Swim with Whale sharks

Trip Start Oct 04, 2008
Trip End Jun 30, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Sunday, May 17, 2009

5 hour flight from Sydney to Perth....we could be in Moscow by that time at home......just shows you how vast this country is !   picked up a very small campervan and set out on our WA adventure.

Decided we had plenty of time, so wandered at a slow pace along the coast road with all it's roadkill (Kangaroos mainly).......glorious scenery and beaches stopping at the small coastal towns....each with popluations around a hundred. Visited the famous pinnacles in the desert just back from the beach scattered with strange rock formations, the aborigines believed they were the dead clawing thier way up out of the ground....who knows !! amazing sunset, we had a glass of wine and a few beers and felt satisfied.....until we looked at the map at how far we had travelled and how far to go !! we realised then just how big this place is and we would have to get a move on.....so no more meandering along.

Plan was to get up early and knock off several hundred KLMs.....however, 5 mins down the road, we pulled over to check the map, when we tried to pull away, we were completly stuck in the sand (some swearing occurred at this point). We tried the RAC who told us we were "bogged in" and put us on hold and never called us back.....luckily, Colin flagged down a kind mine worker with a 4by4 and a huge chain who saved the day, so we spent 6 hours driving up the Brand highway at the start of our 5000 klm journey....this place is not only vast, there are hundreds of KLm stretches with abosolutely nothing until you get to the next roadhouse, just in time before the fuel runs out.....so you fill up, eat a pie, have a pee and off you go again.

On the way up you turn off for Coral Bay and Exmouth, both located on the Ningaloo reef and National marine Park.......this is several hundred K's off the road through outback....red, sandy, earth with low shrubs......we would hate to have had to walk anywhere in this heat !!!

Arrived in Exmouth for a couple of days, decided to do the Cape Range NP with great scenery, red gorges (as Colin wandered along a rock wallaby bounded towards him)...and great snorkelling which took most of the day, on the way out we spotted a dad EMU with 10 young chicks passing across the road.....
THEN the highlight of our journey, the reason we planned the trip......swimming with the whale sharks (they are sharks and the worlds biggest fish) expensive but an absolute must as long as you can live with the tiger shark threat and dreaded jelly fish. This was a full day with snorkelling on the reef while the spotter plane tracks down the whale sharks....then off you go....the guide screams at you "GO GO GO" and the small group of 10 jump in the water in front of the shark....it is truly amazing to see that huge mouth coming towards you as you swim out of it's path (the rules are you can't get within 3 mtrs, but this feels really close).....some of us were looking up out of the water rather than down, so he screams LOOK DOWN....there are no whale sharks in the air !! not us though.  They always drop a spotter in first to check that it is a whale shark and not a tiger shark (which would not be good) apparently this has happened !!  In total, we swam with 4 different whale sharks for about 50 mins, awesome and very tiring...we slept well that night.

Next stage is to head inland to Tom Price and Karijini NP...still a long way to go !!

Onwards and upwards.

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