Australia - Cervantes (Pinnacles)

Trip Start Dec 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Day 1

With the extra days rest in Perth, Andrew was raring to go - albeit not really raring to drive, so Verdi took to the steering wheel for another day. We planned to drive northwards along the coast past Scarborough and Trigg beach and find a place to stay that night before heading further northwards.

On the way up the coast we spotted a quayside shopping area which looked very similar to Port Solent in Portsmouth (the place where we had our leaving drinks). We popped in to see what it had to offer and were not disappointed, there were more shops and a heck of a lot more people than in Port Solent, but the relaxed vibe and the good food and great views were very similar. All this combined with the glorious weather made for an enjoyable couple of hours before we headed further up the coast.

Calling at two campsites along the shore we found that they were both closed and full - a consequence of the public holiday weekend. Rather than try and find another campsite nearby (which would undoubtedly have the same problem), or camp on a roadside somewhere, we opted to carry on up towards Cervantes and the famous Pinnacles nearby.

The journey was a few hundred kilometers and we didn't quite have enough sunlight to make it all the way there so we called into Badgingarra, a small village on the main highway before the turnoff towards Cervantes.

As we turned into the campsite to book our nights stay we were beeped by a large truck. Not knowing why we assumed that he was just irate at us having slowed down his journey by turning in front of him. We pulled into the site and then realised we had to go to the roadhouse around the corner to pay. Returning to the campsite after parting with our cash we saw a large blue jerry can, similar to ours, in the middle of the road. It hadn't been there before but there was no way it could have been ours! Confused we stopped for a minute and then realised that our back door was wide open and it must have fallen out. We have no idea how long the door was open but it does explain why we were beeped! We're just surprised that nothing else fell out during the few hundred kilometers we had driven since the last time the back door was touched.

After checking the back door several times we progressed to our camping plot and settled down for the night - counting our blessings that our stuff wasn't strewn over miles of outback roads!

Day 2

After cleaning and tidying Gizmo (he gets pretty scruffy if you don't look after him!), we drove the rest of the way to Cervantes and went straight to the Pinnacles national park. The CALM (Conservation and Land Management) fee for the park is $9 per vehicle per day which is actually really good value considering the spectacle that you can view both at sunrise, daytime and at sunset. We planned to return for sunset as the views and consequent pictures are supposed to be even more impressive at this time.

We drove around the Pinnacles site, an area a few km square containing thousands of eerie looking limestone pillars, some up to 4m high. They were formed by erosion over the ages and were only discovered by the general public in the 1960's. No matter what the guidebooks say, the true spectacle of the Pinnacles is only recognised when you stand in front of them and stare. They look completely alien, jutting out from the sandy ground like a Martian metropolis (PICS).

We had a few hours before sunset so drove into Cervantes stopping off at the nearby beach (PIC), booking a spot at the local campsite and doing some laundry while we waited for the sun to descend.

As the light faded we made our way back out to the Pinnacles desert and snapped away, again completely blown away by the wonder of the area and the bizarre natural creations we were gazing upon (PICS).

Returning to Cervantes once again we grabbed some fish and chips and did a spot of surfing (on the internet) before going to bed.
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