Been There, Done That (or have we?)
Trip Start Oct 31, 2013
14Trip End May 01, 2014
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We are still managing the free camping in the Rest Areas along the road but as we are travelling the 'wrong way’ i.e. north (most people are going south as it’s too hot in the north), we are meeting less and less fellow travellers. We were fortunate to meet some grey nomads in a quite out-of-the-way rest area and had a jolly Happy Hour or two
En route to Kalbarri we came across a place called Lynton – I can’t find the origin of the name – and looked at the National Trust site of Lynton Convict Hiring Depot, a sort of archaeological site, part of which had been restored, and the most intact example in Western Australia. In WA the convict system was based on the idea of rehabilitation; at Lynton most of them had their ticket-of-leave from Fremantle prison and were hired to work by local settlers and Geraldton mine. This depot was unsuccessful and almost as soon as it was completed it was closed. It was in a most remote, hot and windswept spot and must have been an awful place to be sent to – not a good place to be posted as a guard let alone as a convict!
We approached Kalbarri NP from the south this time and drove into the coastal viewpoints. There are parts of this coastline which are so stunning that you run out of descriptions for them and the photos don’t really do them justice
However, Kalbarri will stay in my memory for other reasons – I was breathalysed for the first time in my life! Here you can be stopped randomly; in fact the 2 policemen were standing in the middle of the road and stopping everyone. And it was only early afternoon (Sunday lunch)!!
Up to Carnarvon where we did our Wwoofing last year – the land was dry and parched as they still haven’t had any rain. It appeared that several sheep stations were selling stock as there was no food for them. We were told that Guy and Susie have sold their station, Wahroonga, and had their farewell party. At Carnarvon we went to the Space and Technology museum, recently opened by Buzz Aldrin. The nearby Carnarvon Tracking Station was built to support NASA’s space programmes. It was the last station to communicate with the space capsules leaving earth orbit – so had communicated directly with Apollo 11. The museum was run and manned by volunteers who were immensely proud of it’s history.
Carnarvon is home to thriving prawn, scallop, crab and fishing industries (the local chippie does great snapper) and also plantations of fresh fruit and vegetables, particularly bananas
However there are still enough bananas to make delicious banana ice-cream at Bumbaks plantation so we felt obliged to try it – bought some banana jam too!!