Cervantes (The Pinnacles) - Day 191

Trip Start Jan 31, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
In my car somewhere

Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Sunday, August 31, 2008

"The Mountain Nomad" is now changing his name to "The Outback Nomad", well for a week anyway.

Walked the couple of Kilometres to the car hire depot this morning in east Perth to pick up my Toyota Corolla automatic (I'd prefer a manual but I had no choice). Nice to be driving again after over 7 months of taking buses and trains. I think if you want to truly explore Australia (especially the west coast) you need your own transport. Plus it works out cheaper doing it this way even for a lone traveller. When your accommodation is your car of course.

I decided to drive 280km north of Perth to the Pinnacle Desert near a town called Cervantes on the coast. The drive was quite stunning. The flat open vastness of the Australian bush has it's own distinct beauty, I could see for miles in every direction, this is big sky country.

Arrived in the small town of Cervantes near the coast in the early afternoon and picked up some food supplies for the day from the local grocery store. Then drove the further 20km to the Pinnacle Desert national park.

The Pinnacles really are a wonder of nature, the pointed limestone outcrop rises from the yellow desert sands with the blue sea of the Indian ocean as the backdrop in the distance. It feels like you're on another planet, or on the set of a Star Wars movie.

Left the Pinnacles and drove the short distance along the coast to Hangover bay, only the Ozzies would name such a beautiful place "Hangover Bay". A beautiful and deserted white sand beach with some big surf pounding the shoreline. The only other people on the beach were an old couple fishing, they had a small catch as I was talking to them, first one of the day they said.

Then back to the Pinnacles for sunset. I wanted to see this wonder of nature in the fading light, it's suppose to be a fantastic sight and I certainly wasn't disappointed. The sun set behind the ocean, as I looked at the Pinnacles to the west the rocks were silhouetted in the orange setting sun. The limestone rock kept changing colour as the light diminished, a magical place.

In total I've driven 540km today which isn't bad going for my first day on the road. Found somewhere to park up 15 kilometres north of a small town called Regan Ford and about 160km north of Perth. I'm completely in the middle of nowhere. Just hope I don't get spooked by a Kangaroo in the middle of the night. I'm quite close to the main artery road which runs parallel with the coast to Perth. I can hear the huge road-trains going past from where I've parked. The road-trains make the lorries at home look like Matchbox toys, there massive. Some are 50 metres long. Don't want to get in the way of one these colossal trucks on the open road.

No moon tonight and the night sky was unbelievable, so clear and bright. I could see the milky way arch right across the middle of the sky from the east to west horizon. I'm over 30 degrees south of the equator now so the sky is completely different to what I'm use too back at home in the north. Most impressive night sky I've seen for a very long time, completely awesome. Even better than night skies I've seen at altitude in the mountains.

Heading to the far south-west tomorrow. Not sure how far I'll get, just have to see how it goes. I'm in no real rush anyway, for once I have no plan for this next week.
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