Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shark Bay, Monkey Mia and Carnarvon - I thought this was the desert?

We headed north from Geraldton bound for Kalbarri, and right on cue the weather crapped itself again- heavy rain squalls which meant the views from the coastal cliffs were limited. We stopped at a seahorse sanctuary which, while in reality more of a breeding centre than sanctuary (although it does save wild seahorses by providing an alternative to wild caught ones for the aquarium trade) at least was indoors and dry! Thankfully then the rain stopped for long enough for us to check out the parrot jungle next door then drive into town and get the tent up for the evening. The next day though it was bucketing down again, making it rather pointless to stay in the arewa so we headed on. The weather meant that the dirt roads into the gorges were closed, but luckily we did strike a break in the rain while checking out the lookouts closest to the road, providing these great views of the Murchison river.

Then in was on north again towards Shark Bay and Monkey Mia. The weather was still
unsettled but thankfully the real heavy rain didn't seem to penetrate so far north, although the wind meant the surface of Hamelin Pool was pretty choppy, limiting our view of the famous stromatelites (one of earths most ancient life forms, apparently).
At Monkey Mia we saw the famous pod of bottlenosed dolphins, and I managed to get the rangers to let Shandos feed one, which she was pretty chuffed with, having wanted to do that since she was a girl!
We spent the night camped on the clifftop just south of Denham, a spectacular spot- and the weather cleared beautifully, treating us to a spectacular sunset.

Then it was north again to Carnarvon- a pleasant enough place I guess, although apart from the mile long jetty and some great mud crabs from the local seafood factory, not too much to interest the traveller.

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