our route and phoned the major accommodation places and locked in our bookings. And that will takes us through to the end of our round Australia adventure.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.

 

 


Day 381 of retirement

July 1, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 25thJune 2018:

Left Cervantes and headed 520km inland to Mount Magnet. Had a good run apart from 60km that was a combination of a single sealed strip of road up the middle to just a dirt road made of good old red dirt. The red dust gets into everything.

We went for a drive and checked into the information centre for some advice on things to visit and see.

We then drove up to the lookout overlooking the town. Mt Magnet really is in the middle of nowhere.

The Mt Magnet gold project is located immediately adjacent to the town of Mt Magnet, 500km northeast of Perth in the Murchison Goldfield of the Western Australian Yilgarn Craton. Mount Magnet is one of the Mid West region’s original gold mining towns, and the longest surviving gold mining settlement in Western Australia.

Tuesday 26thJune 2018:
Found a real gem of a place today out from Mt Magnet. Did a 38km (33km dirt road) tourist drive which took us through The Granites. Awesome bright red granite escarpments/formations due to the abundant iron oxide in the area oxidising on the rocks. Stunning place.

Aaahhh country living. Mt Magnet has 3 pubs a bakery and a coffee house. Try getting a midday meal. Nope. Dinner is fine from 5:00pm though.

Quick trip back to The Granites to see the formations light up in the afternoon sun.

Awesome colours. Love The Granites as I could spend days photographing it. It changes hour by hour as the sun moves across the sky.

This is one of those magical places that photographs just don’t do it justice.

Wednesday 27thJune 2018:

Left Mt Magnet for Geraldton (340km & 5 hours).

Stopped for lunch in Mullewa and called into the info centre. You see Mullewa is in the heart of wildflower country. As they have had some rain, a few flowers are out but we are basically 3-4 weeks too early for the blooms.

So we have decided to go back late next week for a few days and explore the area for wildflowers.

Arrived at our cabin in Geraldton that once again is very nice.

Thursday 28thJune 2018:

Today we wandered round Geraldton and visited the following:

The HMAS Sydney War Memorial – Took a tour and learnt the history of the Sydney and its sinking.

Old Geraldton Gaol – Small jail constructed by convicts. The cells have now been opened up to the local craft group who occupy the cells with their works.

Skeetas for lobster lunch – Awesome lobster lunch. We are back in lobster country once again.

Geraldton Museum – Very interesting place. Enjoyed the 3D presentation of the exploration pictures of the HMAS Sydney wreck along with the German raider ship the Kormoran

St Francis Xavier Cathedral – Very elaborate building.

Friday 29thJune 2018:
Rest day today.
We spent the morning locking in our accommodation for the next two weeks as school holidays start today (for 2 weeks).
At one stage it looked like we might have to sleep in the car but all good. Booked all the way to Kalbarri via Port Denison and Mullewa. We will hit Monkey Mia after the holidays so shouldn’t be too bad getting a place to stay.
After an awesome lobster lunch, again, the mighty Mazda got a good wash and clean. She was looking a little grotty after a few months on the road between washes.

Saturday 30thJune 2018:

Went for a drive today, as it is a stunning day out.

Went to The Alinta Wind Farm, Ellendale Pool (stunning gorge setting which is a bit off the beaten track), Central Greenough Historic Settlement (very interesting old restored historic township) and the Devlin pool.

Sunday 1stJuly 2018

Well it finally caught up with us. Food poisoning (Guy is fine, just me). Had takeaway last night (each had different dishes) and I spent most of the night with my body expelling everything out of it at both ends. Throw in the hot flushes and cold shivers and it was a fun night… NOT…
Feeling better this morning. Got a rest day so all good.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy